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5 benefits of witch hazel for your skin.

The product containing this extract will have a calming, and antibacterial effect. Why?

Reason 1 gallic acid (antibacterial, anti-acne)

Reason 2 isoquercitrin, a flavonoid with antiviral activity

Reason 3 kaempferol, a flavonol with phytoestrogen activity

Reason 4 quercetin. Among its capabilities: free radical scavenging, interferes with inducible nitric oxide synthase activity,  and inhibits TNF-alpha release, anti-itch.

Reason 5 quercitrin, a flavonoid that contains rhamnose

Why? Because the benefits of any plant extract for your skin depend on the chemicals the extract contains!

Boring? No!  Think of the complicated, beautiful chemistry the plant does to be able to obtain these chemicals! They may work as UV filters for the plant that makes them.

Think of the complicated relationship with the rest of Nature that the plant has. Why is it spending energy to make those chemicals? Not to make you pretty!

Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) has been used for centuries as an astringent, pain-killer, for bruises and inflammatory swellings, etc.

Anything else you need to know? Yes, don’t use alcoholic extracts of this herb, because alcohol will dry your skin ad, as I said before, water is the most important active ingredient in skincare! Use a toner to remove traces of cleansers but don’t dry your skin in the process.

Another one: remember that plant extracts vary a lot unless they are standardized (guaranteed concentration for one of the chemical components).

References

Deters, A., Dauer, A., Schnetz, E., Fartasch, M., & Hensel, A. (2001). High molecular compounds (polysaccharides and proanthocyanidins) from Hamamelis virginiana bark: influence on human skin keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation and influence on irritated skin. Phytochemistry, 58:949–958. doi:10.1016/s0031-9422(01)00361-2

Hughes-Formella, B. J., Bohnsack, K., Rippke, F., Benner, G., Rudolph, M., Tausch, I., & Gassmueller, J. (1998). Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Hamamelis Lotion in a UVB Erythema Test. Dermatology, 196(3), 316–322. doi:10.1159/000017904

Nelson, K., Lyles, J. T., Li, T., Saitta, A., Addie-Noye, E., Tyler, P., & Quave, C. L. (2016). Anti-Acne Activity of Italian Medicinal Plants Used for Skin Infection. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 7. doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00425

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