How to Use Witch Hazel to Clear Up Your Skin Fast

Is witch hazel ever bad for your skin?

Most adults and children react well to using witch hazel on their skin and don’t experience any side effects. But there’s always a chance for an allergic reaction or other irritations, especially if you have sensitive skin and spend lots of time in the sun.

Does witch hazel make acne worse before better?

It’s possible if you overdo it. If you over-use witch hazel it may cause skin dryness, so more is not necessarily better. Dryness leads to skin irritation and can trigger rebound oil production, which may trigger a breakout. Choosing an alcohol-free witch hazel product can help limit dryness.

To be on the safe side, do a skin patch test first, applying a small amount to a patch of skin on your arm or leg to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction. Sop using the product right away if you experience any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, swelling, etc.

When it comes to taking it internally, it’s considered safe for most people, although it’s capable of causing minor indigestion, nausea/vomiting or an upset stomach in some people.

Keep your dosage low, and always follow directions since taking high doses has been linked to liver problems in some rare cases. The reason there is concern over taking large doses of witch hazel internally is that it contains a chemical called safrole that may have carcinogenic effects. While safrole is only found in witch hazel in trace amounts, it’s considered to be an “agent that is possibly carcinogenic to humans” when consumed in higher volumes. Some studies have found that following the ingestion of safrole, symptoms can include vomiting, stupor, vertigo and pallor, although this is very rare and typically lasts for about one to two hours.

Final Thoughts

  • Witch hazel (hamamelis virginiana) is a natural skin care product and astringent that is often used as a topical remedy. Its uses include treating problems like acne, inflammation, infections, bites, redness, oiliness, ingrown hairs, burns, large pores and more.
  • There are many benefits of witch hazel. It works to help fight bacteria both internally and on the skin because it contains antioxidant and antibacterial compounds, including tannins, proanthocyanidins and phenols.
  • Reasons to use it for your hair include making it cleaner, giving it more volume and helping it become shinier. It can also be used internally as a medicine to help treat issues like hemorrhoids, ear infections, sore throats and more.
  • While it’s generally very safe, possible witch hazel side effects include skin dryness, an allergic reaction, upset stomach when taken internally and potentially liver-related problems if used in high amounts.

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Written by Rachel Wilson

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