Witch hazel is an herbal product that individuals have used and probably do not even know it is botanical. It is great for astringents because it is very high in tannins, which are highly astringent. It is good for acne-skin, blemished skin, or just to tighten pores. However, you can have normal or dry skin and still use witch hazel.

What can tend to be drying with the witch hazel is the alcohol many companies use to make it. If you make a product on your own, you can either boil the witch hazel in water or do an alcohol tincture and then use a slow heat process to evaporate out most of the alcohol. Or simply add other more moisturizing ingredients, for example, an herb high in polysaccharides such as Irish moss or comfrey, or add a humectant, which draws moisture to the skin, such as vegetable glycerin or honey.

In the dictionary, astringent is defined as “tending to contract or draw together organic tissues; binding.” I try to always make this important point. Many people think astringent means drying. Not so if you minimize the alcohol.