Witch Hazel Uses for Health, Beauty & Home
If you don’t have a bottle of witch hazel in your home, you need to get one. Keep reading this amazing list for witch hazel uses so you’ll know exactly why you need to stock up now.
There’s a good reason why you see witch hazel as an ingredient in a lot of toners, makeup removers, and cleansers. It’s often combined with aloe vera and rosewater due to their skin-enriching ingredients.
Native Americans and early settlers distilled witch hazel extract from the bark of young stems and roots, a method still used to this day. They used it for different medicinal purposes, such as clearing certain skin conditions, soothing sore muscles, and relieving irritated digestive systems. Witch hazel is known for its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.
Witch hazel’s popularity has grown significantly since it was introduced in 1736. It has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration and is one of the few plants approved as a non-prescription drug treatment.
But, witch hazel isn’t just for treating skin conditions. Check out these other amazing witch hazel uses.
What is witch hazel?
Witch hazel is a deciduous small tree or large shrub found mostly throughout North America. Also known as winterbloom, this tree can reach heights of up to 15 feet. From October through December, you’ll find yellow fragrant flowers blooming on the tree.
Found in most grocery stores and drug stores, witch hazel is typically sold in liquid form. However, it can also be found in ointments and medicated pads. It’s a natural remedy that is usually applied topically to treat certain skin conditions.
Since witch hazel contains tannins, a type of natural compound with astringent effects, it can help to tighten skin tissue. However, there are many other witch hazel uses as well.
Make your own witch hazel at home
You can even make your own witch hazel at home by soaking a tablespoon of witch hazel bark in a cup of distilled water for about 30 minutes in a pot. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and steep for another 10 minutes. Once it’s cool, strain it and store it in a bottle.
Witch Hazel Uses
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Tip: Make sure you are purchasing 100% pure and undiluted witch hazel that does not have any added alcohol. I recommend T.N. Dickinson’s, which you can find at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and local grocery stores for pretty cheap. This brand works great for the following witch hazel uses.
Hand Sanitizer: Combine 1 1/2 teaspoon witch hazel, 1/3 teaspoon vitamin E oil, 15 drops of tea tree essential oil, and 1/2 cup aloe vera gel in a bowl; mix well. Pour mixture into a squeeze bottle and use it for up to 2 weeks.
Both witch hazel and tea tree oil have antimicrobial properties making this hand sanitizer recipe a powerful disinfectant. And since there’s no alcohol. this will act as a moisturizer and will not dry out your hands.
Sunburn Relief: Mix witch hazel with pure aloe vera gel and rub on sunburn for instant relief and to prevent peeling.
Diaper Rash: Dilute witch hazel with water, dip a cotton pad in the mixture and wipe the pad across your little one’s bum. This will speed healing, reduce inflammation, and provide cooling relief.
Hemorrhoid Relief: Dip reusable cotton pads into witch hazel, allowing them to fully soak up the liquid. Place pads in the freezer, then use as needed. Or, add 1/2 cup witch hazel to a warm bath.
Dandruff Relief: Rub witch hazel directly onto the scalp before shampooing to prevent dandruff and flaking. It moisturizes and conditions the scalp. Witch hazel can also be used between shampoos to remove excess oil and condition your scalp.
Heal Bruises: Apply witch hazel to bruised skin at least 3 times a day to reduce swelling and speed healing. The anti-inflammatory and hemostatic properties in witch hazel are perfect for swollen areas and injuries.
Disinfect minor wounds: Apply witch hazel to minor scrapes to clean and disinfect them. Keep applying until the cut has healed completely. Witch hazel will prevent infection, soothe the skin, and heal the area.
Relieve Varicose Veins: Soak washcloths with witch hazel, prop up your feet, and wrap your legs with the cloths to help tighten varicose veins and relieve pain.
Poison Ivy/Oak Relief: Apply witch hazel three times a day to the poison ivy/oak rash with a cotton ball, working from the outside of the rash inward to avoid spreading the rash. This helps reduce inflammation and itching as well as dries up the rash quickly.
Bug Bites: Dab a little bit of witch hazel on bug bites to relieve itching, burning, and inflammation.
Psoriasis & Eczema Relief: Apply witch hazel directly to irritated skin to relieve itching and calm the redness and inflammation.
Relieve Hives & Allergic Reactions: Dip a cotton pad or cloth in witch hazel and apply it to the affected area, leaving it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the skin to dry naturally after removing the pad.
Improve Your Mood: Make a mood-improving room spray by mixing 1 tablespoon witch hazel with 15-20 drops lavender essential oil and distilled water in a glass spray bottle. Spray around the room as needed.
Treat Acne: Dampen a cotton ball with witch hazel and wipe it across your face and other acne-prone areas to prevent and treat acne. For best results, do this at least 3 times a day. Witch hazel’s astringent properties shrink pores and reduces skin inflammation.
Makeup Remover: As part of your nightly routine, apply witch hazel to a reusable cotton pad to remove makeup. It cleans and soothes the skin as well as tightens the skin and pores.
Razor Burn Relief: Apply witch hazel immediately after shaving to prevent those painful little red bumps.
Reduce eye puffiness and bags: Apply a little bit of witch hazel over the eyelid and under the eye to reduce puffiness and any redness. The anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling and tighten the skin.
Tone skin: After cleaning your skin, use witch hazel to clean out pores and tighten them. The antimicrobial properties kill surface bacteria, reduces oil, and tightens the skin.
Treat Oily Skin: If you have really oily skin, apply witch hazel to your skin up to 3 times a day to remove dirt and oils. Witch hazel balances your skin’s oil production and you’ll start to notice healthier and less oily skin.
Reduce Scars: Apply witch hazel to a cotton pad and wipe over scars and stretch marks to reduce their appearance and even out skin tone.
Calm Dry, Itchy Skin: After a shower, apply witch hazel immediately to lock in moisture, which soothes the skin and relieves itchiness.
Anti-Aging: Witch hazel can protect the skin from sun damage, including wrinkles, fine lines, melanoma, and skin cancer. It protects healthy skin cells and prevents tumor cells from multiplying. Add it to your daily beauty routine for maximum anti-aging benefits.
Jewelry Cleaner: Soak jewelry in undiluted witch hazel, then dry or wipe jewelry with a cotton ball or q-tip soaked with witch hazel.
Floor Cleaner: Add 1/2 cup witch hazel to 1 gallon of hot water to clean linoleum, tile, or vinyl floors. For heavily soiled floors add 1 tablespoon Borax. The witch hazel strips away old wax and dirt and since it’s also an antiseptic it kills germs and any other microbes lurking on the floor’s surface.
Remove pet stains & odors: After sopping up any liquids, spritz witch hazel directly on the stain to prevent stains from setting and reduce odors. You can also add a few drops of essential oils for scent.
Household Cleaner: Spritz undiluted witch hazel on glass, mirrors, chrome, and stainless steel for a germ-free and streak-free shine.
Surface Cleaner: Since you can’t use anything harsh on granite or marble countertops, spray them with witch hazel and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
Carpet Cleaner: Prevent stains from setting into carpets with a mixture of witch hazel and club soda. Witch hazel is great at cutting grease!
Remove Sticker Residue: Use witch hazel to remove stickers and residue left behind from tags and labels.
Are you a fan of witch hazel? What are your favorite witch hazel uses?
Want more home hacks? I recommend reading these next:
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20 Incredible Uses for Safety Pins
Baking Soda Benefits for Health & Household
20 Creative Uses for Paper Clips
12 Ways to Use a Toothbrush for Cleaning