Benefits of Witch Hazel
Studies have shown that Witch Hazel possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and
astringent properties which may be beneficial in the treatment of boils, pimples, acne,
blemishes, razor cuts, bruises, insect bites, poison ivy, dermatitis, porous facial skin,
carpenter's hands, cracked heels, nail and foot infection, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores, and
wrinkles. A few studies show that the Flavonoids, Tannins and other natural chemicals in
Witch Hazel may help in tightening, constricting and healing of the distressed and damaged
blood vessels responsible for causing hemorrhoids. More studies have found that Witch Hazel
contains polyphenols and other important herbal and chemical components which may help
with swollen and knotty Varicose Veins and damaged blood vessels under the skin. Using
witch hazel to lock in the moisture in your skin might sound improbable but it really works!
Yes, witch hazel does get rid of excess oil but it also helps to eliminate water loss and
improves hydration to the outer layer of skin. So, it’s an ideal moisturizer to use right after
you get out of the shower to seal in moisture and fight dry skin!
Razor burns are at the top of the list of most irritating and hated skin issues. Witch hazel can
help treat razor burn! Jump for joy! Both ladies and gents can enjoy the witch hazel benefits by
applying Earth Tone to irritated skin. Repeat this daily until the razor bumps go away.
One of the little known but effective witch hazel benefits is that it helps ease symptoms of
eczema and psoriasis. Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties and will help ease the
pain, itching, redness and scarring that’s commonly associated with eczema and psoriasis.
The extract has high levels of tannins, which exhibit the astringent properties, but also offer
antioxidant protection. Tannins are organic plant compounds also found in tea and wine and
are reputed to have all sorts of health benefits, from anti-inflammatory action to anti-ulcer
activity. It’s thought that these tannins help protect against sunburn and photo-aging, as well
as against bacteria and skin infections. The tannins, flavonoids and resin in witch hazel have the ability to constrict blood vessels, which makes it perfect for treating hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and even puffy eyes. In fact, some small studies have found that witch hazel contains polyphenols and other components that help repair damaged blood vessels under the skin.
Tannins are found in any natural astringent because of their ability to tighten, dry and harden tissues. They are a natural way to treat acne or oily skin, reduce puffy ness, eyes. Witch hazel is famous for shrinking blood vessels (which is why it’s one of the main ingredients in Preparation H cream). Witch hazel is a wonderful way to tighten up large pores, When you use witch hazel right after a shower it will actually help seal in moisture, it can reduce the inflammation on a pimple and reduce pain and swelling from varicose veins. Witch hazel helps to tighten the veins, relieving the discomfort temporarily. By applying our alcohol-free witch hazel Earth Tone immediately after showering, you are locking in the moisture that has just soaked into your skin.
Witch hazel's branches were once the wood of choice for dowsing rods, whose purpose was to locate water, or "witch" a well. Kind of cool how that factoid melodies with our skin's moisture levels isn't it?
Our Witch Hazel
Witch hazel's that are certified organic contain 14% certified organic alcohol. Don't be tricked into thinking that just because it is certified organic that it must be good for you. Alcohol is terrible for your skin. The Witch hazel that we use in our products like Earth Tone contains .14% benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is a preservative used in skin-care products; it is considered less irritating than some other forms of preservatives. It's naturally occurring in many fruits in trace amounts. The largest natural source of benzoic acid is from the gum of the Chinese Balsam tree, called gum benzoin. Gum benzoin is typically 13-20% benzoic acid. Benzoic acid helps prevent infection caused by bacteria. It is also used to treat skin irritation and inflammation caused by burns, insect bites, fungal infections, and eczema. Using benzoic acid to preserve witch hazel as opposed to alcohol seems like an obvious choice.
Here's why: When alcohols have low molecular weights they can be drying and irritating. The alcohols to be concerned about in skin-care products are ethanol, denatured alcohol, ethyl alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol (when it’s among the main ingredients), isopropyl alcohol, and SD alcohol, which can be extremely drying and irritating to skin, as well as capable of generating free radical damage and disrupting skin's protective barrier.
There is actually a significant amount of research showing alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels. Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products use amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol causes skin cells to self-destruct! The research also showed that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer exposure to alcohol occurred two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day and that's at only a 3% concentration (Sources: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, August 2009, pages 20–24; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; Alcohol, Volume 26, Issue 3, April 2002, pages 179–190; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, April 2001, pages 109–166; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
When these ingredients are at the top of an ingredient list it is problematic for all skin types; when they are at the end of an ingredient list, there isn't enough concentration present to be considered a problem for skin.
Those with oily skin should avoid high amounts of the problematic types of alcohol mentioned above. These types of alcohol show up in numerous products aimed at oily or acne-prone skin. The problem? In addition to alcohol's other detrimental effects, topical application can stimulate nerve endings in the skin, causing inflammation that encourage excess oil production at the base of the pore (Sources: Archives of Dermatologic Research, July 2008, pages 311–316; Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23; and Medical Electron Microscopy, March 2001, pages 29–40). Initially, your skin will be de-greased from the alcohol’s drying action, but in short order the oil will be back, often worse than before.