Spring has JUST sprung! And with this seasonal transition, this has been marked by many people talking to me about breaking out. So, I thought I would post about purifying without drying out your skin. Not only is this good because we aren’t quite done with dry cool weather just yet but also because drying out our skin has promote more blemishes (yes! we can worsen our acne when we try to treat it this way!).
When I had acne I was convinced that drying out my skin was the best way to treat blemished skin. Unfortunately, drying out my skin only gave way to more blemishes as it impedes barrier function, provokes increased oil secretion and causes inflammation. In my experience the beat way to clarify the skin is to bolster its healthiness by nourishing it. But that’s not to say that you don’t need to purify problem complexions.
Wonderful Witch Hazel
When an acne sufferer has small blemishes that do not have a pustular head, moisturizing and rebalancing is often is best on its own but if acne is cystic and have a lot of pus disinfection is still needed. However, purifying and drying are not one and the same. Hydrosol from natural astringents such as witch hazel are both gentle and anti-inflammatory as well as anti-bacterial.
Witch hazel is one of my go-to hydrosol a for toning cystic acne complexions. It disinfects the skin without stripping it unlike alcohol-based toners and treatments. Using the water extracted from this plant makes for an excellent clarifying toner as well as can be added to a facial mask, charging it with blemish-fighting power.
It’s anti-inflammatory properties makes witch hazel appropriate for sensitive skin. This is important because many blemished skins tend to be hypersensitive as those prone to acne often have a history of using harsh, sensitizing products. Witch hazel is also a tannin, meaning that it helps seal up the skin. This makes it excellent to use after picking a pimple (not advised but if you do, read this first!) as well as on pustules that have broken. Applying this plant extract onto open breakouts helps prevent bacterial infection, this preventing breaking out again as well as supports wound healing.
For all these reasons, witch hazel is one of my fav natural toners for acneic complexions as it helps to restore balance and clarifying the skin without depleting it.