I’ve written this Thayers Witch Hazel Toner review because I see a lot of confusion out there about which toner to buy. I know how you feel, because I, too, am trying to find the perfect products for my own skin. It’s not as easy as it sounds, right?
I want to find a toner that works for all skin types and doesn’t dry out your skin, like a big part of them unfortunately do. Furthermore, I want the toner to be as natural as possible to avoid harmful chemicals.
This all sounds so obvious when you say it out loud, but not all toners are made the same. While there are heaps of good toners to choose from, the amount of terrible ones is probably equal or even more.
Essentially, what I want is a toner that is both effective and harmless.
So… have I found it in Thayers Witch Hazel Toner?
Well, you be the judge. Keep reading and see what I’ve discovered!
What is Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel, or Hamamelis, is a genus of flowering plants in the Hamamelidaceae family. They are deciduous shrubs with fruits that, at maturity, pretty much explodes and shoot their seeds up to 30 feet away. Because of this, witch hazel is sometimes referred to as Snapping Hazel.
There are four different species of witch hazel in North America. Witch hazel can also be found in China and Japan. The american species are sometimes also known as winterbloom.
You can sometimes find witch hazel in cosmetics, due to its ability to moisturize and repair damaged skin. The result of this is often reduced flaking and restored elasticity in your skin.
Where It All Began…
The Thayers Witch Hazel Toner is manufactured by Thayers Natural Remedies, which was founded back in 1847, by Dr Henry Thayer. The company, originally named Henry Thayer & Company, was the largest supplier of pharmaceuticals during the Civil War.
In fact, Thayers originally sold their products only to other medical professionals. They produced over 800 different herbal products, but the most successful (by far) was the Witch Hazel Extract. Henry Thayer started including the witch hazel in a wide range of his products, such as this very toner.
Thayers Witch Hazel Toner is available in both unscented and scented variants. All variants include the following ingredients:
- Purified Water
- Certified Organic Witch Hazel Ext Blend (Hamamelis Virginiana Extract (American Witch Hazel) & Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Fillet of Aloe Vera))
- Citric Acid
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
Apart from these ingredients, all the scented toners contain some additional components for fragrance and extra properties.
The toner contains non-distilled extract from witch hazel shrub, sourced from Thayers’ very own family farm. Because it’s non-distilled, the extract contains the highest possible level of tannins.
Tannins have antioxidant effects, and toners that include them will balance your skin’s pH-level. They also get rid of free radicals in your skin, and help with keeping your pores clean and your skin glossy.
Thayers Witch Hazel Toner Review: Really, Really Good… If You Can Avoid The Fakes
Shopping over the internet is a luxury that I’m so grateful for every time I need to refill my shelves in my bathroom. Just click in, fill the cart and submit the order. Maybe grab an extra bonus item or two, if I’m in the mood.
However, there are also risks involved with not going directly to the store to do your shopping… You might end up with products that are subpar and outright counterfeit. This has unfortunately been the case among several customers who have ordered the Thayers Witch Hazel Toner.
Some of them have reported that they received fake toner, and unfortunately noticed it after using it on their skin, which in a few cases resulted in burning and irritation. So be careful and extra observant when you order from the web.
There are three things you can do to minimize the risk of using a fake toner on your skin:
- Make sure the label doesn’t feel very “paper-like” and cheap/low quality.
- Check the bottom of the bottle. Is it missing a stamp with a batch number? Then it’s fake!
- Order from reliable sources.
Anyways… in most cases you get the real stuff. The good stuff.
The Thayers Witch Hazel Toner has been a top-seller year in and year out, and for good reason.
Apart from the witch hazel, which provides your skin with tannins that help restore its luster and also clears the pores, it also contains aloe vera.
Aloe vera, like witch hazel, helps fight acne. It’s an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial miracle of a plant, that often is used as an astringent to reduce pore size, thus keeping bacteria, excess oil and dead skin cells from entering them.
Because it’s alcohol-free, the toner is excellent for all skin types. In fact, it moisturizes your skin quite well, and even allows your skin to manage keep its moisture during the wintery days.
And the price is ridiculously low. You only pay about $7-$12 per 12oz bottle, depending on whether they’re offered as two-fers, three-fers etc.
There are smaller bottles too (so called trial size). Don’t bother buying them. Sure, they are a great size if you travel and need to bring your toner.
But they tend to leak. Like… a lot. It’s better to get a 12oz bottle and fill a smaller, leak-proof travel container.
Oh, and I checked. The bottles are BPA-free, so no unnecessary industrial chemicals included!
The witch hazel toner has been quite successful at fighting cystic acne, especially when combined with another key product. I’ve printed out the full method for you a little further down this page.
When it comes to smell, I think most of the scented variants of the toner smell quite pleasant. The rose petal one is definitely my favorite. But… stay the heck away from cucumber. The smell is vile and it’s not something you’d want to walk around wearing among people. I’m not quite sure what Thayers were thinking when releasing that one.
Increase Your Chances Of Fighting Cystic Acne
So, to get the most optimal results from your witch hazel toner, I’d suggest testing this method. I haven’t tested it myself, but others who have are seeing positive results.
This method requires one additional product: Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. The same goes with this product – get it from reputable web stores to avoid low-quality or fake products.
So, about that method. When taking a shower, here’s what you do:
- Follow through with your normal routine (wash, scrub etc).
- Wash your problem areas with the Ole Henriksen cleanser.
- Leave on for about 30-40 seconds and then rinse.
- Exit the shower and pat your skin dry.
- Apply the Thayers witch hazel toner on your face. Use a cotton ball or something similar.
- Don’t be shy, and apply some extra toner on areas that seem to be breaking out or are extra problematic.
- Apply moisturizer if your skin tends to get irritated.
If you’re not seeing improvement of your cystic acne within 3-5 weeks, you may want to try another product. Unfortunately, everybody’s skin reacts differently to each treatment, so fighting acne is often a matter of trial and error.
- High level of tannins. Tannins are antioxidant and stabilizes your skin’s pH-level. They also fight free radicals in your skin.
- Shrinks pores. Your pore size will reduce over time. This helps with blocking out bacteria and dead skin cells.
- Effective against hormonal and cystic acne. The witch hazel toner has been showing good results among customers with cystic acne. Especially if you follow the method I layed out for you above.
- Alcohol-free. The toner doesn’t contain alcohol, which reduces the risk of your skin drying out and breaking out.
- Works on all skin types. Thanks to being alcohol-free, the toner tends to work on all skin types – even oily and combination skin.
- BPA-free. The bottle contains no harmful industrial chemicals.
- Low price. A 12oz bottle goes for about $7-$12, depending on deals and vendors.
- Nice smell. Thayers witch hazel toner comes in various scents, and most of them smell wonderfully.
- Tends to work on sensitive skin. Personally, I don’t have sensitive skin. However, most customers with sensitive skin report that the witch hazel toner works great for them. Make sure you patch test first – just in case.
- Moisturizing. The toner is quite good at moisturizing your skin, and to keep it moisturized for many hours after application. Even on colder days in the winter!
- Beware of fakes. Unfortunately, there are fake toners out there. Make sure the label doesn’t feel like cheap paper, and that the bottle has a batch stamp at the bottom.
- Trial-sized bottle leaks. It’s very common that the trial bottle leaks, so get yourself a smaller, leak-proof container and pour some toner from your 12oz bottle into that one instead.
- May cause allergic reactions. Some users report that the toner has given them allergic reactions. Always patch test new products before you use them on the rest of your skin.
- Cucumber scent smells awful. The cucumber scent is terrible. I can’t describe the smell, but it’s vile. Save your money and get the rose petal instead.
Ever since 1847, Thayers have been providing the U.S. with herbal pharmaceuticals, and actually were the main suppliers during the Civil War.
A lot has happened since then, but one ingredient that has remained ever since is the witch hazel. And it’s not very surprising, because it does wonders for acne patients.
In this Thayers Witch Hazel Toner review I’ve brought up the how important it is to make sure that you avoid fake products. I just want to stress this yet again, because bottles with unknown content can do so much irreversible harm to your skin. Always make sure your product is genuine!
However, if you shop at reputable sources, you’ll have a toner that will serve you well for years. I believe that the Thayers toner is one of the best ones currently out there. It’s packed with healthy natural ingredients, which enriches your skin and keeps it fresh and youthful.
Finally, it smells really nice (except the cucumber) and doesn’t cost you a fortune. So you won’t lose much on at least testing the toner to see if it’s a good fit for you. So my advice to you is to get a bottle of the rose petal toner. It’s the one that smells the best!
If you do decide to try the toner, let me know about your experience in the comments below. I’m quite curious and would like to find out what you think!
Or if you’ve got any questions, opinions about this review or just wanna get in touch don’t hesitate and drop me a comment. I’d like to hear from you!
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