There's not enough evidence that witch hazel can treat anti-aging concerns, either. These include fine lines, wrinkles, and varicose veins.
Bottom line: Most people have 1 treatment and feel some tightening right away. It takes time for your body to make collagen, so you'll see the best results in about 6 months. Some people benefit from having more than 1 treatment.
Witch hazel is most commonly used as an astringent, where it works to shrink pores and tighten skin. Witch hazel also helps to slow the breakdown of the collagen and elastin within your skin.
By now we know that witch hazel can absorb excess oil and banish blemishes, but its acne-fighting benefits don't stop there. In fact, the calming, anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel can help you reduce the size of pimples, which makes it a powerful acne treatment in its own right.
Witch hazel is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when small doses are taken by mouth. In some people, witch hazel might cause stomach upset when taken by mouth. Large doses might cause liver problems. Witch hazel contains a cancer-causing chemical (safrole), but in amounts that are too small to be of concern.
Witch hazel acts as an astringent to help shrink your pores, soothe your skin and reduce inflammation.
Witch hazel contains several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, including gallic acid and tannins. When applied topically to the skin, witch hazel can reduce redness, soothe the skin, and treat sunburns. Witch hazel soothes irritation and itchiness.
Applying witch hazel to the scalp acts a bit like a dry shampoo, keeping your scalp healthy and preventing it from getting too greasy on non-wash days. This is because it's an astringent – which means it works to tighten pores and dry out the oil that scalp-sweat produces.
Dermatologists give the toner their seal of approval
"Witch hazel is a botanical ingredient used in skin care for its astringent effects on the skin," he said. "It can effectively remove oil from the skin to improve shine and minimize the appearance of pores, and may help soothe inflammation."
Don't use it to remove eye makeup (it's too harsh), though witch hazel can help reduce fluid retention under the eyes. Then, follow it up with whatever actives or moisturizers you already have in your routine—after all, this is an ingredient that plays well with others. Like all good things, don't rush into it.
How often should you use witch hazel toner? In general, Dr. Shamban says you can use your witch hazel toner anywhere from twice a week to every day, depending on how your skin responds. But when it comes to an alcohol-based astringent, don't overdo it.
Skin naturally loses some of its ability to stretch and bounce back with aging. Sun exposure and habits, such as smoking, can accelerate this process. There are many successful treatments for improving skin elasticity. Lifestyle changes, such as wearing sunscreen, can help slow it down and minimize its effects.
Saggy skin on the body caused by moderate weight loss or pregnancy can be improved through exercise. Any movement that builds muscle mass or tightens muscles can reduce the look of minor skin sagging. For example: Weight lifting or resistance training.
Ultherapy is an FDA-approved non-surgical treatment that uses the power of ultrasound energy to heat subdermal tissue. The effects are noticeable and long-lasting, making it a highly popular non-surgical treatment for sagging skin. Ultherapy can be used on the face, neck, and chest where skin laxity may be an issue.
Dr. Jamil Abdur-Rahman, a board-certified OB-GYN, explains that witch hazel is an astringent, which means it dries, shrinks, and tightens tissue by pulling water out of it. Additionally, witch hazel is acidic — and so are healthy vaginas.
Generally, witch hazel is used as a toner. That means that you'll want to apply it after using a cleanser to re-balance skin pH. After you've washed your face thoroughly, pat it dry with a soft cloth. Then apply your favorite formulation of Thayers Witch Hazel before adding a moisturizing cream or serum.