According to Pinterest, searches for witch hazel toners are up a whopping 305 percent. But are they actually worth all of the hype? I put one top-rated toner to the test for nearly three weeks, and here's what I thought.

By Rachel Wermager
January 07, 2019

Over 4,000 near-perfect Amazon reviews praise Thayers Witch Hazel, saying it helps reduce redness, even skin tone, clear acne, and relieve dry skin. It's even among the top beauty trends of 2019.

As someone with fairly dry skin in the winter, along with a blotchy, uneven complexion and occasional breakouts, I was interested and excited to try out the toner. I’ve never used, nor have I even tried, a toner. Until recently, my skin care routine consisted of using an acne face wash in the morning and at night, and applying a daily moisturizer before bed. I also wear foundation to work every day. One thing I hoped the toner would help with is the redness and uneven skin tone that I have, so that maybe I could reduce my use of makeup.

Photo courtesy of Thayers

Instant Benefits of Witch Hazel Toner

I started applying Thayers Witch Hazel toner to a cotton round and dabbing it onto my clean face every night before bed. The first thing I noticed was that it really is an incredible moisturizer. It contains an organic aloe vera ingredient that prevents unnecessary drying out of the skin, and boy does it work.

It's also very gentle. During winter I get dry patches under my eyes and around my mouth that are pretty uncomfortable, and after just one to two uses of the toner my dry patches were gone. I felt no discomfort or burning, ever. The rose petal scent is also refreshing.

Drawbacks of Witch Hazel Toner

The only hiccup with it being such a great moisturizer: my face felt really oily at times. I loved that it relieved my combination skin's dry patches, but it definitely added extra moisture to the places I didn’t need it too.

While using the toner I have not had any bad breakouts or problem pimples. I’m not sure if I can say with confidence that it has helped my uneven complexion as much as I would have liked, but the moisturizing benefits I experienced exceeded my expectations.

The Verdict

After using witch hazel toner for almost three weeks, I’m not sure I would say it's magical—at least not for me. But I will say it’s a great skin care product with many benefits, and one I will continue to use.

Thayers Witch Hazel practically saved my skin from seasonal dryness and has, so far, prevented bad breakouts. I wish it didn’t make my skin so oily though, and I had hoped it would help my complexion look better without foundation, but I found myself rinsing off my face throughout the day to combat the shiny oil.

Since the Pinterest top 100 trends reported on witch hazel toners, I have seen them become a lot more mainstream with multiple skincare brands selling their own versions of it. I personally like the original Thayers brand for its reasonable price, and for being cruelty-free.

With so many skin care trends and fads already being reported for 2019 it’s hard to know which ones are worth it—Thayers Witch Hazel toners? A yes for me.

Comments (4)

February 3, 2019
Witch hazel is said to relieve unsightly red bumps after shaving as well.
February 2, 2019
My dermatologist recommended witch hazel to me over 40 years ago, and I have used it ever since, with a touch of boric acid mixed in, as the doctor suggested. I love it and wouldn't go without it.
February 2, 2019
I use non-alcohol witch hazel on my face, neck and chest daily as part of my morning and evening routine. As a person who is over 55 years of age, I find that the witch hazel not only removes any remaining products / make up from the day, but it leaves my face moist so when I apply my morning or evening moisturizers, my skin feels moist, plump and not oily at all. Perhaps the author of the article is one in her teens or early 20s.
January 9, 2019
My mom used to use it to reduce the swelling in her hemorrhoids. She said it also added a cooling effect. I was hesitant to try it on my face because of the name. It sounds like it smells bad, but it actually smells very nice!