In this article:
The effects of witch hazel on dry skin can vary depending on individual experiences, skin types, and sensitivity. Some experts, witch hazel users, and anecdotal evidence suggest that witch hazel may have a drying effect, which may not be ideal for dry skin.
However, it can still provide a soothing and relaxing effect regardless of skin type and offer some hydration, although the moisturizing properties of witch hazel are not fully confirmed by research or user experiences.
When using witch hazel toner for dry skin, it’s important to consider personal preferences and monitor how your skin responds. So, whether witch hazel toner is good for dry skin depends on individual skin type and sensitivity.
Continue reading to learn more about using witch hazel toner for dry skin.
When Is Witch Hazel Good for Dry Skin?
Witch hazel toner can be a good option for dry skin in certain situations. While it is true that witch hazel is an astringent, which means it has the potential to dry out the skin, it has some unique qualities that can make it beneficial for individuals with specific skin concerns.
For instance, people with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis may find witch hazel helpful. These conditions are often characterized by inflammation, itching, and redness. Witch hazel has soothing properties that can help calm and relieve these symptoms, providing some relief for individuals with such skin issues. (1)(2)(3)(4)
Furthermore, witch hazel toner is a natural alternative to other toners that often contain alcohol. Alcohol-based toners can be harsh and may further dry out the skin, especially in those with dry skin types. In contrast, witch hazel is a gentle, natural ingredient that can help remove impurities and balance the skin’s pH levels without causing excessive dryness. (2)(3)(4)
Note: It is advised by experts that witch hazel should not be used continuously for long periods as it can disrupt the skin barrier.
Beneficial Effects of Witch Hazel on the Skin
Witch hazel, biologically known as Hamamelis virginiana, is a plant commonly used for dealing with skin inflammatory issues such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and other skin infections.
Witch hazel is a deciduous tree indigenous to North America, and it is well known in the skin care world for being beneficial for almost all skin types including sensitive and dry skin.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) shared and supported the various uses of Hamamelis hydroalcoholic leaf or bark extracts for skin disorders. The plant is rich in phytochemicals called tannin, and its tannin-rich extracts have been used to treat various skin infections for years because of their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial actions. (4)(5)
Here are some beneficial effects of witch hazel for your skin.
1. Relieves inflammation
Witch hazel comprises many components that have powerful anti-inflammatory action, such as gallic acid and tannins.
It is rich in antioxidants that help discourage inflammatory responses in the body and counteract free radicals that are responsible for many health issues. It also alleviates skin irritation and soothes the skin.
Trials have also illustrated that topical application of hazel can decrease inflammation and calm the skin. (2)(6)(7)
So, with support from research, it can be said that witch hazel has a potential role in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
2. Fights acne
Some studies indicate that witch hazel may be valuable in the therapy of acne when applied directly to the skin after gentle cleansing as it has potent anti-inflammatory action.
Witch hazel is a well-known astringent that causes the contraction of tissues, thereby shrinking the pores. This can hinder the entry of harmful bacteria that cause acne.
For this reason, witch hazel is generally put used to develop many OTC products for acne treatment. (7)
3. Protects the skin from damage
Witch hazel contains a good amount of tannins, which are natural plant compounds or chemicals that have a very strong antioxidant action, which can be beneficial in safeguarding your skin from any damage.
Also, a study showed that tannins can protect the skin by serving as a barrier, thereby deterring inflammatory substances from penetrating the skin. (8)
Can Witch Hazel Toner Be Used Daily?
Yes, witch hazel can be used every day. In one study where the subjects followed an OTC skin care regimen that included witch hazel toner, statistically significant improvements were observed in the subjects’ skin issues after 2 weeks, and the skin continued to improve after 4 and 6 weeks.
Even with the daily use of witch hazel toner in the study, no skin irritation was noticed in any subject at any point. Also, no irritation, discomfort, or other adverse reaction was reported by the research investigator. (3)
But experts advise against continuous use of the toner for long periods. Since the study concluded after 6 weeks, it’s best to give your skin a break after that.
How to Use Witch Hazel Toner for Dry Skin
To use witch hazel toner for dry skin, follow these steps:
- Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser.
- Take a small amount of toner on a cotton pad.
- Gently dab the toner all over your face, ensuring even coverage.
- Let the toner sit on your face and dry for a few minutes.
- Apply a hydrating moisturizer suitable for dry skin.
You can also mix the witch hazel toner with your moisturizer and then apply the mixture to your face.
Note: Remember to follow up with a moisturizer to provide the necessary hydration for your dry skin to lock in the moisture after using only the witch hazel toner.
DIY Witch Hazel Toner Recipes for Dry Skin
Here are some ways to incorporate witch hazel toner if you have dry skin:
1. Glycerin with witch hazel toner
Mixing witch hazel toner with glycerin can be beneficial for dry skin. Glycerin, a moisturizing ingredient, helps improve skin hydration, elasticity, and barrier repair.
It is particularly useful for conditions such as xerosis, which means skin dryness. (9)
To create the mixture, follow these simple steps:
- Into a clean container or bottle, pour witch hazel toner until half full.
- Add glycerin to fill the rest of the container.
- Close the container tightly.
- Shake well to ensure proper mixing.
- Apply the mixture to your skin.
2. Aloe vera with witch hazel toner
Aloe vera is known to moisturize the skin. It enhances skin integrity, reduces fine wrinkles, and decreases erythema (redness) associated with dry skin. Its regular use can provide beneficial effects for dry skin conditions. (10)
Simply mix witch hazel toner with aloe vera using your fingers before applying it to dry skin.
Most-Asked Questions About Witch Hazel for Skin
Does witch hazel have alcohol?
Witch hazel can be seen in both alcohol-free and alcohol-based products.
How often should I use witch hazel toner?
Experts say that you can apply witch hazel toner at least twice a week depending on your skin’s reaction.
Is toner good for the skin?
Dermatologists say that toners are incredible for removing makeup, leftover imprints of oil, sweat, and harmful environmental components such as pollution or dirt from the skin. They work very gently on the skin unlike alcohol-based astringents, which are understood to be drying.
So, yes toners are a good addition to your skin care routine.
Not a lot of research or scientific studies have been done to establish or support the skin benefits of witch hazel. However, anecdotal evidence and the available literature suggest its valuable role in keeping the skin healthy.
Witch hazel is particularly helpful for oily skin because of its astringent property. If naturally derived and present in nonalcoholic toners, it can be very good for hydrating and soothing dry skin.