Thursday, July 28, 2011

Which Hazel? Witch Hazel!

A recent project of mine has been my skin. It's on the dry side and a bit sensitive, but also a little acne prone. I don't get acne in the truest sense, but it's rare for me to go a day without a breakout or blemish of some kind. I've tried going without makeup and all of the acne-specific formulas I could find.

In my quest for clear skin, I've also used what feels like every magic acne potion known to man. Noxzema pads not only caused the skin on my face to become dry and flaky, but my fingers started to peel in the areas where the pads touched. In June. With Midwestern humidity. I've never had my skin peel after April for any reason other than a sunburn. Proactiv cleared it up a little, but I had a similar experience with the dry skin. The repairing lotion also tends to bleach fabrics, so I destroyed several washcloths and a handful of shirts. Treatments from Biore, Neutrogena, Aveeno and Clean & Clear yielded similar results: either my skin got flaky or they were ineffective.

I ran across a few articles online about gentle astringents, and witch hazel came up a lot. I was at Target a few weeks ago, and decided to pick up a bottle. For the low, low price of about $1, why not try it?

I didn't get anything fancy, just the store brand (the one with the arrow, for you Target shoppers), and I've been using it for about 10 days after washing my face, and before applying my makeup in the morning. I'm not 100% breakout free, but I have noticed my blemishes seem to heal more quickly, and they're becoming fewer and further between.

The skin on my face is also looking more healthy, and the redness I usually get from toners and astringents isn't as severe.

As an experiment, I also added a dash to some moisturizer, since I'd read witch hazel has some soothing properties and my face isn't the only place the little bumps appear. This time of year, I'm prone to breakouts in the cleavage region because of the heat, and they're not nearly as they were a few months ago, even in the blistering heat and no other changes in my skincare regiment.

Bottom line, if you have sensitive skin and have problems with breakouts, the solution may be easier (and cheaper) than you thought.

Blogger's note: I am not a doctor and make no promises about the effectiveness of this product or reactions you may experience. These are solely observations from my personal experience. If you have questions or concerns, best to consult a dermatologist or physician.

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