Witch hazel is a plant native to North America and Asia that has been used for centuries for its skin soothing properties. Today, you can find witch hazel in many beauty and health products as its powerful antioxidant and astringent benefits are known to help speed healing, prevent signs of aging, stop cellular damage, and eradicate bacteria that lives within the pores of the skin.
The bark, twigs, and leaves of the plant are used to extract active constituents called tannins and polyphenols, which are added to either alcohol or water to make a concentrated product called witch hazel water or distilled witch hazel extract.
Tannins are responsible for making witch hazel extract a natural astringent since they remove excess oil from the skin. That’s why it’s considered one of the best natural acne treatments out there and is used in all sorts of washes and treatment gels.
Here are the seven surprising ways you can use Witch hazel to treat your skin problems:
As a natural home remedy for acne, applying witch hazel to acne-prone skin can help slow down inflammation, redness, oiliness, and bleeding. As a natural cleanser, it’s capable of reducing bacteria growth on the skin and speeds up the time needed to heal infections or scabs.
Another benefit for sensitive skin is that it reduces the look of pores and helps stop excess oil production, sweating, and development of blackheads or whiteheads, which can contribute to breakouts and tempt you to pick at your skin.
Apply witch hazel with a clean cotton ball up to several times per day anywhere you experience irritation, starting slowly and giving your skin time to adjust.
Witch hazel is great for easing the pain, itching, swelling, and bleeding of hemorrhoids. Those who suffer from hemorrhoids may find relief by apply witch hazel on a gauze to the hemorrhoids after a bowel movement. It’s safe enough it can be applied up to six times each day.
Varicose veins and spider veins are not just unsightly, they’re painful. In order to reduce swelling and pain, soak soft terry cloth in witch hazel and lay over skin affected by varicose veins.
Also, you can try this recipe for a lotion from witch hazel to help take the inflammation and discomfort out of varicose veins. In a blender, place 3 tablespoons witch hazel, 3 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup aloe vera gel (or 1/4 cup aloe vera juice), and 1/2 cup melted shea butter. Blend it for at least 30 seconds until the lotion is smooth. If it’s a little runny, add some extra shea butter. Refrigerate the lotion for at least 20 minutes before using. You can use the lotion one to two times daily for relief.
The soothing agent in witch hazel makes it great for treating all kinds of skin issues. Try making a gel that’s 50 percent witch hazel, 20 percent aloe vera, 20 percent glycerin and 10 percent argan oil. This gel will help reduce the redness and inflammation of the skin.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, Witch hazel helps stop that constant itching and improves symptoms like scaling, redness, burning and even scarring. Simply apply witch hazel onto affected areas of the skin twice a day, or for more immediate results, you might want to make a paste by combining Witch hazel and green clay. Put it on the affected area and let it dry completely before cleaning it off.
Use witch hazel on your hair to help reduce oil buildup, which leaves your hair shinier, healthier and more volumized. It’s also great for removing hair odors and helping with an itchy scalp. Simply add several drops of witch hazel to your shampoo.
Anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel make it an effective and safe remedy for soothing pain from diaper rash. Regular application will also assist in healing damaged skin faster, further reducing your baby’s discomfort. Use a diluted witch hazel solution made of equal parts water and witch hazel to dab on the rash because witch hazel is so strong.