Dickenson's Witch Hazel
By Elizabeth the MUA on May 12, 2013
So the full name of this product is Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel oil controlling towelettes.
The package says that they are oil free, non-drying, and for all skin types. The product
claims to gently remove dirt, oil and impurities while eliminating shine and touched with aloe.
The ingredients include: All Natural Witch Hazel, Aloe leaf juice and Sodium Benzoate.
Bit O'Info: Anything that says it's all natural Witch Hazel is not the entire truth, but not an out
and out lie. Witch Hazel in it's natural form is actually a plant, a shrub to be exact. Witch
Hazel extract, is what the products actually contain. The essential oils of the Witch Hazel
shrub are extracted by steaming the leaves, twigs and bark of the shrub, However, the
extraction process does not yield enough essential oils to be sold in pure form. Therefore,
the extract goes through a distillation process and becomes a mixture of witch hazel extract
and 14% grain alcohol. ( http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel )
Witch Hazel has been used for centuries as an topical astringent and also for its healing
properties, such as soothing diaper rash, blemish control, and faster healing of bruises to
name a few. The chemical Sodium Benzoate is a preservative found in cosmetics and some
foods. It is considered a low hazard to the bodily, mainly as a food preservative and when
ingested (in food). There is a limited concern to sense organ toxicity (nerves) but that would
most likely be an allergy to either the alcohol or witch hazel extract itself. Sodium Benzoate is
not considered to be an environmental toxin. (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient.php?
Okay, my science nerd self has gone back into seclusion.
Now, a box of 20 individually wrapped 5"X7" wipes will run you approximately $6.00 at any
drugstore. Do check their site for coupons though.
I have used witch hazel as an astringent for years, being first introduced to it in cosmetology
school. I can attest to topical benefits of witch hazel, i.e; oil control, blemish control and the
like. Although the product does contain grain alcohol, 14%, it is very unlike rubbing alcohol,
which contains upwards of 70% isopropyl (absolute) alcohol. Some pharmacies or even
beauty supply stores carry 90% isopropyl alcohol (for sanitation purposes) and these are
usually the bottles of green alcohol you see in the stores. So there is a big difference
between the grain (natural) alcohol and isopropyl (absolute) alcohol. Whoa...the science
nerd reared her head again..back you!
Basically the alcohol you will find in witch hazel is far less harmful, drying and irritating to the
skin. I believe, but do not quote me, that Sea Breeze contains more alcohol than witch hazel.
Some of the reasons I love this product:
- Comes individually wrapped so you can throw a few in your bag.
- Though I have dry to normal sensitive skin, these are oil controlling, which is excellent for days where you have worn makeup for a long period of time.
- Cleans and tones the skin at the same time. I have always followed up my facial cleansing by toning with witch hazel. This product allows you to do both in one step..let's give it up for multi-tasking!
- The added aloe helps to protect and soothe the skin. Great for the days you forgot to put on your SPF and your face is a little burnt. As always, if you have a massive sunburn accompanied by blistering, see your doctor.
- The spun mesh and fibers penetrate the pores and lock in dirt and oil so you don't keep rubbing it all over your face.
- The towelettes are a good size, but very moist. Not dripping, mind you; but definitely packed with product.
- Great for sensitive skin. If you extremely sensitive skin, I would still try these, but if you have ANY signs of an allergic reaction (stinging, swelling, redness or itching) remove immediately with soap and water.
Since receiving this product, I have used it daily and I can say that it has worked better than
my straight witch hazel astringent. I believe this is due to the fact that aloe has been added.
Obviously not a lot, but enough to make a difference. I have seen less dry patches, more
evenness of skin texture and less break outs. I do not normally have a problem with acne,
except once a month ( ya know?!) and maybe the odd blemish here and there. Also, I have
noticed the healing time for the blemishes is much faster (even if you are a picker or
popper). Just that small amount of alcohol dries out the blemish and speeds the healing. I
have found, in general, witch hazel is safe to use around the eyes and this product is no
exception, in fact, it feels better on the very thin sensitive under eye skin. We all know that
this is the most sensitive and easily damaged area on the face, so this is great. Witch hazel
is even safe to use in the eyelids. WHAT?? That's right. When I was in cosmetology school,
when prepping a client for any kind of facial procedure, i.e; waxing, facial, tweezing, etc., we
used cotton rounds moistened with witch hazel and placed them over the client's closed
eyes. It was also used to remove makeup from the face before said procedures.
Bottom line: Great product, and Dickinson's carries a line of cleansers, toners and
moisturizers, which can be found at your local pharmacy or super store
As always, this has been my experience with this product(s). Your experience may vary. If
you have used this product and have an opinion to share, I invite you to leave a comment
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