what is witch hazel

Should I use witch hazel at night or in the morning?

In our quest to achieve flawless skin, we often come across nature’s wonders that promise to be the elixir we’ve been searching for. Witch hazel is one such magical ingredient, revered for its multifaceted benefits. But the question arises: Should I use witch hazel at night or in the morning? This guide intends to answer this and more, providing insights into this botanical marvel.

Should I use witch hazel at night or in the morning?

Every skincare enthusiast has, at some point, pondered this crucial question. The answer depends on your skin type, concerns, and overall skincare routine. Here, we’ll delve into the specifics to give you a clearer perspective.

Origins of Witch Hazel

Before we address the timing, let’s get familiar with this plant extract’s legacy.

  • History and Extraction: Witch hazel has been used for centuries by Native Americans for its therapeutic properties. Extracted from the bark and leaves of the Hamamelis virginiana plant, it’s a natural astringent.
  • Primary Components: It contains tannins, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This makes it a go-to ingredient for various skin concerns.

Benefits of Using Witch Hazel

Understanding the benefits will help pinpoint the best time for application.

  • Reduces Inflammation: Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can soothe irritated skin.
  • Fights Acne: As a natural astringent, it helps reduce acne by shrinking pores and removing excess oil.
  • Relieves Sunburn: It can provide relief from the sting of sunburn, making it a handy addition to post-sun care.

Morning Application: Pros and Cons


  • Prep for Makeup: Applying witch hazel in the morning can tighten the skin and provide a smoother canvas for makeup.
  • Protection from Environmental Stressors: It can act as a barrier against pollutants and other environmental factors.


  • Potential Dryness: Overuse can cause dryness, especially if you’re exposed to the sun right after application.

Night Application: Pros and Cons


  • Enhanced Healing: The body’s repair mechanisms are most active at night. Using witch hazel can augment this process.
  • Deep Pore Cleansing: After a day’s exposure to dust and grime, it can help cleanse the pores effectively.


  • Reaction with Other Products: If you’re using other potent products at night, witch hazel might interact with them.

How to Incorporate Witch Hazel in Your Routine

Considering the pros and cons, you can decide on its usage. Here’s a simple way:

  1. Test Your Skin: Do a patch test. If there’s no reaction, you’re good to go.
  2. Morning Routine: If you wear makeup, use it as a toner after cleansing and before makeup application.
  3. Night Routine: If you have an elaborate night care routine, use it right after cleansing, before any serums or creams.

Potential Side Effects

Like every natural product, witch hazel isn’t exempt from causing potential reactions.

  • Dryness and Irritation: Especially if used in excess.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some might be allergic to components in witch hazel.

Pairing Witch Hazel with Other Products

To maximize benefits, it’s essential to know what pairs well with witch hazel.

  • Vitamin C Serum: For added antioxidant benefits.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: To combat potential dryness.
  • Sunscreen: Essential if you’re using witch hazel in the morning.

Expert Recommendations

Various dermatologists have weighed in on the topic. The consensus? Use it according to your skin’s needs. For oily skin, morning might be better; for healing and rejuvenation, night might be ideal.


How often can I use witch hazel?
Depending on your skin type, once or twice a day should suffice.

Is it essential to follow up with moisturizer?
Yes, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin.

Can I use it around my eyes?
It’s best to avoid the delicate eye area unless specified by a product.

Are all witch hazel products the same?
No, always read the ingredients. Some have added alcohol, which can be drying.

Does witch hazel expire?
Like all products, it has a shelf life. Check the product’s expiry date.

Can it replace my toner?
While it has toning properties, it depends on the specific needs of your skincare routine.


So, should you use witch hazel in the morning or at night? The answer isn’t a straightforward one. Depending on your skin type, concerns, and existing routine, it might fit differently for each individual. The critical thing is to listen to your skin. When used correctly, witch hazel can indeed be a magical addition to your skincare arsenal.