You may have noticed witch hazel as an added ingredient in many of your toners, cleansers and makeup removers. There is a good reason for this.
Witch hazel or Hamamelis virginiana is a bright orange or yellow plant with beautiful blooms and an astonishing array of uses.
The extract that is sold in stores is produced from the leaves and bark of the North American Witch Hazel shrub and is often combined with other skin-enriching ingredients such as aloe vera and rosewater.
It is widely accepted in mainstream and alternative health and beauty circles for its potent astringent properties.
Native Americans have used a boiled decoction of this plant for thousands of years for various medicinal purposes such as clearing skin conditions, soothing sore muscles and relieving irritated digestive systems.
Since then, it’s popularity has only risen and it is one of the few plants that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a non-prescription drug treatment.
It is also incredibly cheap and versatile, so if you don’t already have a bottle in your medicine cabinet, you are seriously missing out!
This plant is not only good for keeping the skin clean and free of impurities either.
In this article, we delve into 18 uses for this versatile, natural product in your home, for your health, and in your beauty routine.
A WORD ON BUYING WITCH HAZEL
There are a number of products containing witch hazel on the market, but for the purposes of this article, unless stated otherwise, we are referring to 100% pure and undiluted witch hazel.
It’s also important not to purchase witch hazel with added alcohol.
Our recommended bottle of witch hazel is this Dickinson’s Witch Hazel.
18 BRILLIANT USES FOR WITCH HAZEL
1. ODOR REMOVAL SPRAY
- 1 tbsp witch hazel
- 3 drops lavender essential oil (or other fragrant essential oil of your choice)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp warm water
Mix in a glass spray bottle. Shake well to combine. Use this to absorb any unpleasant odors from carpet, upholstery, or simply as a fragrance boosting room spray.
2. FACIAL CLEANSING
Pour a little witch hazel onto a cotton facial pad (an eco-friendly and reusable one – like this) and use as a daily cleanser.
Because witch hazel cleanses your pores without drying them out, it can be an excellent solution for those with dry or combination skin.
If you have oily skin, use witch hazel throughout the day to keep your face clean and cut down on oil buildup without having to wash your face completely.
3. ACNE TREATMENT
Dealing with acne can be a frustrating and trying process and many products simply dry out your skin or even increase redness and inflammation.
Witch hazel has been shown to be effective as an anti-inflammatory agent and natural antibacterial that can help clear up acne. It can also help improve the appearance of acne scarring on the face and speed healing.
Try using a witch hazel toner in a spray bottle for acne in other areas as well such as the back or chest. Spray it on after the shower to allow it to soak into the skin.
4. SOOTHE DIAPER RASH
If your little one has an irritated bum, try following up their diaper change with a quick wipe of witch hazel diluted in water on a cotton pad. This can provide cooling relief, reduce inflammation and speed healing.