Improve Your Skin Health with Witch Hazel for Acne

Updated on January 27th, 2020
witch hazel for acne

The miracle medicinal herb- witch hazel has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. As acne is caused due to closed pores and bacterial build-up resulting in inflamed, red patches, witch hazel proves to be a boon to the cause(1). While many people struggle with self-confidence with a face having acne, it is recommended to use witch hazel for acne scars.

Did You Know!

  • Witch hazel is a long-lasting plant, It can survive in the wild for up to 20 years.
  • Most skin disorders are cleared by the extract of witch hazel twigs mixed with alcohol, this is also applied as a fundamental principle that is used in the cosmetic industry.

Why does it work?

If you are looking for a natural remedy to clear up acne up, consider the following witch hazel benefits for acne: reduces oiliness, lessens pores, reduces redness, and relieves inflammation. As an herbal disinfectant, witch hazel helps in further preventing acne breakouts.

Witch hazel has these wondrous properties owing to the presence of tannins. Regularly using witch hazel as a cleanser will help get rid of acne scars as it is an herbal antioxidant. Witch hazel cream available at drugstores does not contain tannins crucial to reduce acne scars.

Tannins in witch hazel creams bought over the counter are lost due to the distillation process, which nullifies witch hazel benefits for acne. One must keep a check on the alcohol content of witch hazel products purchased commercially. Many products have high alcohol percentages making the skin excessively dry.

How to use?

If you are wondering how to use witch hazel for acne, it is recommended to make witch hazel water, witch hazel toner, and witch hazel cream at home.

[Read: Witch Hazel for Healthy Hair Glow]

Reduce acne scars


  • Witch hazel bark – ½ pound
  • Distilled water
  • Vodka

Directions for use

  • Add witch hazel bark and distilled water in a pot.
  • Ensure the distilled water is 1-2 inches above the witch hazel bark in the stockpot.
  • Bring this to boil till the water gets a dark color.
  • Strain this mixture and add vodka.  The quantity of vodka should be half of the mixture.

Store this in the fridge for a week. Apply the witch hazel water topically and keep it away from direct sunlight.

Reduce skin pores

skin pores


  • Witch hazel- 4 tablespoons
  • Aloe vera gel- 2 tablespoons
  • Essential oil- 4 drops

Directions for use

  • Simply combine witch hazel, aloe vera gel and essential oil in a spray bottle.
  • Spray witch hazel toner over clean and makeup-free face.

Note:- ensure the witch hazel used in the toner does not exceed an alcohol concentration of 20%.

[ Read: Amazing Remedial Benefits of Witch Hazel ]

Tea tree oil and witch hazel


  • Rosewater- ½ cup
  • Witch hazel-½ cup
  • Tea tree oil- 4 drops

Directions for use

  • Mix rose water, witch hazel, and tea tree oil in a container.
  • Shake well before use.

Use the tonic of tea tree oil and witch hazel for acne twice daily for the best results. This tonic acts as a great toner and should be followed up with an herbal moisturizer to lock in the hydration.

[Also Read: Tips To Cure Closed Comedones]

Glowing skin

Smooth and Glowing Skin


  • Grapeseed oil- 20 ml
  • Emulsifying wax- 5 g
  • Stearic acid- ½ tsp
  • Vit E capsules- 2ml
  • Witch hazel- 75ml
  • Aloe vera gel- 15 ml
  • Grapefruit seed extract- 5 drops
  • Lavender essential oil- 4 drops
  • Lemon essential oil- 2 drops
  • Geranium essential oil & cedarwood essential oil- 1 drop each

Direction of use

  • Mix oil, wax, and stearic acid in a container.
  • Use the double boiler technique to melt the wax.
  • Remove mixture from heat and add Vitamin E capsules.
  • In a separate pot, add witch hazel and aloe vera and microwave it until it is lukewarm.
  • Now, pour the oil mixture into the witch hazel mixture with a wire whisk.
  • Now add all the essential oils.
  • Pour this into a sterilized container and keep in a cool, dry place away from sunlight for best results.

[Read: Witch Hazel for Face]

Precautions & Takeaway

All homemade mixtures have a short shelf life unless alcohol is added to it. If you opt for store-bought witch hazel, look for a sign mentioning “fresh extract” over distilled options. If you apply witch hazel to sunburnt skin with acne, it may lead to excessive skin irritation or redness. Avoid applying witch hazel over broken skin or wounds.

Dermatologists recommend using witch hazel for the treatment of acne due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, improved skin barrier function. As per data shared by the Environmental Working Group, witch hazel is added to almost every scar treatment cream, anti-aging serum, sunscreens, and makeup products(2).

You may choose to use the best witch hazel in any of its forms depending on your skin type. However, note that witch hazel water and witch hazel toner work best for most skin types.

Witch hazel cream would be of good use to someone with dry skin. Witch hazel cream may also block pores as it is in a cream base. Always do a patch test before applying any product to your face. While considering the best witch hazel, also take into account moisturizing ingredients such as aloe vera and essential oils in the product.


1. How long does it take for witch hazel to clear up acne?

Depending on how long you have had acne, witch hazel can clear up acne scars in a few weeks or a few months.

2. Can one go outdoors after applying witch hazel?

Yes. Witch hazel has sun-blocking properties due to the presence of tannins. Tannins reduce free radicals in the body that cause skin cancer.

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