13 July 2016

Easy Skincare with Witch Hazel

Note: I researched the product described in this post on my own. I was not contacted or compensated by the manufacturer in any way.  

In my natural summer drugstore beauty essentials post, I recommended witch hazel as a great all-purpose skincare and first aid product. For years I've been using witch hazel to treat bug bites and minor skin injuries, and have used it on occasion as an astringent. In the past I haven't used witch hazel in my regular skincare routine because the formula I used contained alcohol, which is too drying to use on my skin daily. However, I recently discovered Thayer's witch hazel toner, which has a water and aloe base instead of the usual alcohol base, and for the past few months I've been using it exclusively to cleanse my skin. I'm quite pleased with the results, so I thought I'd share my experience and some tips in this post.

Before switching to Thayer's witch hazel, I used Burt's Bees facial cleansing towelettes to remove my makeup and cleanse my skin. I don't need a lot of cleansing power since I apply my makeup sparingly and have fairly well-balanced skin, so these always worked well for me. I also prefer not to use my home's tap water when cleansing my skin, as it's quite hard and tends to cause irritated spots to form on my face. But lately I've been trying to cut back on the amount of waste I produce, so I began looking for an alternative to the disposable towelettes that would be just as gentle and convenient.

I was very pleased to find Thayer's alcohol-free unscented witch hazel toner, as the ingredient list is very similar to that of my favorite Burt's Bee's towelettes, plus witch hazel. To replace the disposable towelettes, I purchased organic cotton baby washcloths from lulujo. These are super-soft and rather like a lightweight sweatshirt fleece, with one side smooth knit and the other plush. I cut my washcloths into four small rectangles to get more use out of each, and so far they've washed up well without raveling. If you'd like a more finished look, you could quickly serge the raw edges on a sewing machine or hand sew a blanket stitch border.

So far this system is working perfectly for me, and it's an excellent alternative to disposable towelettes. I think the Thayer's alcohol-free witch hazel would also work well as a non-drying toner to boost a deeper cleansing routine, and the lulujo washcloths would make nice, soft cloths for washing the face with a traditional cleanser as well, so check both out if you're looking to change up your skincare regimen!

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