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Witch Hazel vs Hydrogen Peroxide for Cuts: Which is Better?

February 1, 2023 | Keval

witch hazel vs hydrogen peroxide

When it comes to cleaning wounds or cuts, there are two common choices: witch hazel vs hydrogen peroxide. Maybe you grew up using one of these, or perhaps both were common in your household. Either way, you’re here to learn if one is better than the other. And that’s exactly what you’ll find out below.

We’re going to compare and contrast hydrogen peroxide vs witch hazel for cuts, rashes, acne, and more. By the end of this short article, you’ll have a clear understanding of which is better: peroxide or witch hazel. We’ll also provide a few key tips for using both of these so you can feel confident taking care of yourself. Let’s dive in!

Witch Hazel vs Hydrogen Peroxide: Key Differences Explained

You are probably familiar with hydrogen peroxide as a common cleaner used around the house or for cleaning wounds. Witch hazel, on the other hand, is considered a jack of all trades – a skin care product that can seemingly do it all. Here’s a deeper explanation of each product:

What is Witch Hazel?

Witch hazel is a plant native to North America and parts of Asia, and the extract from the leaves and bark of the plant is what we’re here to discuss today. This concoction is commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products as a toner, astringent, and anti-inflammatory agent.

What is witch hazel spray used for specifically, though? The witch hazel benefits on your skin are astounding. This is one of the most versatile skincare products the world has ever seen. It can be used for hemorrhoids, sunburn, and other skin irritations or conditions. You can even use witch hazel for hair. Perhaps the most common use, though, is witch hazel as an acne treatment

When using witch hazel, it’s important to remember that it is a strong astringent, so it should be used in moderation and diluted before applying it to the skin. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to test a small patch of skin before using it all over your face or body. 

It’s important to find the best witch hazel to buy if you’re going to use it on your skin – as not all products are created equal. More on the at later. For now, let’s talk about the other side of the coin in today’s conversation: hydrogen peroxide. 

What is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, is a colorless, odorless liquid that is often used as a disinfectant and an oxidizing agent. It is a chemical compound consisting of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms (H2O2). And as you’ll soon discover, its use cases are a bit more limited than witch hazel.

This product is commonly used to clean and sanitize surfaces, such as countertops, cutting boards, and kitchen utensils. It is also used as a whitening agent for teeth, to treat minor cuts and abrasions, and to remove earwax. It is also used as an oxygen source in aquariums and as a rocket propellant. It even has a place in horticulture in preventing algae or mold growth on plants.

However, the main point of contention in the witch hazel vs hydrogen peroxide debate is in regards to skincare – so we’ll touch more on that in the next section. 

When using hydrogen peroxide, it’s important to remember that it is a strong oxidizing agent and can cause skin irritation, so it should be used with care and in dilute concentrations. Overuse or improper use of hydrogen peroxide can cause damage to the skin and tissues, and it can also bleach materials it comes into contact with. 

Witch Hazel vs Hydrogen Peroxide: Comparing & Contrasting Use Cases

Now that you have a better understanding of what witch hazel and hydrogen peroxide are, what they can do, and how you should go about using them, it’s time to get into the real reason you came here: uncovering the superior choice for specific use cases.

Because these two products both have wound-cleaning capabilities, we’ll start by assessing whether hydrogen peroxide or witch hazel is better for sanitizing and healing cuts.

Hydrogen Peroxide vs Witch Hazel for Cuts

While both of these can be used to clean cuts and speed up the healing process, there is a clear winner in terms of which is better. That’s because the manner in which they go about cleaning and healing cuts varies greatly.

Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent that works by killing bacteria and viruses on contact. However, the intensity of this compound can also slow down the healing process by bleaching tissues and damaging delicate skin cells. It certainly eliminates the risk of infection – but at what cost?

Witch hazel, on the other hand, is astringent and anti-inflammatory. It works by reducing swelling and irritation, which can help to speed up the healing process. Witch hazel also has antiseptic properties, making it effective in preventing infection. Does witch hazel burn when applied like hydrogen peroxide, though? Yes – but not nearly to the same extent. It’s far gentler and less likely to cause damage to surrounding tissue.

So – which is better for cuts? It depends on the specific wound in question. If the risk of infection is high, you may be more willing to take the risk of a slow healing process to enjoy peace of mind in regard to infection. And, you may be more willing to take on the extra pain that comes with applying hydrogen peroxide to an open wound (if you haven’t had this experience before, consider yourself lucky!).

On the other hand, witch hazel is a better choice for wounds that have a lower risk of infection. It’ll still sanitize the cut while also speeding up the healing process and soothing the tissue rather than agitating it further. Remember – the anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel help with pain management, too.

Hydrogen Peroxide vs Witch Hazel for Rash

Let’s progress the conversation to a different type of skin issue. Many are wondering whether they should use hydrogen peroxide vs witch hazel for rashes. This one is a bit easier, as there is a more clear choice – and that’s witch hazel.

Think back to what we just talked about – hydrogen peroxide is a more aggressive cleaning agent, which would not be a good choice for rashes. In fact, it could agitate the rash even further and cause it to spread or crack as a result of dryness. When treating a rash, the goal is to soothe the skin and get it to calm down. And for that, you can count on witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Now, with that said, it also depends on the rash in question. Was it caused by infection? If so, you may be able to justify using a bit of hydrogen peroxide along with witch hazel. A few examples of this type of infection-based rash include impetigo, staph, cellulitis, and herpes. With that said, many of these are actually better treated with antiviral medications rather than hydrogen peroxide – so we recommend consulting a medical professional for these.

However, any other types of rashes – like those that have resulted from chaffing or other agitation – should be addressed with a gentle witch hazel product.

Hydrogen Peroxide vs Witch Hazel for Acne

Finally, let’s discuss hydrogen peroxide vs witch hazel for acne. While it’s less prominent in this day and age, hydrogen peroxide is sometimes discussed as a treatment for acne. And on paper, it sort of makes sense. 

Hydrogen peroxide is an anti-microbial, killing bacteria that causes acne in the first place. Moreover, the oxidating properties of hydrogen peroxide can dry out oily skin that’s conducive to acne breakouts.

But in reality, hydrogen peroxide rarely works well for acne treatment. Why? It’s too aggressive – and ultimately ends up making matters worse. It can agitate your skin further and contribute to pimples looking redder and inflamed than previously. Moreover, the dryness it causes can leave your skin cracked and agitated – and oftentimes, contribute to more acne growth than before.

All of this is to say that for acne treatment, hydrogen peroxide falls short – and frankly doesn’t have a place in your skincare regimen. Witch hazel, on the other hand, is your saving grace for acne treatment. 

It has multiple properties that contribute to clearer, healthier, happier skin: astringent properties that tighten the skin, antimicrobial properties that kill acne-causing bacteria, and anti-inflammatory properties that diminish the size and appearance of blemishes. All this while acting as a toner and moisturizing your skin – what more could you ask for in acne treatment? Hydrogen peroxide doesn’t even come close in contention.

So, Which is Better: Hydrogen Peroxide or Witch Hazel?

Now – there are other uses for both hydrogen peroxide and witch hazel, as we touched on at the beginning of this discussion. But chances are you came here to learn about one of the three use cases above and find out which of the products is superior. And by now, the answer should be clear: witch hazel is superior. 

Your skin needs gentle cleansing and treatment – which is exactly what witch hazel provides. Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, is too aggressive and oftentimes ends up agitating your skin further. This can result in a slow wound healing process, worsening rashes, or worsening acne. It has its place in cleaning household items or disinfecting wounds where the risk of infection is high – but really, that’s it.

In the end, witch hazel stands alone as the premier choice for your skincare goals – and it can also help with rashes and cut cleaning. We meant it when we told you earlier that this is among the most versatile products the skincare industry has to offer! But we also meant it when we said you need the best of the best – as not all witch hazel is created equal.

So, where can you go to get yours? Look no further than Somebody. Our witch hazel spray is a soothing concoction that can assist you in making your dream skin a reality. Take a look at some of the testimonials over on our site if you’re not convinced – this is the product your routine has been missing!

Wrapping Up the Witch Hazel vs Hydrogen Peroxide Debate

As you can see, the witch hazel vs hydrogen peroxide debate has a clear winner – and that’s the more soothing, gentle product: witch hazel. It’s simply more versatile and lends itself better to common uses: acne, cuts, rashes – and a whole lot more. 

Whether you use it daily or just as needed, you’ll be glad you picked up some spray here at Somebody. We also have other natural wellness essentials, including CBD joint and muscle balm, CBD transdermal patches, and CBD oil lip balm.

Want to learn more about the power of witch hazel? Our blog has other resources you should take a look at before using it. We answer common questions like – does witch hazel expire? How long does it take witch hazel to work? And, you can see how witch hazel stacks up to other options. We have similar breakdowns on witch hazel toner vs astringent, micellar water vs witch hazels, and witch hazel vs rubbing alcohol.

But really, the verdict across the board is this: you need witch hazel in your arsenal. So get yours today!

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