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Natural Beauty

Witch Hazel: A Skin-Healing Wonder

Clean and clarify your complexion, and calm under-eye puffiness with witch hazel—a time-honored medicinal plant full of skincare uses.

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Want the ultimate in clean skin? The time-honored medicinal plant witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) continues to be the standard ingredient in many toners. Native to North America, witch hazel was used by indigenous tribes to fight swelling, sores, and infections. The bark and leaves of the witch hazel plant contain antioxidant polyphenols and tannins that are used to make this skin-healing astringent. Plus, witch hazel is high in proanthocyanidins that have antiviral effects.

Witch hazel offers benefits over other beauty ingredients because it’s completely natural and free of environmental pollutants, irritating ingredients, fake fragrances, and other contaminants. “It’s the power in all of our toner products,” says Bryan Jackowitz, president of Humphreys Witch Hazel Skincare. “The natural botanical power of certified organic witch hazel effectively removes excess oils and impurities in a natural way, without using artificial ingredients like salicylic acid, high levels of denatured alcohols, alpha or beta hydroxy acids, or benzoyl peroxide. In addition to cleansing and toning, witch hazel helps to soothe skin irritations due to environmental exposure or use of harsh skincare products. Another beauty use and makeup artist secret is to use witch hazel toner to reduce under-eye puffiness and to set makeup after application.”

Toners can also be used for a quick refresh throughout the day. Just a simple swipe or spray of toner removes any last traces of dirt and impurities stuck in your pores after you wash while also killing bacteria that can live within the pores. Toning balances the skin’s pH level, which makes it less prone to irritation, reduces acne and blackheads, prevents ingrown hairs, and evens skin tone. Toning also shrinks pores, refreshes, hydrates, and prepares skin for a serum or moisturizer.

Refrigerate your toner, close your eyes and spray, or put a few drops of cooling toner into the palms of your hands and then press them into your face. With all these skin benefits, isn’t it worth the extra step in your skincare regimen?


1. Give sensitive skin what it craves with Humphreys Soothe Witch Hazel with Rose Alcohol-Free Toner. This Wild Crop Certified Witch Hazel toner adds soothing rose water and moisturizing sodium hyaluronate, vitamin E, and aloe to treat sensitive skin. Your skin may be drier in the winter and oilier in the summer, so Humphreys offers seven toners tailored to every skin condition—all distilled to extract witch hazel’s pure therapeutic essence.

2. Earth Science Refreshing Facial Mist gives your skin a burst of soothing plant-based moisture and antioxidants for a healthy-looking glow. Witch hazel helps freshen, cool, and recharge skin. Hyaluronic acid and aloe vera naturally replenish moisture, while sea kelp, calendula, and chamomile calm, hydrate, and comfort skin. It’s also enriched with panthenol and niacin.

3. Refine large pores and discoloration with InstaNatural 7% Glycolic AHA Toner. Witch hazel is combined with the exfoliating benefits of glycolic, lactic, and fruit acids to boost the skin’s natural renewal process and prep it for moisturizer or treatment. Hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing botanicals help brighten and smooth skin without causing irritation or dryness.

4. Remove impurities, rebalance skin, and reduce the appearance of pores with with Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Toner. Rich in skin-renewing witch hazel, vitamin A, and purifying marine plant extracts, this alcohol-free formula leaves your complexion bright and refreshed. 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, GMO-free.

5. Refresh and recharge your skin with Hyalogic Orange Blossom Facial Toner. Witch hazel, steam-distilled neroli orange blossoms, hyaluronic acid, and aloe intensely hydrate and soothe skin. Spray this toner to prep your skin to better absorb a serum or moisturizer. The zesty scents of neroli and white grapefruit make an ideal makeup or midday refresher. This toner is also available in Rose Water.