Couldn't find what you looking for?

TRY OUR SEARCH!

Hi,

I have occasional pimples and have been told, time and time again, that witch hazel is a good remedy for them. There are plenty of anti-pimple products for the skin that contain witch hazel at pharmacies, so I am assuming this is big business and works for many people. The reason I am questioning whether witch hazel could be irritating to the skin is that I have very sensitive skin and often have irritation in reaction to the most benign ingredients. Would a witch hazel spot treatment be suitable for people with skin like mine, to fight pimples? I would not be using it all over the skin. 

TIA :)

Loading...

This is a very interesting question. I know that the rumor that witch hazel irritates the skin is going around, especially among people with rosacea. It's an astringent and those are often said to be irritants. So what does the evidence say? Not much. That is, witch hazel is widely known and proven to be a skin soother rather than an irritant. What you do have to take into account is that those cheap treatments from the drug store, like those spot sticks you mentioned, are likely to have alcohol as well. Now THAT can irritate the skin. So there is another explanation as to why some people get irritated reactions after using witch hazel!
Reply

Loading...

I used some skincare products that contained witch hazel, in the hope that they would soothe my acne. I also tried aloe vera. Both were irritating to my skin. After I had itching, swelling, and severe redness, I then knew not to try those products again. The thing is, just because they did not work for me, that says nothing about how they work for other people. Neither aloe vera nor witch hazel would be so popular if most people had these irritated skin reactions, so I assume I am in a minority here. They can't generally be irritating to the skin, or they wouldn't be known as soothing and acne fighting ingredients.
Reply

Loading...

I have rosacea and often read forums and sites for people with rosacea. I have to admit that I have noticed witch hazel being discussed as a product that should not be used by people with rosacea on more than one occasion. In fact, if my memory serves me right even some academy of dermatologists recommends that people with rosacea stay away from witch hazel because it can lead to irritation. 

Does this mean that witch hazel isn't right for anyone? Of course not. You may do a spot test to see how you react. Those who have already tried and seen irritation should of course avoid using witch hazel in the future.

Reply

Loading...

Some people find witch hazel to be an irritant. It does contain tannins, which restrict blood flow and can be really bad for some skins. However, alcohol, which is present in some solutions, is usually the main thing you have to worry about. There are alcohol free witch hazel solutions on the market. You can try Thayer's alcohol free witch hazel for one. I have used that and had no irritation, no peeling or flaking, nothing like that. So my conclusion is that yes, sometimes it is good to read up on potential side effects of things, but you may not get those so take them with a pinch of salt.
Reply

Loading...

User avatar
Celebrity
478 posts

Witch hazel can absolutely be irritating to the skin. I myself have dry and sensitive skin, but when I had the occasional pimple in the past, I reached for the witch hazel, as a well-liked ingredient. It was a disaster. The whole area become red and inflamed and it caused a very uncomfortable burning feeling to my skin. 

Clearly, the fact that this happens to some doesn't mean it will happen to all. I don't know why such disclaimers are even necessary. I suppose it might be because of the way the question is phrased? So, IS witch hazel irritating to the skin? Not to every skin. CAN it be? Yes, clearly.

Rosie

Reply

Loading...

Not to me! I'm glad I tried witch hazel when I was dealing with some real bad acne in my teens. I saw the acne go down in a matter of days, and after that I was able to start looking into the right skincare products that would prevent further breakouts. I do still get pimples now and then, not often but once in a blue moon, and I do still reach for witch hazel. It makes your pimples shrivel up very fast and is just a great product. It is possible that witch hazel causes irritation for some people, but I would not assume it would for you as well.
Reply

Loading...

So, I've used witch hazel and tea tree products from Boots before. There's all kinds, moisturisers, face washes, scrubs, and of course both these ingredients are seen as great against acne and general spots so yeah, the thought really appealed to me. I did notice a tingle whilst using these products but basically wrote that up to knowing it's working. My skin looked fine afterwards with no irritation and the spots did go down so yeah, no complaints on that front here. I want clear and healthy skin and if it can be done with natural active ingredients, then yeah, why not?

Reply

Loading...

Witch hazel itself is definitely NOT irritating to the skin. It is a myth that anything that fights acne has to be irritating and aggressive rather than soothing. Ingredients that are used alongside witch hazel in certain products can irritate the skin, mind you. This is why I am now using Logona's witch hazel range. Their products are completely organic and feel totally luxurious on your skin. They do not have any ingredients that would trigger redness, inflammation, drying, itching or anything like that. They are also more reasonably priced than some other cosmetics and have certificates proving that they aren't all marketing and no action.
Reply

Loading...

I recently started using Dickinson's witch hazel. I have to say that I really like it. As someone with pimples, this is the toner that I need. I do admit that it sometimes stings or tingles a little when I put it on, but despite that I have not seen any irritation or drying of the skin, and my pores are clearer and my skin looks better. Don't get me wrong, I do still get pimples, but the severity is much reduced. My skin also feels softer. +++ from me, in other words.
Reply

Loading...

I am very allergic to witch hazel. I break out wit a rash, swelling and itchin.
Reply

Loading...

I've just found that I'm allergic also. Nothing serious and it doesn't show on my skin. Causes me breathing discomfort, like my throat is just a little swollen, and I get a little itchy under my chin.
Reply

Loading...

I have atopic dermatitis, and it’s unfortunate that in my 24yrs i started to breakout for the first time. I stumbled upon this witch hazel, that for most people, is very effective to lessen the inflammation and the redness of acne. I bought the dickinson’s witch hazel but it worsen my condition. Note that my type of breakout was like small zits but in huge numbers all over my face. It was nasty. I started to think it was an allergy, I still don’t have any idea what causes it. Then i stopped using It, tried a lot of products, until after a year my zits started to lessen. I just used any soap, nothing in particular, and aloe vera. My face wasn’t completely clear. I still get pimples, but not as worst as before. Then got this crazy idea to get back and use witch hazel again, but this time the thayer’s witch hazel in aloe vera and rose petal formula. It was alcohol free, so i thought it was safe to use on my skin. Then i got back to where i was. With small zits. I read an article that it must be caused by an allergen, when in use in an excessive amount, would get you inflammed. And it’s called contact dermatitis. I hope this didn’t and won’t happen to you. It’s like hell to experience something that would rip your confidence and self-worth in one go.
Reply

Loading...

I also how did you make the rash go?
Reply

Loading...