Although witch hazel comes in liquid form, it's actually a plant and a very powerful one at that.
Witch hazel contains tannins which are able to reduce swelling, repair skin and fight bacteria - they're what makes it so incredibly effective for a whole host of things.
Today we're sharing the many uses for witch hazel so you can start getting the most out of it today.
Uses for witch hazel
1. Treat razor rash & bumps
Witch hazel can reduce inflammation when your razor leaves your skin looking a bit of a mess.
Begin by washing the area with warm water, then apply witch hazel using cotton wool pads. Repeat daily until the area is clear.
2. Soothe chickenpox blisters
Witch hazel acts as an astringent, meaning it helps the skin to contract. This helps reduce both the appearance of - and the likelihood of - marks being left behind by chickenpox.
As it's all-natural, you can rest assured that it won't harm your little one's delicate skin.
3. Calm inflamed skin
Inflamed skin of any kind can be soothed with a witch hazel pack. Whatever the cause, it'll calm your skin and get it back to normal again.
4. DIY cooling pads
If you're suffering from an injury or perhaps postpartum soreness, cold witch hazel will provide you with quick relief. Watch the video to discover how to make your very own supercooling, postpartum pads with witch hazel.
5. Treat poison ivy/oak reactions
A poison ivy/oak reaction - or indeed, a rash of any kind - can be soothed by applying witch hazel with a cotton wool pad.
6. DIY deodorant
Ditch the chemicals and go au natural instead. A DIY deodorant will keep you feeling and smelling fresh all day long without damaging your skin - in fact, it may just benefit it!
Head to biome for a simple yet effective recipe.
7. DIY toner
Speaking of witch hazel's astringent properties, when it comes to reducing the appearance of pores, there's not much that does a better job.
Ditch your expensive beauty products today and try a DIY witch hazel toner instead.
8. Extract ticks
Ticks are really nasty little things and should be gotten rid of fast. Whether it's you, your cat or your dog who's been infested, you'll want to act.
Before trying to remove a spotted tick, spritz it with witch hazel - they won't like it at all and it will encourage them to loosen their claws to make extraction easier.
9. Reduce under-eye circles, puffiness & bags
Another eye bag cure? Yes really, only this one could actually work.
Witch hazel is extremely cooling and soothing, and also reduces inflammation. When applied underneath the eyes with a cotton pad, it can reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and bags.
10. Improve the appearance of scars & stretch marks
Witch hazel can aid in skin repair - especially useful for reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
11. Treat acne
As we've already mentioned, witch hazel's tannins make it a great astringent. As far as acne is concerned, this is good news.
Tighter pores reduce the likelihood of skin becoming excessively oily and prevent spots from occurring.
12. Treat cuts & scrapes
The astringent properties of witch hazel can really come in handy to stop bleeding from minor cuts and scrapes. They encourage the skin to contract to speed up the healing process.
13. Soothe bug bites
Ouch! Has a little pest left you with a sore bump? Bug bites can be surprisingly painful, not to mention itchy. Swipe a little witch hazel over them to soothe them.
14. Clean dog ears
Waxy ears can cause problems for humans and dogs too. Wax, water and grime can build up inside their ears to create a real stench and can even lead to infection.
Clean them out by inserting a few drops of witch hazel down the ear canal, then wipe the ear flap with a witch hazel-soaked cotton pad.
15. Banish cold sores
Just like acne, witch hazel can help reduce both the appearance and likelihood of cold sores. Apply directly onto the area to tighten and repair the skin.
16. Reduce dandruff
Got dandruff? No need to be embarrassed - about half of the World's population do! There are many ways to combat it, but one of the cheapest and most natural is witch hazel. It helps contribute to a healthy scalp by banishing harmful bacteria to keep your skin flake-free.
17. Boost mood
Feeling down in the dumps? Witch hazel could be just what you need to lift your spirits. You can combine it with your favourite essential oils and spray it into the air or on your pillow to brighten your mood.
18. Heal bruises
Apply witch hazel to nasty bruises to lighten their colour and improve their overall appearance. The astringent and repairing properties work wonders!
19. Moisturise dry skin
Although witch hazel prevents skin from becoming overly oily, it can also be beneficial for dry skin, especially of the sensitive kind.
20. Soothe diaper rash
Ouch! Does your little one's bottom look a little sore? Nappy rash is easily fixed. Help soothe and repair the skin by gently swiping some witch hazel over the area with soft cotton wool.
21. Reduce soreness of gums/throat
Been singing too much in the car? You can alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat (and gums too) with witch hazel. It's antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can be a great help in soothing your mouth when used diluted as a mouthwash.
22. Natural cleaning
We love natural cleaning at Expert Home Tips. Not only is it good for the environment, but it'll save you money too!
To make a simple, homemade household cleaner, mix 1/2 cup witch hazel, 1 cup water and 1 tbsp lemon juice (you can add essential oils too if you wish).
23. Treat Haemorrhoids
If you've ever had haemorrhoids, you'll know that they can be mightily uncomfortable! To ease the pain of this embarrassing ailment, soak cotton pads in witch hazel and pop them in the freezer. Once cold, apply to the haemorrhoids for quick, cooling relief.
24. Prevent skin damage
Skin damage from free-radicals means one thing for your skin: wrinkles.
Believe it or not, you can prevent damage using natural witch hazel. What a wonderful way to keep your skin looking fresh.
25. Calm sunburn
Overdone it a bit in the sun? We've all been there! Whilst a cold shower is a sure-fire way to cool you down, witch hazel can help prolong that soothing sensation. Try it today and see how quickly your sunburn calms down.
26. Treat swimmer's ear
Swimmer's ear occurs when water gets stuck inside the ear canal. Although it's only water, it can be pretty painful, leading to infection and also hearing problems.
Whilst you can buy ear drops, witch hazel can also work wonders. Add a few teaspoons to a cup of boiling water and once lukewarm, use on a cotton pad to clean the area.
Who knew there were so many uses for plain old witch hazel. When will you be picking up a pot?
Do all of the above also apply to Tea-Tree oil?
Hi there Gerard! You can certainly use Tea-tree oil in a similar way to calm inflamed skin and a few more from this list. The method might be a bit different for each with tea tree oil so do check if you plan to use it as an alternative.
It pays to be careful when using essential oils, while Tea Tree CAN be used neat on inflamed skin for some people, but you should ALWAYS do a patch test (put a little of it on a small patch of inflamed skin) before applying it liberally. Tea Tree is an excellent treatment for inflamed or itchy skin, it has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties BUT people are all different and react differently and it would probably be prudent to dilute it in a carrier oil before attempting to use it neat. A concoction that I have used, and recommended, for many years, with fairly significant success, is a mixture of Tea Tree, Chamomile (German or Roman, doesn't seem to matter) and Lavender on a carrier of untoasted Sesame Seed oil. As with all remedies, including pharmaceutical treatments the effectiveness varies from borderline miraculous to no benefit at all, although the majority of people that I have suggested this to have obtained, at least, some degree of relief - bear in mind, I offer it only as a SUGGESTION, again, with the caveat of patch testing first, I am not prescribing it (I can't do that), nor suggesting that it is a "cure", though I have never known it to do any harm and have known it to have been helpful.
Great advice, Donatello! Tea tree oil normally needs to be diluted before it's applied to the skin. You could, for example, mix 5 drops of tea tree essential oil into 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. As you say, always proceed with caution and a patch test.
I have used witch hazel for years. It is a wonder and a 'cure' for so many pains.
It's brilliant stuff, Philip!
My mum was a big fan of witch hazel. Its a very good toner for skin. when in a hot climate i make a spritzer in a spray bottle. Its a quick spray accross face and neck to instantly cool you down. Its lovely combined with rose water too.
What a lovely idea, Alison!
Just be very careful....Kitties and witch hazel DON'T mix. Its poisonous to kitties... I needed something in liquid form to treat claw marks from my kitten. Legs, arms ,torso are covered in marks...not good. The Pharmacy suggested witch hazel....but thankfully I didn't use it until I had done my own research... Better be safe
Great advice, Janet! We have to watch out for our four-legged friends.
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