Finding an all-natural product for your home that works without harming you or your family can be a challenge. However, finding a product that helps with the chores, can be a staple in the first aid kit, and help with your beauty needs, is a clear winner! Look no further than witch hazel.
Witch hazel has long been recognized as a facial toner for its astringent properties; however, there’s much more that it can include on its resume! Find out how witch hazel came to be such a key player in natural beauty and how you can add it to your routine.
What is Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel is derived from the witch hazel (hamamelis virginiana) plant, which grows native in North America and some parts of Asia. The Native Americans who lived alongside witch hazel recognized its healing properties for skin irritations and tumors.
The bark and leaves are gathered to create an astringent. The strong antioxidant and astringent properties of witch hazel make it ideal for all forms of skin care. You can find witch hazel astringent available in bottles sold for skincare, first aid, or as pre-moistened pads for on the go use.
How does Witch Hazel Work?
Witch hazel is chock full of beneficial active ingredients, which makes it the perfect addition to your skincare routine. Two of the most important, tannins and polyphenols, are responsible for witch hazel’s success in battling bacteria and free radicals.
Tannins give witch hazel its prized astringent benefits when applied to skin by removing excess oils. Polyphenols help with anti-aging benefits and reducing damage done from sun exposure, poor diet habits, pollution, and other skin damaging hazards we face daily. As an antioxidant, witch hazel takes care of accumulated radicals while enhancing skin quality.
15 Uses for Witch Hazel You Didn’t Know about
While you already know you can use witch hazel as an awesome astringent to cleanse and tone your face, you may not know these other uses for it. Find out some more uses for this wonderful substance and to help eliminate chemicals from your home:
1. Reduce the Appearance of Scars
Witch hazel helps gently tighten skin, which reduces the appearance of acne scars. Using it as an astringent helps reduce the potential for scarring. Witch hazel also helps reduce the chance of scarring from minor cuts, rashes,and insect bites.
2. Post-Shaving Care
Following up a shave with witch hazel can prevent irritating razor burn. It will stop any bleeding from cuts, prevent bacterial growth within hair follicles, prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs, and sooth the burn. A great addition to any shaving kit or routine.
3. Bruise Treatment
Bruises can become unsightly and cause lasting damage. Thankfully, applying witch hazel can help reduce their appearance. Apply witch hazel to smaller bruises and watch them fade away. Larger bruises may require a witch hazel compress 2-3 times a day to see results.
4. Treat Minor Cuts and Scrapes
Bacteria can find a home in even the smallest cut. Clean them with witch hazel. Witch hazel is great to use for nicks and cuts as it also stops bleeding as well as fights bacteria, giving you a two-for-one punch when it comes to first aid.
5. Natural Hair Care
Those with oily hair, dandruff, or frizzy locks will find adding witch hazel to their shampoo a blessing. You can make your own shampoo starring witch hazel or simply spray on your hair and scalp before shampooing and showering as normal.
6. Tighten Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are nothing more than scars from rapid skin changes. Use witch hazel to reduce their appearance or to prevent future stretch marks if you’re pregnant or losing weight. Witch hazel helps tighten the loose skin around stretch mark scars which helps them fade away.
7. Reduce Varicose Veins
Varicose veins can be uncomfortable and unsightly but witch hazel can offer temporary relief when you need it. Apply witch hazel to the troublesome veins several times a day to shrink their appearance as well as get some respite from any discomfort you may be experiencing.
8. Customizable, All-Natural Deodorant
Deodorant keeps you smelling good in sweaty situations. Consider using witch hazel as a part of a recipe for your own version. The best part is witch hazel deodorant is antibacterial, all-natural, and your signature scent. Consider starting with a recipe such as this one.
9. Soothe a Sore Throat
Most uses for witch hazel call for its alcohol-astringent variety. However, drinking a brew of witch hazel tea can be quite soothing for a sore throat. Gargling with witch hazel tea can also ease any pains from throaty illnesses.
10. Ease Ear Infections
Bacterial ear infections may be cleared by using witch hazel to ease the pain. Use an eyedropper to insert several drops into the ear several times a day. This will help dry up pus, oil or sweat, and also break up excess wax build-up.
11. Treat Summer Skin Irritations
Use witch hazel to treat insect bites, poison oak or ivy rashes, and to help cool down sun burn. Use a witch hazel compress for large sunburn or rash areas to prevent swelling and inflammation, and spot-treat insect bites to avoid itching and scratching.
12. Natural Pet Care
Consider witch hazel for your pet care needs as well, such as cleaning your pet’s ears, treating cuts, and removing ticks. Since witch hazel is all-natural, you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals or substances harming your pets.
13. Safe and Natural Floor Cleaner
Witch hazel does double duty as an all-natural home cleanser as well. Whip up a mix of floor cleaner for linoleum, tiles, or vinyl floors with half a cup witch hazel to a gallon of water, and make your floors shine without worry or hassle.
14. Fresh Bathroom Cleaner
Bathrooms can be tricky to clean, but witch hazel has your back. Make a mix with equal parts witch hazel, lemon juice, and baking soda. Then watch as it goes to work on tough soap scum, mildew or stains, and banish them from your home.
15. A Breath of Fresh Air
Witch hazel can be used to make a custom air freshener for your home. Mix half a cup witch hazel with 15 drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray this on curtains, bed linens, or just into the air to let your home smell beautiful.
Any other good uses for witch hazel you want to share?