Witch hazel is a natural product derived from the bark and leaves of a common or North American shrub. It has been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years by ancient Native Americans as a medicinal treatment for a number of ailments.
Today this herbal tonic is widely recognized as a natural remedy for a number of skin conditions:
High concentrations of tannins in witch hazel make it an excellent astringent for the skin. This means that those with oily or acne-prone skin will find that witch hazel will remove excess oil (sebum) and help reduce enlarged pores. In addition, as a natural cleanser it will help reduce the amount of contaminants on the skin which is especially helpful in preventing blackheads and future blemishes.
Due to its drying and anti-itch properties, witch hazel can effectively calm the effects of inflammatory skin conditions including those caused by skin-irritating plants like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac that cause contact dermatitis in those who come in contact with it.
Bruises and Blemishes
Witch hazel, when applied to bruises can help to fade the discoloration and encourage the healing process. Apply witch hazel three times a day to the affected area for speedy results.
Reduce Puffy Eye Area
One of the best properties of witch hazel is its ability to tighten skin and reduce inflammation. This makes it an effective natural remedy for treating dark circles and puffiness under and around eyes area. Simply soak cotton pads in witch hazel and apply them to the eyes for about 10 minutes – they should look refreshed and dark circles should be diminished. Avoid getting witch hazel in the eyes since this will result in significant pain and lasting discomfort from dryness in the eye.
The anti-inflammatory qualities of witch hazel make it an effective treatment for temporarily reducing the swelling and pain associated with varicose veins. Simply soak a clean face cloth in witch hazel and apply it to varicose veins. Keep affected area (legs or feet) elevated – this will decrease blood pressure in swollen veins and maximize the effectiveness of the treatment.
Shaving and Post Hair-Removal
Witch hazel is a great follow-up treatment to shaving any part of the body. It stops bleeding from minor nicks or cuts, prevents razor burn and is a perfect way to relieve post-waxing inflammation.
Cool Sunburned Skin
Anti-inflammatory qualities make witch hazel a very effective remedy for cooling sunburned skin. If you mix witch hazel with a cooling aloe vera gel, the mixture will not only cool the sin it will speed healing and prevent skin from peeling. Alternatively, you can purchase aloe vera infused witch hazel and keep it handy during the summer months. For extra measure, keep the witch hazel in the fridge for added cooling benefits.