Witch hazel, derived from the bark and leaves of Hamamelis Virginiana, which is a common shrub that grows in North America, is a topical astringent like this. It is recognized for its medicinal properties. Native Americans utilized the witch hazel shrub or herb by taking a decoction of the parts of the plant, boiling it, and using it to treat skin rashes, irritation, and tumors.
Plants like witch hazel contain a high amount of polyphenol that slows down skin aging and helps fight radicals and eventually, cellular damage.
Of recent, the herb has also been used as an aftershave. There are numerous companies selling alcohol-free witch hazel aftershaves because it possesses the ideal medicinal properties to soothe the skin after a shave.
1. Why Even Use an Aftershave?
The most important reason to use an aftershave is not for aroma or refreshment, but it avoids skin irritation. The aftershave clears out your pores post-shave of most kinds of bacteria. An aftershave also contains astringent that aids in the usage of an aftershave by helping tighten the open pores after shaving and straining hair follicles.
Aftershaves are broadly divided into two types based on ingredients. They are witch hazel and alcohol.
For a long time, aftershaves contained a high amount of alcohol in them because they worked like cologne, providing a strong aroma and were essential in killing bacteria and other microbes that could affect the skin after a shave. Alcohol-based aftershaves do not tighten pores and they dry the skin and skin follicles, making the skin appear tired, dull, irritated, dehydrated, and older. This results in flaking, peeling, and loss of essential skin oils and moisture. Always search for alcohol free witch hazel items.
2. Why is Witch Hazel Aftershave Better?
Witch hazel based aftershaves are derived from natural and herbal ingredients that do not contain any traces of artificial ingredients or alcohol that cause harm to the skin. Here are the reasons why the natural witch hazel aftershaves are better:
Witch hazel aftershave works brilliantly for dry skin. Unlike alcohol, which is often easier to access, witch hazel has natural astringent properties that effectively tightens pores and hydrates the dry, irritated skin. Using Witch Hazel will not dry your oily skin out but in fact, locks in a healthy amount of moisture while tightening skin pores.
The main issue with using alcohol-based aftershave is that it causes skin irritation. Witch hazel, on the other hand, has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritation and minor cuts that often result from shaving. It gently cleans pores, killing bacteria that may cause acne and folliculitis. In fact, a lot of cosmetic products and herbal therapies utilize witch hazel for this purpose.
Using an aftershave with witch hazel even helps fade scabs, blemishes, scars, and other unsightly marks that may be in the region being shaved.
If shaving is still a struggle with cuts and nicks, razor burns and razor bumps, aftershaves that contain witch hazel are a must! Witch hazel effectively stops the bleeding and gently soothes the wounded area. It’s also great on sunburned facial skin, as aftershave with organic witch hazel prevents peeling and further irritation when shaving.
Veteran shavers know that any form of hair removal, especially shaving, can be damaging to the skin. Thankfully, aftershaves containing witch hazel are comprised of a substantial amount of polyphenol that helps slow down and prevent damage to delicate areas. In addition, witch hazel contains antioxidants that prevent cellular damage and encourage cell development in the epidermal layers.
Aftershaves with witch hazel also minimize post-shave redness and are perfect for winter use to treat dry, flaky skin. that becomes very visible post a shave.
View this YouTube video that further explains the uses of aftershave with witch hazel.
3. Who Should Be Careful About Using Witch Hazel?
The natural extract in witch hazel contains polyphenol that may cause sensitivities or allergic reactions in some people. Should a reaction occur on a sensitive skin, stop using the product immediately and try applying a soothing agent like aloe vera gel or tea tree essential oils with a cotton ball or cotton pad.
In cases of dermatitis, witch hazel may irritate the condition further, so use with caution and inflammation in certain cases.
There is an assortment of witch hazel aftershave splash available in the market, so it’s important to do your homework and select the one that’s best for you. Homemade aftershave from witch hazel extract is also easy to do. Apart from aftershaves, there are other helpful products derived from witch hazel extract such as shaving cream, toner and lotion. Be sure to read the ingredients carefully, as well as risks and warnings associated with witch hazel aftershaves to avoid unpleasant side effects.