You've probably heard of all the great uses andthe benefits of witch hazel on the skin, but how does this compare to isopropyl alcohol? Both are common products used for many of the same purposes, but is there one that is a clear winner?
Keep reading this guide as we discuss what the difference between witch hazel and isopropyl alcohol is and which product is the best choice for a variety of everyday uses.
Is witch hazel the same as isopropyl alcohol?
First, let's address a common question many people have - is witch hazel the same as isopropyl alcohol?
While they may be used for the same reasons and look virtually identical, they are actually two very different substances on a molecular and chemical level. Because of this, the two are similar, but not the same.
It can be easy to mix the two at the pharmacy or on the bathroom shelves; However, it's important to differentiate between the two and know when to use one over the other.
In any case, the differences between the two will become more apparent below as we discuss which product is best suited for specific applications.
What is the difference between witch hazel and isopropyl alcohol?
Now that you know that isopropyl alcohol and witch hazel are two different products, let's break down each product a bit more so you can see what they are for.
What is witch hazel?
Witch hazel is a natural substance derived from the witch hazel plant. The stems and bark of the plant are distilled into a liquid, which is usually dissolved in alcohol.
Witch hazel has astringent properties that help to firm the skin, reduce inflammation and redness, and reduce the appearance of blackheads, among other things.
For more information on witch hazel, check out some of our other helpful guides here:
- How do I know if the witch hazel has expired?
- How long does witch hazel take to work?
- Does witch hazel burn when applied?
What is isopropyl alcohol?
Isopropyl alcohol is a chemical derived from petroleum, natural gas and other fossil fuels.
Sometimes called isopropyl alcohol, it is known for its flammable and disinfectant properties. Therefore, it is a much harder compound than witch hazel and has a dehydrating effect on the skin.
Witch Hazel vs Isopropyl Alcohol: Which is Better for Different Use Cases?
To better understand what each substance is, let's go through some of the common household uses of the two and explain which product is best suited for which situations.
Isopropyl alcohol versus witch hazel for cleaning
Is isopropyl alcohol better than witch hazel for cleaning? Given the disinfectant properties of liquid alcohol, it is a powerful cleaner and bacteria killer.
However, witch hazel has its own antibacterial properties, especially when in an astringent form in an alcohol solution.
Despite this, isopropyl alcohol tends to have more powerful cleaning properties than witch hazel, although it is harder on materials and can be quite abrasive on the skin.
Isopropyl alcohol vs witch hazel for hand sanitizer
Now let's discuss whether isopropyl alcohol or witch hazel is better for disinfecting hands. As we've already established about its cleansing properties, isopropyl alcohol is a very powerful disinfectant, although it can be a little harsh on the skin.
For this reason, witch hazel is probably better suited for hand sanitizer due to its antibacterial benefits, despite being much gentler and more moisturizing on the skin. So you can still clean your hands without stripping them of too much of their natural oils.
Isopropyl alcohol vs. witch hazel insect spray
Another reason why you should compare the two is to see which is better - isopropyl alcohol versus witch hazel insect repellent products. Both substances do a good job of cleaning existing bites so they don't get infected and become a serious problem.
Many people have used alcohol as a remedy for insect bites and to repel insects for a long time. While this is effective, witch hazel is often more effective at repelling insects and treating bites as it is an astringent.
This means it shrinks the bites and reduces inflammation without over-drying the area like rubbing alcohol would.
Witch Hazel versus Isopropyl Alcohol for Bath Bombs
You can also compare witch hazel with isopropyl alcohol. It's really easy to make your own bath bombs at home using everyday items. This includes using witch hazel or isopropyl alcohol as a binder for your pumps. However, which one you choose can affect the outcome of your bath bombs.
In most cases, using alcohol as an ingredient in your bath bomb can cause it to become brittle and lose its shape more quickly. Although you use a small amount at a time when making bath bombs, using witch hazel as a binder can result in a better, more even consistency.
Witch Hazel versus Isopropyl Alcohol for Aftershave
Some people wonder if witch hazel or isopropyl alcohol are better for an aftershave. As a witch hazel astringent, many users enjoy its antiseptic properties, keeping the area clean and safe from infection. Plus, it can reduce the appearance of razor burn while moisturizing your skin.
On the other hand, alcohol-based aftershaves do a good job of sanitizing the area, although they are often too rough and abrasive and can cause even more skin irritation after shaving.
Additional Uses for Witch Hazel
There are many other things you can use witch hazel for besides the purposes we've discussed here. many people likewith witch hazel on their faces for acne skin carebecause it helps prevent future breakouts, shrink pores, reduce redness, and so much more.
You can also learnHow to use witch hazel for hair growth,how to use witch hazel for hemorrhoids, and a host of other uses.
Additional Uses for Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is also a versatile product that can help you around the house in many ways.
In general, many of the uses people find for alcohol in the home have to do with its cleaning and disinfecting properties. You can use isopropyl alcohol to clean jewelry, remove dirt and debris from windows and mirrors, clean stainless steel, and much more.
So - which one is the right choice for you?
As you can see, there are many practical uses for alcohol and witch hazel around the home and on the body.
Depending on what you want to do with the product, you have to choose between the two accordingly. Check out the cases above to see if witch hazel or isopropyl alcohol is better suited for your needs, for example. B. if you are looking for an aftershave, a treatment for insect bites, or some of the other situations discussed above.
However, you can probably find that while both are great, witch hazel has a lot of versatility that isopropyl alcohol lacks, making it a must-have for everyone. Not only is it a great addition to your skincare routine, it can also be added to your first aid kit to clean wounds, disinfect the home, and more.
A great form of witch hazel to have around the house and use for a variety of uses.Witch hazel spray.What is witch hazel spray?? It's simply a high-quality witch hazel formula placed in a convenient spray bottle for easy application - at home, on the face or anywhere else on the body.
Closing the witch hazel vs isopropyl alcohol debate
So if you want to compare witch hazel and isopropyl alcohol, it's easy to see that isopropyl alcohol is a powerful disinfectant that's great for cleaning purposes, but beyond that its uses are limited.
Because of this, witch hazel is an easy winner for its versatility and potency. And if you want to know what it isbest witch hazel to buy, you need to get Witch Hazel products from Someone. Available in a variety of aromatherapeutic scents, our products use a centuries-old witch hazel formula. They are made of the highest quality to help you get the results you want.
But we don't just have great witch hazel products. For more full-body relief, check out ourCBD headache roller,, eCBD transdermal patchto treat pain no matter where it is located. Stock up on Somebody today to give your wellness routine the much-needed boost into the New Year.
What's the difference between witch hazel and isopropyl alcohol? ›
Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a chemical solution used for disinfecting cuts. It also has dehydrating properties when used on skin (but it should never be ingested). Witch hazel is a plant extract that is sometimes dissolved in alcohols and is often used as an astringent.Is witch hazel just rubbing alcohol? ›
A common misconception is also that the witch hazel plant naturally contains alcohol, and that's simply not the case. Its astringent properties come from tannins.What is witch hazel good for? ›
Some people apply witch hazel directly to the skin for itching, pain and swelling (inflammation), eyeinflammation, skin injury, mucous membrane inflammation, vaginal dryness after menopause, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, bruises, insect bites, minor burns, acne, sensitive scalp, and other skin irritations.What is witch hazel with alcohol for? ›
Witch Hazel Extract with 14% alcohol has been used for over a century in various cosmetic applications. It is a natural astringent and has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can be used in bath bomb preparations and for soap making.Can witch hazel be used for cleaning? ›
While it may be used in sanitizing products or hand sanitizers, witch hazel is not meant to be used as a disinfectant. Experts say that astringents like witch hazel aren't the same as other household cleaners you can use right now.What is better than isopropyl alcohol? ›
isopropyl alcohol as a home cleaning product. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) , ethyl is generally considered superior to isopropyl alcohol, but both types of alcohol are effective at killing flu and cold viruses.Can you mix witch hazel and rubbing alcohol together? ›
Using Witch Hazel with 14% alcohol allows us to add the healing benefits and still have clean hands (more info on Witch Hazel here). Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Oil can also be added for natural germ protection. This stuff comes in handy during show season when searching for soap and water isn't an option.Can you use witch hazel instead of rubbing alcohol for soap making? ›
I have successfully used all floral waters in bath bombs, but if you are starting out we recommend the Witch Hazel. It is also sometimes used for Melt and Pour Soap making due to it's alcohol content, however Isopropyl Alcohol is a more reliable choice for Melt and Pour Soaping.Can you use rubbing alcohol instead of witch hazel for room spray? ›
Can I Use Rubbing Alcohol to Make A Homemade Room Spray? Please don't. First of all, your room spray will smell like rubbing alcohol as it has a very strong odor, but more importantly, rubbing alcohol can irritate your nose and throat when inhaled. Stick to vodka (or witch hazel) when making homemade room spray.Is witch hazel good for wrinkles? ›
The Bottom line: Witch hazel may be a great way to look younger right now, but long term, don't expect it to prevent wrinkles. You should also be wary of a cream that touts it as its miracle ingredient—once the shrinking effect wears off, your wrinkles will be more noticeable.
Can you put witch hazel on open wounds? ›
Witch hazel has been used to relieve swelling, bleeding, itching, minor pain, and discomfort caused by minor skin irritations (such as cuts, scrapes, insect bites).Can witch hazel help skin infection? ›
"Witch hazel is great for fighting infection because it helps to kill bacteria and also reduces inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties." So yeah, if you're looking for a way to soothe a zit you just popped (agh!), ease some swelling, or soothe an open wound, witch hazel is a natural way to do so.How much of witch hazel is alcohol? ›
Witch Hazel is defined as the following: “Witch Hazel Extract (Witch Hazel) is a clear, colorless distillate prepared from recently cut and partially dried dormant twigs of Hamamelis virginiana Linné,” containing natural oils and 14% Alcohol.Is rubbing alcohol the same as isopropyl alcohol? ›
Rubbing alcohol is a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water. Sometimes, it contains additional ingredients. By contrast, isopropyl alcohol is pure alcohol with no other ingredients. Because rubbing alcohol contains isopropyl alcohol, the two liquids have similar properties, but they are not the same.What's the difference between witch hazel with alcohol and without? ›
Go alcohol-free: Witch hazel is typically extracted with alcohol to create an astringent toner; however, “if the alcohol content is too high for your skin, it will dry out or cause disruption to the skin's barrier function,” says Dr. Longwill.Can you use witch hazel wipes on private parts? ›
WITCH HAZEL (WICH hey zuhl) is a botanical astringent from the plant Hamamelis virginiana. The wipes and pads are used to relieve itching, burning, and irritation caused by hemorrhoids or bowel movements. They may also be used to clean the outer vaginal area after childbirth or the rectal area following rectal surgery.Why do you wipe with witch hazel? ›
Witch hazel can cleanse skin, tighten pores, and help remove excess oil. Witch hazel can help decrease the amount of bacteria on your skin and helps reduce acne and breakouts. Witch hazel also has an anti-inflammatory effect, so it can help reduce redness and skin irritation.What is the best way to use witch hazel? ›
Generally, witch hazel is used as a toner. That means that you'll want to apply it after using a cleanser to re-balance skin pH. After you've washed your face thoroughly, pat it dry with a soft cloth. Then apply your favorite formulation of Thayers Witch Hazel before adding a moisturizing cream or serum.When should you not use isopropyl alcohol? ›
Avoid using any rubbing alcohol on painted, shellacked, lacquered, or varnished surfaces, including treated wood. Certain fabrics: The isopropyl in alcohol can be a great stain treatment on certain fabrics, removing all evidence of difficult stains like ink, grass, grease, or sap.What is isopropyl alcohol used for? ›
Isopropyl alcohol is mixed with water for use as a rubbing-alcohol antiseptic. It is also used in aftershave lotions, hand lotions, and other cosmetics. In industry it is used as an inexpensive solvent for cosmetics, drugs, shellacs, and gums, as well as for denaturing ethanol (ethyl alcohol).
What is 91% isopropyl alcohol used for? ›
One of the key uses of Isopropyl Alcohol 91% USP grade is as a disinfectant and cleaning agent. It is commonly used to clean and disinfect surfaces, equipment, and medical instruments. It is also used as a solvent in the production of cosmetics, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals.Can you mix vinegar and witch hazel? ›
Witch hazel is a gentle astringent, apple cider vinegar will help restore your skin's natural pH balance, and lavender soothes sensitive skin. Mix and pour into a clean bottle. Shake bottle well before using, dampen a cotton or ball or pad with toner, and swab over face.What should you not mix with rubbing alcohol? ›
Bleach and rubbing alcohol create chloroform. This combination is highly toxic and can cause damage to your eyes, lungs, and liver. Combining these products can create peracetic / peroxyacetic acid, which can be highly corrosive and irritate your eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.Does witch hazel get rid of odor? ›
Witch hazel is a versatile ingredient to keep in your cupboard. It's a natural astringent and it's anti-inflammatory , meaning that it removes excess moisture from the skin and kill bacteria. It's also a popular deodorant alternative because it doesn't leave residue on the skin. Plus, it gets rid of odor fast.Is witch hazel better than alcohol for bath bombs? ›
Witch hazel in bath bombs
You can use other methods, but we definitely prefer witch hazel. Water causes the bath bombs to fizz, alcohol can dry them out and cause cracking, and too much oil can make them feel greasy. To use witch hazel, first put it in a spray bottle. Combine all your other bath bomb ingredients.
No, please don't. The tannins and alcohol content pose a risk of sensitizing skin, especially delicate skin around the eye. In fact, one study found that after analyzing 178 different types of facial wipes, witch hazel ranked in the top potentially sensitizing ingredients.Is it OK to bathe in rubbing alcohol? ›
People should avoid adding rubbing alcohol to their bathwater. Prolonged exposure to rubbing alcohol can cause the skin to absorb the alcohol, which can lead to toxicity in both children and adults.Is alcohol or witch hazel better for room spray? ›
TIP: Use Witch Hazel or Alcohol as well
This can be any alcohol, but we recommend the unscented kind or some generic vodka. Similarly to witch hazel, alcohol is a great ingredient for improving the mixing of your essential oils and it helps to make the room spray scent last longer too.
(Note: Witch hazel helps the oil and water combine and will help the scent linger for a longer period of time.)How do you make a long lasting room spray? ›
Mix half a cup of baking soda with several drops of your favorite essential oil or room spray. Then, add this mixture to a bottle and let it sit for 24 hours.
Does witch hazel reverse aging? ›
Witch hazel contains polyphenol, which acts as a protector from UV damage. It also helps retain the skin's natural collagen, making it great for elasticity and anti-aging. When paired with a moisturizing ingredient like aloe, witch hazel creates a well-balanced toner that will give your skin a healthy, natural glow.How can I get rid of wrinkles around mouth? ›
- Botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections.
- Chemical peels.
- Laser skin resurfacing.
- Lip fillers.
- Microneedling, with or without radiofrequency (collagen induction therapy), which creates small punctures in your skin, stimulating collagen and elastin production.
- Retinoids. ...
- Micro-needling. ...
- Microdermabrasion. ...
- Dermabrasion. ...
- Chemical peels. ...
- Laser skin resurfacing. ...
- Botulinum toxin type A (Botox®, Dysport, Xeomin, Juveau) injection therapy. ...
To soothe irritation.
Witch hazel can reduce inflammation and minimize irritation for minor skin injuries (aka cuts, scrapes and/or rashes), bug bites, poison ivy or hemorrhoids. It's important to emphasize that it works on small areas and should not be used as a solution for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
For consumers, witch hazel's 'smart' antimicrobial properties make the plant a great way to fight bacterial pathogens, especially those that have notoriously developed resistance to conventional antibiotic treatments.Is witch hazel good for under eye bags? ›
Reduces eye puffiness
Witch hazel is great for controlling bags and puffiness under the eyes by shrinking blood vessels. Simply soak two cotton balls in witch hazel and place them on closed eyes for about 10 minutes.
Witch hazel is the most commonly used liquid binder for bath bombs, but you can also use a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol if you prefer (note: using alcohol as a binder may result in drier and more crumbly bath bombs depending on your climate).Is it OK to clean your face with rubbing alcohol? ›
Avoid harsh products
Don't use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on wounds or to control oily skin or acne breakouts. They're not effective and they can damage your skin, making the problem worse.
Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol
By far, 91% isopropyl alcohol is the most trouble-free way to moisten your bath bomb mix. It wets your mixture while only contributing a minimum of water to set off your reaction.
Do not bathe in it: Some old-time remedies called for soothing fevers and aches with alcohol baths or alcohol-soaked compresses applied to the skin. Bad idea. If too much alcohol is absorbed into the skin, it can be toxic to the heart and nerves.
Can you pour witch hazel in a bath? ›
Luckily, witch hazel's astringent properties make it great for soothing inflammation of the skin and mucus membranes. You can use a witch-hazel-medicated pad on the area, or you can put ½ a cup of witch hazel in your bath.What rubbing alcohol is best for soap? ›
Isopropyl Alcohol or Rubbing Alcohol, as it is commonly known, has many uses. For the soap maker it is most useful when spritzing your newly poured melt and pour soaps. Helping to remove surface bubbles, but it is also a powerful solvent with many useful applications.Can you wash your face with peroxide? ›
Hydrogen peroxide used to be a popular antiseptic for cleaning wounds and treating acne. But it's not a good idea to use it for those purposes, since it can irritate your skin.Which alcohol is best for skin? ›
Wine is known for its magical powers on your skin. This alcohol is best used for removing dead skin cells and fighting pigmentations. It boosts the blood circulation and repairs the damaged skin cells. Not only this, drinking wine gives your skin the blinding glow from within.What happens if you put isopropyl alcohol in your hair? ›
Isopropyl alcohol ends up leaving your hair dry and frizzy and can lead to negative health consequences like irritation and damage to the nervous, heart, and respiratory system.