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Witch Hazel vs Salicylic Acid Which is Better for Acne & Other Skin Issues?

February 1, 2023 | Keval

witch hazel vs salicylic acid

Whether you’re struggling with acne or dandruff, psoriasis, or some other skincare problem – two common solutions you’ll come across are witch hazel vs salicylic acid.

Each of these products can assist you in reaching your health and beauty goals. But is one better than the other? Or, should you use them together to achieve synergy and supercharge their individual effects?

In this article, we’ll compare and contrast both witch hazel toner vs salicylic acid to help you gain a better understanding of the roles each of these plays in the skincare and beauty world. By the end of our discussion today, you’ll feel confident choosing the right product for your unique skincare goals. 

Witch Hazel vs Salicylic Acid: Key Differences Explained

Let’s first explain what each product does on its own before pitting them against each other. We’ll start with what we believe to be the most versatile, powerful, and most importantly, natural skincare product the world has to offer: witch hazel.

What is Witch Hazel?

We have a complete guide on the topic – what is witch hazel spray? But if you just want the cliff notes, this is a skincare product derived from the witch hazel plant with incredible versatility. The extract from the bark and leaves of the plant has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties – specifically, its astringent properties. 

This is what results in the witch hazel benefits for skin – helping you treat problems such as acne, eczema, and razor burn. It is also used as an ingredient in aftershave and other cosmetic products to soothe and tone the skin. Additionally, witch hazel has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce redness and swelling.

The use cases for this product are seemingly endless. You can use witch hazel for hemorrhoids, witch hazel for hair, and so much more. You can replace tons of other skincare products you purchase by simply having witch hazel on hand – it virtually does it all.

Salicylic acid, on the other hand, is also touted as a verstaile skincare product. Here’s what you need to know about it…

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid has some pretty powerful capabilities in its own right. It’s derived from willow tree bark, which was historically used to treat fever and pain. Nowadays, it’s used to help individuals meet their beauty goals. 

Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is commonly used as a key ingredient in skincare products for the treatment of acne, dandruff, psoriasis, and calluses. It is also a natural exfoliant that helps to unclog pores and reduce inflammation, dulling a red look. Salicylic acid can be found in a variety of forms, including gels, creams, lotions, and cleansers.

But – is it necessarily the right choice for you? Or should you stick with witch hazel? Let’s take a look at the use cases in which each of these has an edge.

Witch Hazel vs Salicylic Acid: Which is Better for Acne & Other Conditions?

Below, we’ll compare and contrast these two products to help you make the right choice for your goals. Let’s start by assessing the effectiveness of witch hazel vs salicylic acid for acne: a condition they’re both capable of treating.

Effectiveness of Witch Hazel vs Salicylic Acid for Acne 

Looking in the mirror or examining photos isn’t easy for people living with acne. You’re embarrassed by your skin and would do anything to finally have clear, glowing skin. 

The good news is that both witch hazel and salicylic acid can be used to treat acne and improve the appearance of the skin. This is because they both have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce redness and swelling associated with acne. In addition, salicylic acid can help to unclog pores and prevent the formation of new pimples, while witch hazel can help to soothe and tone the skin.

But is one better than the other? Generally speaking, those with excessively oily or congested skin are better suited to salicylic acid. On the other hand, those with sensitive or dry skin should stick with witch hazel.

Other Uses for Salicylic Acid

Along with treating acne, salicylic acid can be used to help you with other beauty goals you have. It’s an exfoliant and anti-inflammatory, so it’s perfect for these use cases:

  • Dandruff treatment: Salicylic acid can be used to treat dandruff by breaking down the build-up of dead skin cells on the scalp.
  • Callus and wart treatment: Salicylic acid can be used to soften and remove calluses and warts by breaking down the hard, thick skin.
  • Psoriasis treatment: Salicylic acid can be used to treat psoriasis by reducing inflammation and removing scales on the skin.

However, salicylic acid should not be used by those with sensitive skin. It can be too harsh and contribute to excessive dryness or irritation. If that sounds like you, stick with witch hazel. Speaking of which, let’s examine a few other uses for witch hazel…

Other Uses for Witch Hazel

The beauty of witch hazel is in how gentle it is. Does witch hazel burn? Not at all – which is why those with sensitive skin love it. Here are a few things you can use it for along with general skincare:

  • Skin toner: Witch hazel spray is commonly used as a toner to help tighten the skin, remove excess oil, and reduce redness and puffiness.
  • Sunburn relief: Witch hazel has soothing properties that can help to relieve pain and redness associated with sunburns.
  • Eye puffiness: Witch hazel can be used to reduce puffiness around the eyes.
  • Razor burn relief: Witch hazel can be used to soothe skin after shaving and reduce redness and razor burn.
  • Eczema relief: Witch hazel spray can be used to soothe itching and redness associated with eczema.
  • Insect bite relief: Witch hazel spray can be used to reduce itching and swelling associated with insect bites
  • Makeup remover: Witch hazel spray can be used to gently remove makeup, dirt, and oil from the face.
  • Hair care: Witch hazel can also be used for hair care, in addition to its skincare benefits. You can use it for dandruff treatment or frizz control, conditioner, and more.

So, Which is Better? Settling the Salicylic Acid vs Witch Hazel Debate Once and For All

By now, it should be clear when you should use salicylic acid vs witch hazel. Certain situations call for witch hazel, while you’ll be better off using salicylic acid in other scenarios. If you had to have just one of these on hand, though, our recommendation would be witch hazel spray. Why? It’s just a bit more versatile than salicylic acid! 

As you can see from the list above, it has way more use cases than salicylic acid. And, it’s gentler, making it a perfect option for even the most sensitive skin. And, it can even be used to help your hair health! 

Now, to really reap the benefits of witch hazel firsthand, you need the best witch hazel online. For that, look no further than Somebody! Our witch hazel spray formulation has been used for centuries to treat acne, sanitize wounds, calm inflammation, neutralize oils, and a whole lot more. It’s carefully crafted and tested to ensure both potency and purity.

With that said, we have seen many people still have one question after discovering the differences between salicylic acid vs witch hazel. Can you use witch hazel with salicylic acid?

Can You Use Witch Hazel With Sacilyic Acid?

Now, there isn’t necessarily any reason to limit yourself to just salicylic acid vs witch hazel. In fact, these two products can go hand in hand in helping you reach your beauty goals. As mentioned earlier, both of these are effective in treating acne and improving the overall appearance of the skin. One provides deep cleansing while the other provides soothing healing – making them a perfect duo!

Salicylic acid can penetrate deep into the pores to unclog them and reduce inflammation, while witch hazel can help to soothe and tone the skin. This combination can be particularly effective for people with oily or congested skin, as salicylic acid can help to control excess oil production and prevent breakouts, while witch hazel can help to reduce redness and irritation.

To use them together, start by applying salicylic acid to a cotton pad and wipe it gently over the face, paying special attention to areas with breakouts. Let it work its magic for a few minutes and then apply witch hazel spray to soothe the area. 

It is recommended to use these products in the morning and evening, after cleansing and before moisturizing. You can learn more in our article on how to use witch hazel on face.

Final Thoughts on Witch Hazel vs Salicylic Acid

There you have it – our complete guide on witch hazel vs salicylic acid. We hope you gained clarity on how these products are different – but also how they’re similar. They can both be used to treat acne, but depending on your skin type, witch hazel may be a superior choice. And, beyond the use case of acne, witch hazel is simply a more versatile choice. 

Want to learn about how witch hazel stacks up to other skincare products? We have similar articles on topics like witch hazel astringent vs toner, witch hazel vs rubbing alcohol, and micellar water vs witch hazel. You can also learn about what to do with expired witch hazel or how long witch hazel takes to work in our blog.

Otherwise, head over to our site and get your spray today to jumpstart your journey to better skin! While you’re at it, explore our other popular natural wellness and beauty products. We have CBD joint and muscle balm, CBD transdermal patches, CBD oil lip balm, and more!

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