Is Witch Hazel Good for Razor Burn? (Treatment and Prevention)

Did you know that a North American shrub has been used for centuries to ease the burn of a rough shave or otherwise irritated skin?

Witch hazel is ideal for razor burn especially for those sensitive to the alcoholic sting of most aftershaves. Witch hazel is a natural astringent and has also proven to reduce inflammation thanks to its natural tannins and flavonoids. When combined with aloe, it can help soothe the skin and expedite the skin’s healing after an irritating shave.

Read on if you are interested in finding out if you can soothe razor burn with witch hazel.

What is razor burn?

We have all felt it at one point or another.

Razor burn is irritation or discomfort resulting from shaving. It could be caused by poor shaving habits but if the problem is persistent it could be a form of dermatitis.

Razor burn is also known as irritant contact dermatitis. This is often the result of dragging a blade across your face incorrectly in some way. Another form of razor burn is the result of allergens coming in contact with the skin. This is known as allergen contact dermatitis. 

The symptoms of both forms of razor burn are similar in redness, inflammation, rash, or a burning/itching sensation.

If over-the-counter treatments – such as witch hazel – don’t provide relief for your razor burn, consult a dermatologist.

Is razor burn the same as razor bumps?

Razor burns and bumps are different and require different treatment approaches.

Razor burn is often a simple post-shave discomfort while razor bumps, or pseudofolliculitis barbae, is a more chronic dermatological problem resulting in ingrown hair and pustules. 

Razor bumps occur when hair becomes trapped within hair follicles.  It can occur from shaving stubble down below the skin. This often happens with multi-blade cartridge razors as they lift hair past the skin surface for the second and third blades to cut too closely.

Does witch hazel help with razor burn?

Razor burn happens to all of us eventually.

Witch hazel is ideal for soothing razor burn, especially for those sensitive to the sting of the alcohol found in aftershaves.  Witch hazel is a natural astringent that is proven to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of infection.

Several studies have been conducted to determine the protective properties of witch hazel and additional plant-derived compounds.  

Witch hazel is proven to reduce inflammation thanks to its antioxidant and astringent properties. When combined with the soothing nature of aloe it can be quite the relief for an irritated face. It is even useful for insect bites and minor cuts. 

The best witch hazel for razor burn

Avoid any witch hazel containing alcohol as it can result in discomfort and dry the skin.

The witch hazel for your treating your razor burn will contain no alcohol,  parabens, or synthetic compounds. Natural ingredients such as aloe, rose water, and lavender boost the antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and help nourish the skin. 

Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Facial Toner with Aloe Vera is the most popular and highly recommended brand of witch hazel toner available. It is available in a variety of enhanced formulas containing natural ingredients such as rose water, aloe, and lavender.

These additives further support the healing properties of witch hazel. The alcohol-free natural fragrances are gentle enough for sensitive skin and those that are perfume sensitive. Thayers goes for around$10 a bottle ($.83/per ounce) and is available online and in some reputable health and beauty retailers.

What is witch hazel?

Witch hazel is often sold as a skin toner but the benefits could penetrate further than the skin.

Witch hazel is a small flowering shrub common to the northeastern United States and parts of Asia. For centuries natives used the plant’s leaves and bark to help relieve inflammation and European settlers eventually adopted its use. 

In the mid-1800s, Witch Hazel tonics began to appear across much of Europe and North America.

Witch hazel comes in many forms with a variety of additives, such as rose water or lavender,  to bolster its natural medicinal properties. There are benefits to taking witch hazel internally but it is primarily recommended as a topical treatment.

Witch hazel had been used for every medical treatment from diarrhea to tumors. It’s even popular among women to reduce the appearance of pores and dark spots on the skin. It is also lauded for its help as a treatment for acne.

What makes witch hazel and antiseptic?

Antiseptic means that it prevents infection. It does not kill germs as would a disinfectant.

Bacteria live in oils on the skin’s surface and can cause infections if the skin becomes damaged. Witch hazel helps remove excess oils from the skin which helps protect broken skin from infection by removing conditions needed for bacterial colonization.

Witch hazel is not a disinfectant as it does not kill germs. There is a lack of evidence regarding witch hazel’s antiseptic properties; however, it is suggested that it can be beneficial in the prevention of bacterial infections.  

How does witch hazel help with inflammation of the skin?

The key healing component within witch hazel is found within its tannin content.

Witch hazel is a medical marvel largely in part due to its tannins and flavonoid content. These components work to constrict blood vessels and close pores which means it soothes irritation.

Tannins, such as those found in teas and red wine, have long been known to help with inflammation in bodily tissue. The tannins and flavonoids present in witch hazel compounds reduce swelling by inhibiting inflammatory markers in cells from signaling. 

Is witch hazel the best solution for razor burn?

Witch hazel is often all-natural in composition and has been loved for centuries for its curative nature.

Witch hazel is an ideal natural option for razor burn. It is a natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic without the burn that comes with aftershaves. Those with sensitive skin should consult with a dermatologist to avoid potential reactions.

Natural witch hazel toners will be alcohol-free and contain minimal synthetic ingredients that are known to cause reactions. Those that suffer from sensitive skin may still experience a reaction.

Witch hazel can also be used as a daily treatment to further prevent the likelihood of future razor burn.