Witch hazel contains a high concentration of tannin acid, which has been used for centuries to cure all kinds of skin diseases. You are likely to bump into many pharmaceutical skin care products that contain a small amount of tannin acid, so this isn’t something new. I will not bore you with “how it works” stuff, Wikipedia does it best.
Note: we’ll discuss later why topical products are not for everyone. There is a slight difference between solutions that attack the symptoms of acne, and solutions that deal with the real internal problem.
The benefits of Witch hazel for acne
What’s in it for you? Well, the first thing you’ll probably notice about witch hazel is that it’s quite cheap (Witch hazel products start from as low as $3), in contrast to other branded acne products that have similar ingredients. Furthermore, it’s natural – and contains low levels of alcohol (Thayer’s witch hazel is alcohol-free), unlike most toners. But more importantly, it will keep your skin clear, soften its texture, help with redness and help you fight existing acne. So yes, you get a pretty good deal for the price you’re paying. It is worth mentioning that witch hazel is suitable for almost any type of skin, including sensitive and oily skins.
BUT… And that’s a big but – witch hazel cannot cure your acne permanently.
Before you go and buy a gallon:
This might shock you, but acne is certainly not a problem with your skin. It’s a symptom of a disorder that affects your whole body and manifests as acne. In other words, it’s a sign that something is wrong inside your body. Therefore, witch hazel will only tackle the symptoms and not the real cause, and I wouldn’t consider it as my ultimate long term solution for severe types of acne. For so called, “bad” acne, you might want to use it as a part of your cleaning regimen morning & night, but don’t hang all your hopes on this.
The story with mild acne, however, is different. There are countless success stories of people who managed to get rid of light acne using witch hazel. You can browse through a ton of customer reviews here.
Keep in mind that most people don’t like the smell of witch hazel, but this might be the only disadvantage – as long as you keep your expectations realistic.
Thayer and Dickinson are the leading witch hazel brands, and they both have dozens of devoted fans who write enthusiastic reviews on Amazon – but bear in mind that witch hazel is a multi-tasker product, so if you’re looking for user reviews, make sure you check the previous link I gave.
Witch hazel can help acne (mostly mild acne), but it is just a part of the pie. People, who suffer from moderate to severe acne, should look for a system that tackles the real problem, and not designed to provide a short-term relief.
- The first step in the path to permanent acne freedom is to understand the complex mechanism that causes acne.
- The second step is to learn how to “fix” these internal problems so you could get rid of acne for good.
It is indeed possible to banish acne forever, no matter how severe it is. But in order to achieve clear skin, you must first learn why some people have acne and others don’t, and only then take action.