Many people have heard of witch hazel but few know exactly what it is or what it is for.. Originally from the United States, It is extracted from a native bush that for centuries, has healed the skin of several generations thanks to its healing properties, used in both traditional medicine and modern dermatology.
Since the beginning of time, witch hazel has been used as a home remedy against countless ailments.. This deciduous shrub blooms in the colder months, It has large dense branches and unique and fragrant yellow flowers.. It is believed that Native Americans were the first to soothe their skin with witch hazel., since it is a natural astringent capable of treating inflammation and tumors. Its therapeutic properties come from its flavonoid content., tannins, saponins and essential oils.
Esperanza Saenz, image manager of the Sevillian cosmetics firm Nezeni Cosmetics, know this extract very well as well as its incredible properties, ranging from its potential as a treatment for conditions such as acne or oily skin, to its soothing benefits on irritated skin.
The main benefits of Witch Hazel
It is anti-inflammatory and astringent: reduces inflammation and redness, soothing irritated skin, treating acne and improving skin appearance, especially suitable for sensitive skin thanks to the fact that it is not an aggressive ingredient. It is also a natural astringent, helping to reduce the size of enlarged pores and regulating sebum production. Another notable benefit is its ability to tone the skin..
Promotes healing: especially in small wounds, cortes, minor scrapes and irritations thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, astringent and antibacterial. Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury, but when it is excessive, can delay healing. The antibacterial activity of witch hazel would also help: “By reducing the amount of bacteria on the surface of the skin, reduces the risk of infections in open wounds, a crucial factor for rapid and uncomplicated healing” – Esperanza Sáenz tells us, responsible for image of Nezeni Cosmetics, Sevillian firm that has witch hazel as one of its main ingredients.
It is antioxidant: protects the skin against damage caused by free radicals, thus delaying the aging that would occur in wrinkles, fine lines or loss of elasticity: "It must be said that witch hazel contains a rich variety of antioxidant compounds that not only play a protective role in the skin., They also improve your appearance, achieving a more uniform and radiant complexion.”.
Soothes irritated skin: mainly for its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. Can be applied directly to the skin, reducing redness and swelling: “It also has softening components beneficial to treat the skin after exposure to the sun or minor aesthetic procedures, shaving or waxing, anywhere where the skin may become temporarily compromised and more susceptible to irritation” – explains Esperanza Sáenz, which also highlights its ability to balance pH after cleansing, especially with soaps or cleansers that can alter it.
Treats dark circles and bags under the eyes: improves circulation and prevents fluid buildup as well as dark pigmentation often associated with dark circles: “Witch hazel hydrates and strengthens the skin barrier, in addition to tightening the skin and reducing swelling”.
Prevents skin infections: creates an environment less conducive to the growth of bacteria and fungi that often cause various skin infections. Its tannins and flavonoids are responsible for this since they are antimicrobial.. Además, These compounds inhibit their growth and reduce the risk of further infections.