What is Witch Hazel Lotion?

Skin dermatitis may occur in individuals who experience an allergic reation to witch hazel lotion.
Witch hazel lotion.
Witch hazel lotion may be used to treat skin irritations.
Witch hazel lotion.
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  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2015
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Witch hazel lotion is used as a holistic remedy for the skin. The lotion is made from extracting oils from the bark of the witch hazel plant. Alcohol is then added to it and the lotion goes through a distilling process. This process produces witch hazel lotion and it is considered a skin astringent. Tannin acid is the main ingredient found in this lotion.

An astringent helps to reduce skin irritation. It can shrink tissues and membranes in the skin that have been damaged by things that include too much sun exposure or acne. Astringents tighten the skin and ease any skin eruptions. For example, when a person suffers with acne, it can be made worse by oily skin and larger pores, which can excrete the oil at a faster rate. Using an astringent such as witch hazel can remove excess oils and tighten up pores.

Other types of skin conditions, including hemorrhoids, also can produce swollen and inflamed skin. They can be a result of straining during bowel movements, which can cause the veins in the anus to swell. Hemorrhoids can be very painful and they can become so swollen that constipation can also occur. Witch hazel lotion can be applied to the affected area, bringing relief as well as a reduction in swelling to ease symptoms.


Insect bites, severe sunburns, and heat rash are other skin conditions that can be eased with hazel lotion. It can also be used as a simple cleanser for the skin. Make-up and cold creams can be removed with it and although it is a deep cleanser, it is gentle enough to be used everyday. Sore throats can also be eased by using this lotion. Witch hazel lotion can be mixed with water and used as a gargle.

There have been reported allergic reactions to witch hazel, including skin dermatitis. These side effects can make skin conditions worse, so when they happen the use of the lotion should be discontinued. If witch hazel lotion is ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and vertigo and it should never be taken internally. Expecting or nursing mothers should not use this lotion because it is unclear if it can harm the fetus or negatively effect the breast milk. It has been deemed safe to be used as a diaper rash ointment.


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Post 3

I bought a witch hazel facial lotion last week. I have acne-prone skin and my doctor said that witch hazel with reduce breakouts and help the pimples heal faster. I used the lotion a few times and it did dry out my pimples. But I've stopped using it because of the scent. Witch hazel has a distinct scent to it. Some people like it and others don't. I don't like it. It bothers me.

Post 2

@SarahGen-- Witch hazel lotion doesn't have to have alcohol in it. It depends on what purpose the lotion is formulated for. If you purchase a witch hazel lotion formulated for dry, irritated skin, it won't dry out your skin more. It will be moisturizing. Witch hazel extract and witch hazel oil have moisturizing, soothing properties and these are usually used.

I have an organic witch hazel lotion for dry skin. I use it in winter because I get cracked, flaky skin in winter time due to cold. Witch hazel lotion works very well.

Post 1

So witch hazel lotion has alcohol in it?

Someone recommended it to me saying that it's good for irritated and dry skin. But if it has alcohol, I'm sure it will dry out my skin even more.

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