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One of the oldest beauty ingredients, witch hazel is a tried-and-true botanical extract that hails from flowering plants in the family hamamelidaceae, also commonly known as the witch hazel family or winterbloom. It's a powerful oil-banisher and antioxidant and it boasts anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Because witch hazel is a natural astringent (and not the icky kind), it's commonly formulated in toners for oily and acne-prone skin types, but it more recently has been making a cameo in a wider range of products, including exfoliators, face mists, and more.
Below, find some of our favorite witch hazel products starring this trusty ingredient.
Best Overall: Mario Badescu Witch Hazel & Rose Water Toner
With over 50 years in the beauty business, Mario Badescu products are beauty routine gold. One of our faves is this super-soothing toner. With an all-star combo of witch hazel, rose water, rose oil, and black rose, this is the perfect step right before applying a moisturizer. Because of its blend of hydrating ingredients, it doesn’t strip the skin and doesn’t leave you feeling tight. Instead, it’s almost like a skin quencher. Apply to the entire face or just areas of concern with a cotton ball or cotton pad.
Best Budget: Dickinson's Enhanced Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Hydrating Toner
Witch hazel’s OG product comes with a few awesome tweaks. Now sans alcohol, this trusted toner is much milder than its predecessor. It's also hydrating thanks to the inclusion of moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid, so even those with severely dry skin can take advantage of the witch hazel in this product without irritation. Users particularly love how soft their skin feels immediately after application.
Best Classic: Thayers Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Toner
Made with aloe vera, this beauty staple hydrates while it clarifies, making it ideal for those with combination skin. Because it’s infused with non-distilled witch hazel extract, more of the plant’s natural astringent compounds, also known as tannins, are present. Depending on your preference, there are also different scents to choose from, like lavender, cucumber, rose petal, and unscented.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best toners.
Best Drugstore: Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner
Excess oil and dead surface cells can clog pores and make them look more pronounced. To remove pore plugs, look to this toner formulated with hydroxy acids and witch hazel. The refining formula delves deep into pores to thoroughly purify them, in turn making them appear smaller. Users also love that it removed leftover makeup on their skin after cleansing. If you have combination skin, apply this toner on oilier areas only, such as the T-zone.
Read more reviews of the best drugstore toners available to purchase online.
Best Face Mist: Boscia Rosewater Mist with Witch Hazel
With this handy spray, it’s simple to master the midday refresh. Users love this fine mist for its sweet-smelling scent and its ability to deliver moisture effectively and quickly. When spritzed, the product works to eliminate excess oils and visibly tighten pores. Translation: This is perfect year-round, but especially during summer. Apply right before makeup to prep the skin and afterwards for a healthy, luminous finish. What we love about this is how it revitalizes and awakens dull skin after a long day—just mist generously whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Best Face Wash: Murad Pore Rescue Daily Cleansing Foam
Slather this fluffy texture all over a moist face for luxurious and effective cleansing. While witch hazel does what it does best (getting rid of extra oil), a powerful combo of flower extracts refreshes and revitalizes, leaving your skin squeaky skin without feeling taut. The best part about this foam is its ability to minimize the look of pores. Users recommend pairing this formula with a cleansing brush for a truly thorough cleanse.
Best Hair Spray: Aveda Witch Hazel Light Hold Hair Spray
When you need a bit of hold for that perfectly tousled look, this light hair spray is exactly what you need. Flyaways, static, and even frizz are completely eliminated after you spritz into the hair. Plus, the addition of witch hazel is even more beneficial. So if your scalp tends to be on the fussier side, this hair product is great to have in your arsenal.
Best Nose Strips: Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
Clogged pores are the worst. Clogged pores on your nose? Worse than the worst. Thankfully, this beauty hall-of-famer from Biore can grab a hold of all that oil and debris and coax it all out. All you need for the deepest clean is 10 minutes out of the week. The super-sticky formula grabs onto everything—impurities, dirt, oil, and blackheads. The strips bind to all of these pore-cloggers, and when removed, takes them all out. Pores immediately look smaller and cleaner, with no damage to the skin whatsoever.
Best Natural: S.W. Basics Toner
With just five ingredients—yes, we are totally serious—this toner is as natural as it gets. Raw apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, clary sage essential oil, and sandalwood essential oil come together to clear, tone, and soothe skin for a healthy complexion. Because the formula is so potent, this toner is meant for those with acne-prone and oily skin. Users love the toner’s ingredient transparency as well as the formula’s effectiveness in clearing their blemishes.
Best Exfoliator: Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment
While we are, of course, obsessed with this cute pink tube, the Australian pink clay is another reason for our excitement. This exfoliating treatment, made with skin-loving ingredients like pink clay, witch hazel, bamboo, and rosehip oil, gives your skin a spa experience by sloughing away dead cells, detoxifying pores, and brightening the complexion. It successfully mattifies skin in five minutes—simply wet skin and massage the product onto your face for 30 seconds. Let the exfoliator sit for five minutes to allow the fruit acids to penetrate, then wash away. Immediately apply your serum as absorption is accelerated at this point.
Check out our other reviews of the best face exfoliators available on the market today.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Eczema Honey Premium Witch Hazel and Aloe Spray
Irritated, inflamed, and congested skin—meet your savior. Aloe vera juice gives a refreshing hydration boost, witch hazel calms swollen skin, and oatmeal extract soothes hot spots. Spray whenever your skin feels like it’s on the fritz—after a workout, post-shave, before makeup and after application, or during a bad breakout. Users suggest putting this in the fridge overnight for a major aaahhh feeling in the a.m.
Best Pore Minimizer: Korres Pomegranate Tonic Lotion
The 15% pomegranate water in this toner mattifies, purifies and detoxifies your pores. Using a cotton ball, swipe over areas of concern—especially at the T-zone—and let alpine willowherb and witch hazel extract remove traces of oil and impurities. Users find that their skin feels balanced and less greasy after continued use.
Best Peel Pads: Volition Beauty Apple Cider Vinegar Resurfacing Peel Pads
Retexturize your skin with a combo of apple cider vinegar, fruit acids, glycolic acids, and witch hazel. This facial-peel-in-a-pad is not only safe to use every day, but it’s actually recommended to do so. After cleansing, simply slip two fingers into the pad and apply over the face and neck. There will be a slight tingling feeling, but this is normal. Users love how soft their skin feels the next morning after use, which sets the stage for their makeup application.