Does Witch Hazel Help Remove Facial Blemishes?

Witch hazel, also known as Winterbloom or Hamamelis virginiana, is a shrub found all over North America. It has been used by herbalists and traditional healers for treating a range of medical conditions. Usually, the leaves, twigs and the bark are used for their medicinal properties.

Witch hazel is popularly used to treat many different skin conditions ranging from blemishes to acne. Many herbalists prefer to use witch hazel to treat skin problems rather than rely on the costly products that are commonly used to treat skin conditions. It is considered to be a safe alternative to conventional lotions and creams although its efficacy has not yet been proven scientifically.

The bark and the leaves of witch hazel contain high concentrations of tannins. These compounds have strong astringent properties that have beneficial effects on the skin. These astringent properties cause proteins in the skin to tighten, producing a protective layer that allows skin to heal faster. Witch hazel also helps to repair damaged blood vessels below the skin and helps to soothe tender skin.

These properties of witch hazel make it an excellent treatment for skin blemishes that may be caused by a range of skin disorders including acne and sunburn.

With regard to acne, most conventional lotions contain chemical astringents which help to dry out the skin and clean blocked pores. Since acne is a result of blocked pores caused by oily secretions in the skin, the astringent action of witch hazel helps to prevent the inflammation and scarring that usually follow an outbreak. The witch hazel will harden and dry out the skin, reduce bleeding that may be caused by minor abrasions, neutralize any excessive oiliness and close up the pores. The effect is the same that occurs with other astringents such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.

In addition to the stringent action of witch hazel, there is also an anti-inflammatory action that helps soothe inflamed skin.

The action of witch hazel on the skin is also much milder when compared to other topical lotions and creams. Since witch hazel does not have any effect on the production of sebum, it cannot break the cycle of an acne outbreak. It will just reduce the intensity of the outbreak.

Witch hazel is not without its side effects and it is recommended that you do not use it internally if you are pregnant or suffer from gastrointestinal problems. When applied topically, it may cause peeling and dryness.

Consult your doctor or dermatologist before using witch hazel to treat your skin blemishes.

answered by G R

Yes witch hazel is ideal for the removal of blemishes. A skin patch test for hypersensitivity should be done before applying witch hazel over the whole area. After the hypersensitivity test apply witch hazel on blemishes and leave it on for 2 hours and then wash the skin with cold tap water.

answered by D M K

Warning: does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. see additional information
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