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Jan 28, 2019
by Vivant Skin Care
Witch hazel was the number one most Googled natural ingredient of 2018. We’re excited about that because for too long, witch hazel has been maligned as too astringent, written off as old fashioned, or just plain misunderstood. The truth is, witch hazel is a powerful healer and a natural proponent of healthy, resilient skin.
On its own, witch hazel’s powers are limited—it’s a plucky sidekick to superhero ingredients—but in the right formula, it becomes something more, and in Vivant’s high-performance toners, witch hazel is living its best life.
Let’s examine its finer points.
Witch hazel comes from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel shrub, which is commonly grown in North America and was used by Native Americans to treat minor cuts, burns, insect bites, and other skin irritations.
For years, witch hazel was associated with cheap, overly astringent drug store toners that contain far too much alcohol and left skin feeling tight and dry. The astringent quality of witch hazel comes from its abundance of tannins— hamamelitannins, catechols, proanthocyanidins, ellagitannins— a type of polyphenol that has a potent anti-inflammatory effect. That’s good news because inflammation is a contributor to rosacea, acne breakouts, wrinkles and sagging skin. Tannins constrict blood vessels helping to reduce puffiness, give a firming effect to the skin, and minimize the appearance of pores.
The high polyphenolic flavonoid content in witch hazel makes it a potent antioxidant agent. It fights oxidative stress and protects cells from free radical damage. Studies confirm that witch hazel protects elasticity in skin by inhibiting elastase, the enzyme that breaks down elastin.
In addition to its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, it has another bonus for acneic skin. Witch hazel is antiseptic, so it kills acne bacteria.
Witch hazel promotes healing, improves skin barrier function, reduces inflammation, and protects against oxidative stress to help keep skin healthy, firm and youthful in appearance. It deserves respect and a place in the best toner formulations.
See Vivant’s toner collection featuring witch hazel.
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