One Good Thing By Jillee · May 14, 2017

You’ll Love These 26 “Magic” Ways To Use Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is one of those simple, natural products that most of us probably already have on hand, but that we don’t use very often. (I’ve been guilty of that!) But I think it’s time to bring that bottle out of the cupboard and start putting it to good use! Today I’ll be sharing a few of the many really practical uses for witch hazel, many of which are perfect for handling spring and summer maladies.

But before we launch into the uses, let’s get the lowdown on just what the heck witch hazel actually is. ;-)

What Is Witch Hazel?

Witch hazel is produced from the leaves and bark of the North American Witch Hazel shrub (Hamamelis Virginiana), and was widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians. When distilled and combined with alcohol, the aromatic oil extracted from the bark of the witch hazel shrub makes a soothing and mildly astringent lotion.

These natural qualities make witch hazel a perfect remedy for all kinds of skin conditions, but it has many more uses than that! Read on to learn 26 of my favorite ways to use witch hazel.

26 Uses For Witch Hazel

1. Facial Cleansing

Witch hazel has the unique ability to clean skin pores and dry up excessive oil without leaving skin too dry. Witch hazel can often replace a daily cleanser for those with normal skin types. For oily or acne prone skin, swabbing witch hazel throughout the day is a great way to quickly wipe off excessive oil without the hassle of a full face wash.

For quick and easy cleansing with witch hazel, check out my homemade cleansing pads that are perfect for oily skin.

Read More: How To Make Homemade Cleansing Pads For Oily Skin

2. Homemade “Tucks” Cooling Pads

A doctor once recommended Tucks cooling pads to me as a way to cope with the unfortunate side effects of colonoscopy prep. :-/ So I made up some of my own “Tucks” to use during this uncomfortable time and I am happy to report they were a little slice of heaven on earth.

To make them, add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to about an ounce of witch hazel. Mix well, then dip round cotton pads in the solution. Place them in the freezer for an hour or so, then use as needed. Ahhhh… the relief is sublime!

3. Acne Treatment

The tannin content in witch hazel has strong astringent as well as antioxidant properties. These astringent properties are cleansing to the skin, while minimizing the size of skin pores. Unlike many harsh commercial acne formulations, it is gentle and non-drying when used to tone and cleanse acne-infected or acne-prone skin. Plain witch hazel may be applied to the skin straight from the bottle using cotton balls.

4. Bags Under The Eyes

Some people say that the application of hemorrhoid cream to those little baggies under your eyes can take them away. It’s not an old wives’ tale. One of the magic ingredients in a product like Preparation H is witch hazel, which helps tighten up the skin and reduce the bagginess.

5. Soothe Razor Burn

The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel stop itchy bumps from forming up around your irritated hair follicles. Splash on after shaving legs or face.

6. Soothe Chicken Pox Blisters

Witch Hazel can also help the itching caused from chicken pox. To make a Witch Hazel mixture, take one cup of witch hazel and one cup of water. Mix the two and apply to the skin. Don’t be afraid to lavish this mixture on the skin. The witch hazel can be applied as often as needed. Once you apply the witch hazel and water, let dry.

7. Body Acne

Combine witch hazel with rose water to make an effective yet gentle acne-banishing toner for body acne. It’s an easy way to keep acne-prone areas clear, like your chest and back. {stuff}

Read More: DIY Body Acne Banishing Spray

8. Soothe Diaper Rash

If your baby’s rash isn’t healing quick enough, apply witch hazel with a cotton ball and you should see immediate improvement to your baby’s bottom.

9. Heal Cuts and Scrapes

Many chemists and pharmacists refer to witch hazel as nature’s answer to Neosporin. Witch hazel can be a substitute for hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol when it comes to cleaning out a cut. Pour a liberal amount of witch hazel over the cut or sore and allow it to dry. Add a bandage and you’re set. You can also use witch hazel on bruises or skin that is blistered or cracked.

Harness the natural healing power of witch hazel in a convenient “Neosporin”-style first aid ointment!

Read More: How To Make A Homemade First Aid Ointment

10. Scars & Stretch Marks

Witch hazel is often used by pregnant women to prevent stretch marks, but it can be used to help loose or excessive skin around scars or stretch marks to tighten, helping to minimize the scar.

11. Treat Inflamed Skin

Healing damaged skin is one of witch hazel’s specialties. But as sunburn is also a type of skin inflammation, witch hazel is ideal for treating this too (despite swelling not being obvious.) Treating sunburn with witch hazel will lessen healing time and prevent the infamous skin peeling and flaking. Apply with a washcloth soaked in witch hazel, allowing it to soak into your skin for several minutes before removing.

You can also use witch hazel to calm red, inflamed, or sweaty skin after a strenuous workout. Check out this 2-step cleansing method that’s perfect for calming skin after a session at the gym!

Read More: How To Get That Post-Workout Glow In 2 Simple Steps

12. Varicose Veins

Soak wash cloths in witch hazel and lay on legs, which are propped straight out, to reduce pain and swelling from varicose veins. The witch hazel helps to tighten the veins, relieving the discomfort temporarily.

13. Treat Dry Skin

This is so timely for me right now. Lately legs have just been itching like crazy because they are so dry! Apply witch hazel immediately after showering to lock in the moisture that has just soaked into your skin.

And for those times when an itchy patch of skin is driving you crazy, our Production Manager Brittany has an easy witch hazel remedy! She saturates a cotton ball with witch hazel and uses it to swab the itchy area. After the witch hazel has dried, she places one drop of lavender essential oil onto the skin and follows it with a squirt of her favorite lotion. The combination of witch hazel, lavender oil, and lotion knocks out all kinds of itchy and scratchy skin woes.

14. Soothe Tired, Puffy Eyes

If your eyes are puffy from crying or lack of sleep (or both), then soak two small cotton pads with witch hazel and put them over your eyes. After 10 minutes, your eyes should be refreshed, and any redness should be gone. Witch hazel is famous for shrinking blood vessels (which is why it’s one of the main ingredients in Preparation H cream).

15. Bug Bites

With its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel is ideal for treating bug bites. Apply the witch hazel with a cotton ball, square or swab directly on the bite. It also works to soothe bites from fleas, flies and insect stings.

You can avoid bug bites in the first place with a homemade mosquito-repelling bracelet! They’re a practical summertime craft, and they’re fun to make, too!

Read More: Make Your Own Mosquito Repellant Bracelet

16. Natural Deodorant

Witch hazel is often used in deodorants due to its natural skin-healing and skin-care properties. Here is a recipe for a natural deodorant I posted way back when.

Read More: How To Make Your Own Natural Deodorant (Stick Or Spray)

17. Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Just like acne and blemishes, the witch hazel reduces itching and relieves swelling. Something definitely worth packing on your next camping trip.

Read More: 10 Easy Home Remedies for Summer Wounds

18. Sore Gums, Sore Throat, Laryngitis

The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent activity of Witch Hazel may help shrink and heal inflamed and sore throats, gums and larynx. Witch hazel tea infused with myrrh and cloves can make your sore throat feel better after gargling.

19. Cleaning Dogs Ears

Give your dog’s ears a cleaning by moistening a cotton ball or cloth with witch hazel, and gently wiping the inside of the ears. Don’t use a cotton swab.

20. Tick Extraction

Ticks may relish the taste of your family pet, but they hate the taste of witch hazel. Before attempting to remove a tick, douse the tick with a few drops of witch hazel to make it loosen its jaws. Grasp the tick firmly and pull; disinfect the bite area by dabbing the skin with witch hazel once the tick has been successfully removed.

21. Household Cleaner

Witch hazel can also be combined with lemon juice and baking soda to create an eco-friendly cleaning agent for your bathrooms. Or use it undiluted on chrome, glass and mirrors. You don’t need to rinse as the alcohol-based cleaner readily evaporates, leaving the chrome sparkling clean and germ-free.

You can also use 1/2 cup witch hazel, 1 cup of water and about 15 drops of essential oil such as lavender, grapefruit, eucalyptus or cedar, combined in a spray bottle as an air freshener. Witch hazel on a cotton ball works well to remove hair dye stains on skin, too.

Vinyl, linoleum, and tile floors can be kept clean by mopping once a week with a solution made from 1/2 cup of witch hazel and 1 gallon of warm water. The solvents in the witch hazel strip away old wax while the water dissolves dirt and debris. To clean heavily soiled floors, stir 1 tablespoon of borax into the solution prior to mopping.

22. Cold Sores

Witch Hazel applied on a cold sore when you feel it coming on will prevent it from becoming a blister. If you already have one, use it right away and often and the blister will heal quicker.

23. Jewelry Cleaner

Dab some witch hazel on a cotton ball to gently clean your jewelry.

24. Scalp Deep Cleanse

Use a witch hazel hair-cleansing routine if you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, or dandruff. Massage the scalp with the witch hazel, followed with shampoo and conditioner. It is also an efficient “between-shampoos” method of washing your hair and scalp.

25. Mood Booster

Combine witch hazel and a few essential oil to create a spray that smells great and can put you in a better mood! One of my favorite ways to it is on my furniture. You could also use the spray as an air freshener of sorts, and spray it around whatever room you’ll be spending time in. You’ll be feeling great in no time!

Read More: How To Make A Mood-Boosting Essential Oil Spray

26. Heal Bruises Faster

I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before! I am the worst bruiser! The hubster likes to say I “bruise like a summer peach.” :-) Now I know how to get rid of those bruises FASTER…apply witch hazel three times daily.

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