Natural extract with toning, pore-minimising, and soothing properties
The extract of the bark and leaves of Witch Hazel, a deciduous shrub, has a long and storied significance in folk medicine, used for hundreds of years to soothe irritated skin and help heal minor wounds.
Modern research bears out its value for skincare as a toner, pore-minimiser and anti-inflammatory.
Witch Hazel is an astringent, meaning that it cleanses your skin and tightens your pores. As we age and our collagen breaks down, our pores become larger. Witch Hazel temporarily makes your pores contract, giving a tightening feeling to the skin and making your pores look smaller.
The astringent properties of Witch Hazel also minimise the risk of breakouts and ingrowing hairs, and may even help treat acne by preventing bacteria from infecting the pores.
Witch Hazel also contains many compounds with potent anti-inflammatory properties, principally gallic acid and tannins, which help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation, with a calming and soothing effect.
For instance, an animal study found that tannins can act as a barrier, preventing inflammation-causing substances from entering your skin cells.
Another test-tube study showed that Witch Hazel elped neutralize harmful free radicals and prevented the spread of skin cancer cells.
A further animal study discovered that its tannins were able to slow skin tumor growth in mice exposed to radiation.
As a result, it is useful in the treatment of inflammatory-related skin concerns, such as eczema and psoriasis as well as other complaints from haemorrhoids to scalp sensitivity and nappy rash. And applying Witch Hazel topically is beneficial in the treatment of inflamed, irritated or broken skin. In one study it was shown to suppress erythema — a reddening of the skin caused by injury or irritation — by up to 27%.
Witch Hazel is an all-round marvellous natural ingredient to support sensitive skin as well as normal skin types - as long as it is not formulated with ethyl alcohol. All Cosmetics à la Carte products are free from this additive.