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Inflaming the situation


Relatively cheap, small and compact .

Ineffective and can irritate skin .

Recommendable No:

24 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (98%):
  1. Jaynestep
  2. Protagonist
  3. coolcam7
and 38 other members
helpful by (2%):
  1. shaanababes

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Nowadays when I buy anything, and I will buy anything for the pleasure of spending money, I find myself thinking what I could write of it in an op. The Ciao effect has left me finding plenty to say about the smallest of purchases and this op shall be no exception. I found myself at a loss when it came to writing this opinion for, to be honest; there wasn’t a lot to be said for a product just 6cm long. But, not one to reject a challenge, I decided to attempt it nonetheless.

Witch Stick is a tiny sky blue plastic stick about the size of a tube of Lypsyl and thick as your average thumb. It’s main purpose – to prevent and get rid of nasty spots, zits, blackheads… you name it. As the official description on the packaging states it’s ‘formulated with natural witch hazel and an anti-bacterial ingredient, helps combat the conditions that cause spots, blemishes and other minor skin irritations’. So the first thing you’ll want to know is what the anti-bacterial ingredient is, wont you?

I have to confess that, as your average consumer, I don’t really know what the anti-bacterial ingredient is. When I bought the Witch Stick I did so on the assumption that it contained tea tree oil or the likes since many spot treatments are based upon it. Alas there is no mention whatsoever on the packaging to suggest even the smallest inclusion of tea tree. For those interested to know… it’s made up of alcohol denat, aqua, sodium stearate, glycarin, propylene glycol, hamamelis virginiana extract (the scientific name for Witch Hazel), cetyl alcohol, myristyl lactate, lauramide DEA, perfume, disodium EDTA, CI 42090. A concoction of chemicals I think you will agree and, with more alcohol than your average pub, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was doing me more harm than good.

Much of the information I have on the properties and benefits of Witch Hazel are taken from the website of this particular company so I wont take up an op with information you can look up yourself. Bacteria and dirt that builds up on the pores of your skin cause spots. Too much of a bad thing and you end up with those hateful blackheads and zits that look like a miniature nipple on the side of your nose. Witch Hazel works in the same way as tea tree oil – it dries out your spots and they eventually disappear. A miracle cure you might be forgiven for thinking, but alas Witch Hazel is something that stretches back centuries. It’s a plant that’s been used by American Indians over the centuries for medicinal purposes mainly because of its astringent, anti-inflammatory properties.

The Witch Stick uses these properties as a combatant of the bacteria that causes spots. When you first use this product it’s a strange sensation. The stick itself resembles something of a Push Pop lolly – its transparent and neither solid nor soft. It’s not a cream and to describe exactly what the stick is like in texture is an arduous task I have steered away from. You apply it to your skin in the same way you would apply lipstick to your lips. Of course, you must ensure that you apply it to your spots rather than willy-nilly on your face. If it dries out the spots then I can’t imagine it having moisturising properties for the areas of your skin that are blemish free.

Obviously what you want to know is whether or not this actually works and for me, the answer in short is no, it doesn’t. At £2.69 from Tesco it’s not going to work miracles and I certainly wasn’t expecting it would. Its cheap and cheerful nature is reflected in its ingredients – the Witch Hazel is watered down significantly with alcohol and it worries me that’s what I’m applying to my skin. The alcohol content, in my opinion, can do little for the drying out process that makes Witch Hazel a natural candidate for spot treatments. The alcohol content in this product is extremely high and is evident in the smell which, you guessed it, is very alcoholic.

Having bathed my spots with the Witch Stick I was expecting by 24 hours time that they would be gone for good. Alas this was not the case – they had grown redder than before and I was concerned the Witch Stick had inflamed the situation (if you can excuse the expression). Never known to give up on something after a first attempt I tried it several days later and this time there was little effect. I felt as though I was applying something for the sake of doing so. Perhaps this product is sold on the premise that it makes you think you’re doing something positive to combat spots rather than physical testament to it having a positive effect. Or at least it would seem that is the case in my experience.

I have used several spot sticks as they are frequently called and have found this one in particular to be the least effective. I have reservations concerning the amount of alcohol in this product and fear it could be doing my skin more harm than good. I usually steer clear of beauty products that are overtly chemical based, as I don’t see them as being beneficial. Had I bothered to read the ingredients before buying the Witch Stick it’s likely I wouldn’t have bought it.

A handy little stick, this product will fit easily into your pocket, handbag, wherever. It’s the sort of thing you might keep with you for those moments where an annoying spot rears its ugly head when you least expect it. I wouldn’t be too confident however of it having an instant impact. And so, this handy little number gets a 'thumbs down' from me purely because it didn’t provide for me the skin confidence that its manufacturers boast it gives. If you want to find out more of its properties and about other products in the range then I suggest you visit their website. It’s well designed, easy to navigate and provides some useful information. I haven’t tried any other products from this brand so it would be unfair of me to suggest that the Witch range is a dead duck. If its Witch Stick is a good judge of it’s character then sadly they wont find a long-term customer in me.
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Comments about this review »

Jaynestep 08.11.2004 17:29

I use this and it works wonders on my spots, I don't get them very often but when I do I always have my Witch stick at hand. I guess it's different things for different people, good review tho!!

SamUK 09.03.2004 16:19

Thanks!!!Some products say they will "combat spots" but do the opposite!!!When i once had spots, i used clearasil and i started to develop even more spots.So instead, i would wash my face one night with neutrogena and then leave it a night.Doing it regularly is no good at all.Let it calm down, eat healthily, drink water and good nights sleep regularly.Also steam your face 1-2 times a week, i then apply Almay clean pore complex which helps clear pores and leaves your skin silky smooth.Brilliant and my skins good!!well detailed!!!

coolcam7 04.10.2003 22:25

won't be wasting my money on this product then.

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Product Information »

Product details

Long Name Stick
Type Problem Skin
Manufacturer Witch

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Review Ratings »

This review of Witch Stick has been rated:

"very helpful" by (98%):

  1. Jaynestep
  2. Protagonist
  3. coolcam7

and 38 other members

"helpful" by (2%):

  1. shaanababes

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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