witch hazel skincare

A Million (Okay Fine, Six) Ways to Use Witch Hazel in Your Skincare Routine

Do you need another step in your skincare regimen? Probably not. If you’ve been following our advice, you’re probably well on your way to adopting a Korean beauty-influenced 10-step routine. That’s why we’re not saying you should add another step; we’re simply suggesting that you replace your current toner with witch hazel, especially if your toner has alcohol in it and has been drying you out.

We swapped our old toner for Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner ($14, well.ca) about a year ago and we haven’t looked back. It comes in tons of different scents but we’ll always be partial to rose petal, because of its refreshing yet luxurious smell. Oh and before we continue, you should know that the name witch hazel just comes from the Middle English word for “pliable” or “bendable” due to the nature of the plant’s twigs. No witches involved, unfortunately. (Almost as disappointing as finding out there’s no blood in Dragon’s blood. What’s a girl got to do to get some creepy and mythical beauty products around here?)

We’ve rounded up the six best ways to incorporate witch hazel into your skincare routine below.

1. As a natural toner
As we mentioned, our favourite way to use witch hazel is after cleansing. The high concentration of tannins in the product makes it a great natural astringent, removing excess oil and shrinking pores.

2. As a blemish fighter
From bruises to pigmentation to redness, witch hazel works from the inside out to heal underlying damage and broken skin, and fade dark spots. It’s definitely not as strong as the salicylic acid in your acne products, so don’t expect it to take care of any monster pimples, but it’s great for gentle redness relief.

3. As an under eye bag fighter
Witch hazel can tighten skin and reduce inflammation and puffiness, making it perfect for early mornings when your under eye bags and dark circles are out of control.

4. As a facial mist
What in the world is more glamorous than spritzing your face with rose petal-scented witch hazel? Keep a small spray bottle at your desk to refresh and moisturize your skin throughout the day. It’s great for fighting water loss and locking moisture into the top layer of your skin.

5. As aftershave
Keep a large bottle under your bathroom sink and make it your go-to after each shower. From soothing dry skin caused by hot water, to treating razor burn, red bumps and minor cuts, soak a cotton pad in witch hazel and watch all your irritated skin problems disappear. And since it’s so good for tightening skin, witch hazel stops bleeding in no time.

6. As a natural remedy for your outdoor woes
From bug bites to sunburns (which we hope you don’t get many of because you use SPF religiously), applying witch hazel to affected areas is a speedy way to sooth inflamed, itchy, and peeling skin.