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Witch Hazel vs Rubbing Alcohol: Which is Better for Different Uses?

January 4, 2023 | Keval

witch hazel vs rubbing alcohol

You’ve probably heard about all the great uses and the benefits of witch hazel on skin, but how does it stack up against rubbing alcohol? Both are common products that are used for many of the same purposes, but is there one that is a clear winner?

Continue reading through this guide as we discuss what is the difference between witch hazel and rubbing alcohol, and which product is better for a variety of everyday uses. 

Is Witch Hazel the Same as Rubbing Alcohol?

First, let’s cover a common question many people have–is witch hazel the same as rubbing alcohol?

Although they may be used for a lot of the same reasons and look practically identical, they actually are two very different substances on a molecular and chemical level. Because of this, the two are similar, but not the same thing. 

It can be easy to confuse the two in the drugstore or on the shelves in your bathroom; however, it’s important to make a distinction between the two and know when you should use one over the other. 

In any case, the differences between the two will become more evident below as we discuss which product is a better fit for certain uses. 

What is the Difference Between Witch Hazel and Rubbing Alcohol?

Now that you know rubbing alcohol and witch hazel are two different products, let’s go into a little more detail on each product so you can see what they are best used for. 

What is Witch Hazel?

Witch hazel is a natural substance that is derived from the witch hazel plant. The stems and bark of the plant are distilled into a liquid, which is often made into a solution with alcohol. 

Witch hazel has astringent properties that tighten the skin, reduce inflammation and redness, and diminishes the look of blackheads, among other benefits. 

For more information on witch hazel, check out some of our other helpful guides here: 

What is Rubbing Alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol is a chemical that is derived from petroleum, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. 

It is sometimes referred to as isopropyl alcohol and is known for its flammable and disinfectant properties. Thus, it’s a much harsher compound than witch hazel and has dehydrating effects on the skin. 

Witch Hazel vs Rubbing Alcohol: Which is Better for Different Use Cases?

With a better understanding of what each substance is, let’s go over some of the common household uses of the two and which product is better suited for which situations. 

Rubbing Alcohol vs Witch Hazel for Cleaning

So is rubbing alcohol vs witch hazel for cleaning better? Given the disinfectant properties of running alcohol, it is a powerful cleaner and killer of bacteria. 

However, witch hazel has its own antibacterial properties, especially when it comes in the form of an astringent as a solution with alcohol. 

Even still, rubbing alcohol tends to have stronger cleaning properties than witch hazel, though it is harsher on materials and can be quite abrasive on the skin. 

Rubbing Alcohol vs Witch Hazel for Hand Sanitizer

Now let’s discuss whether rubbing alcohol vs witch hazel for hand sanitizer is better. As we already assessed about its cleaning properties, rubbing alcohol is a very powerful disinfectant, though it can be a little harsh on the skin. 

Because of this, witch hazel is likely a better fit for hand sanitizer because it has antibacterial benefits, though it is much more gentle and moisturizing to the skin. So, you can still cleanse the hands without stripping them too much of their natural oils. 

Rubbing Alcohol vs Witch Hazel Bug Spray

Another reason why you would compare the two is to see which is better–rubbing alcohol vs witch hazel bug spray products. Both substances do a good job of cleaning pre-existing bites so they don’t get infected and become a serious issue. 

Many people have used alcohol as a remedy for bug bites and to keep bugs at bay for a long time. While this is effective, witch hazel can often be more effective at keeping away bugs and treating bites since it’s an astringent. 

This means it shrinks down the bites and calms inflammation without overly drying the area like rubbing alcohol would. 

Witch Hazel vs Rubbing Alcohol for Bath Bombs

You also may compare witch hazel vs rubbing alcohol for bath bombs. It’s pretty easy to create your own bath bombs at home using everyday items. This includes using witch hazel or rubbing alcohol as a binding agent for your bombs. However, which one you choose could have an effect on how your bath bombs turn out. 

In most cases, using rubbing alcohol as an ingredient in your bath bomb could make it crumbly and lose its shape quicker. Even though you use a small amount of each of these when making bath bombs, using witch hazel as a binder could result in better and more even consistency. 

Witch Hazel vs Rubbing Alcohol for Aftershave

Some people wonder if witch hazel or rubbing alcohol is better for aftershave. With a witch hazel astringent, many users enjoy its antiseptic properties that keep the area clean and safe from infections. Plus, it can reduce the look and feel of razor bumps while moisturizing the skin as well. 

On the other hand, alcohol aftershaves do a good job of disinfecting the area, though it is often too harsh and abrasive and can cause even more irritation to the skin after shaving. 

Additional Uses for Witch Hazel

There are many other things you can use witch hazel for aside from the purposes we’ve discussed here. Many people like using witch hazel on their faces for acne skincare because of how it helps prevent future breakouts, shrink pores, reduce redness, and more. 

Plus, you can also learn how to use witch hazel for hair growth, how to apply witch hazel for hemorrhoids, and a number of other uses. 

Additional Uses for Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is also a versatile product that can help you around the house in a number of ways. 

In general, many of the uses that people find for rubbing alcohol around the house have to do with its cleaning and disinfectant properties. You can use rubbing alcohol to freshen up jewelry, cut through grime and buildup on windows and mirrors, clean stainless steel, and more. 

So – Which is the Right Choice for You?

As you can see, there are many practical uses of both rubbing alcohol and witch hazel in the house and on your body. 

Depending on what you’re looking to do with the product, you’ll need to choose between the two accordingly. Refer to the above cases to see whether witch hazel or rubbing alcohol is a better fit for your needs like if you’re looking for an aftershave, a bug bite treatment, or some of the other situations we discussed above. 

However, you can probably gather that even though both are great, witch hazel has a lot of versatility that rubbing alcohol does not, making it a must-have product for anyone. Not only is it a great addition to your skincare routine, but it can also be added to your first aid kit for cleaning wounds, disinfecting around the house, and much more. 

A great form of witch hazel to have around your house to fit a variety of uses is witch hazel spray. What is witch hazel spray? It’s simply a quality witch hazel formula that’s placed in a convenient spray bottle for easy application–around the house, on your face, or anywhere else on your body. 

Wrapping Up the Witch Hazel vs Rubbing Alcohol Debate

So when you want to compare witch hazel and rubbing alcohol, it’s easy to see that rubbing alcohol is a powerful disinfectant that’s great for cleaning purposes, but its uses are limited beyond that. 

Because of this, witch hazel is an easy winner given its versatility and effectiveness. And when you want to know what is the best witch hazel to buy, you need to get Somebody’s witch hazel products. Available in a number of aromatherapeutic scents and using a centuries-old witch hazel formula, our products are made from the highest quality to help you get the results you’re after. 

But we don’t just have amazing witch hazel products, either. For more relief all over your body, check out our CBD headache roller, CBD joint & muscle balm, and CBD transdermal patch to treat pains no matter where they’re located. Shop Somebody today to give your wellness routine the refresh it deserves for the new year. 

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