The astringent ingredient we know commonly as witch hazel comes from a flowering plant species also known as winterbloom. Containing chemicals called tannins, witch hazel tightens skin, fights bacteria and reduces inflammation. This herbal remedy may be one of the oldest beauty ingredients, but from acne to varicose veins, there are still plenty of modern day uses for witch hazel.
1. Skin toner
This natural astringent removes excess oil and can be used daily on a cotton swab after cleansing. For normal to oily skin use one part water to three parts witch hazel. For normal to dry skin, add a splash of rosewater.
2. Sunburn relief
To treat a sunburn, add a little bit of witch hazel to aloe vera gel and apply on affected area. Or make a sunburn soothing bath by adding 1-2 cups of witch hazel to a lukewarm bath. The anti-inflammatory properties will help soothe the swelling and pain from too much sun.
3. Natural bug spray
Witch hazel with jojoba and essential oils makes an excellent natural bug spray. But if you do get bitten, witch hazel can relieve both pain and inflammation from bee stings, bug bites, and poison ivy and poison oak. Soak a cotton ball and then apply to bite area or rash.
4. Treat varicose veins
To treat shrink blood vessels and temporarily reduce pain or swelling, apply witch hazel to wash cloth and lay over affected areas. If treating legs, or ankles, be sure you have them raised to decrease blood flow to the area.
5. Puffy Eyes
To shrink swollen or puffy eyes, gently dab witch hazel under the eyes, being careful to avoid the eyes itself as stinging will occur if any gets in the eyes.
6. Acne Spot treatment
Using a soaked q-tip, apply to pimple or blemish for a few seconds to bring the swelling down.
7. Shaving Aid
To reduce razor burn, apply witch hazel before shaving.
8. Treating Cuts and scrapes
Witch hazel helps wounds heal faster, cleanses cuts and scrapes and fights infections.
If you need a bruise to heal quicker, witch hazel can help. Using a cotton pad, apply directly to the bruise to constrict blood vessels, reduce inflammation and promote healing.
10. Skin refresher
Keep witch hazel in a spray bottle and add a few drops of essential oil (this guide can help you find the right essential oil). Spritz during the day for a little pick me up.
11. Hand sanitizer
12. Makeup remover
For a gentle, all-natural make-up remover try this easy recipe with witch hazel, oil and water.26