This is the kind of thing you’d usually find in your sweet old nana’s bathroom cabinet. But, thanks in large part to Thayer’s, it’s going through a mini-resurgence and its popularity has reached the young’uns (i.e. it’s an influencers-favorite).
Even if you don’t know that much about it, you might have heard that it’s a natural product. If so, you’re absolutely right.
Hamamelis Virginiana, commonly known as witch hazel, is a flowering shrub native to North America. It’s leaves and bark, the tannin-rich bits, are often decocted and sold as toners.
Toning, however, isn’t its only benefit. Witch hazel has some seriously awesome anti-inflammatory properties as well. It’ll treat everything from bug bites to sunburns. Which, in my opinion, is pretty impressive for a natural product.
If you want to go out and buy some, there are generally two categories of formulations to take into account. First, there are alcohol-based distillations. These are great for disinfecting cuts and scrapes. Next, there are alcohol-free formulas which are meant to be used on your face.
Key properties Astringent, Anti-Inflammatory, Tannin-rich
AKA Witch Hazel, pretty much anything with Hamamelis in front of it
Used In Toners, After-sun care, Anti-inflammatory creams