Another big criticism is that the Fat Water Toner Serum contains witch hazel as an ingredient. What are the risks associated with including witch hazel in a skincare product? What are the benefits?
JL: Witch hazel is a common ingredient found in astringents and toners. It can cause burning, contact dermatitis, redness, and irritation of the skin. It does have anti-inflammatory effects, which may be helpful in treating bites, stings, and acne.
SF: I actually don’t recommend toners to my patients unless they have super-oily skin. Witch hazel is from a plant, an antioxidant, and used for its drying and pore-shrinking effects. The other ingredients help soothe and improve the skin barrier that may have been disrupted by witch hazel. I love that she used niacinamide in her line! It’s one of my favorite ingredients to improve the skin’s moisture barrier, tone, and texture.
Which skin types are most susceptible to irritation from fragrances in skincare? From witch hazel?
JL: I personally do not like highly scented products and definitely do not recommend to those with sensitive and eczema-prone skin or those who have a known history of contact dermatitis.
SF: Those with sensitive skin or eczema [are most susceptible to irritation from] fragrances. Those with dry or sensitive skin for witch hazel.
If a client came into your office and told you they were using this skincare line, would you sign off on that choice? Why or why not?
JL: I haven’t tried myself so cannot say for sure, but I’m not a big fan of fragranced products. I also evaluate all products based on research, so I would need to look at that first if it even exists.
SF: Again, if someone doesn’t really have problematic skin—no acne, no drying, no sensitivity—then I’d say it’s fine. But it’s not all-inclusive. Skincare requires fine-tuning based on the person’s needs and concerns.