🍃10 Essential Uses and Amazing Benefits of Witch Hazel

Jun. 9, 2020
You may have heard of this powerful plant before. Witch hazel has dozens of beneficial properties that can be used to clean everything from your face to your home to even your pet! We are sharing some of our favorite ways to use Hamamelis virginiana or witch hazel.
What Is Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel is the “do it all” plant that really does it all. Are you struggling with a particularly nasty pimple? Witch hazel can help! Do you need help soothing some itchy poison ivy? Witch hazel has your back. Looking for a natural way to clean your dog’s ears? Witch hazel to the rescue! For centuries, this shrub that’s native to North America, has been offering its powerful medicinal properties to users worldwide. Witch hazel is most often applied topically but sometimes can be taken orally as a natural treatment. It’s a great skin healer that is gentle and virtually okay for all skin types. 
Witch hazel, in excess, can strip the skin of its natural moisture so some dermatologists will err on the side of caution when recommending it. It’s best to always listen to your skin and if you’re feeling extra dry after continued use, adjust your needs accordingly. Here, we’ve assembled our top 10 favorite ways to use witch hazel. Read on to uncover them!
Cleanses and Tones Oily Skin
By now, everyone has probably cleansed or toned with witch hazel. Because of its astringent properties, witch hazel can zap bacteria, leaving you feeling fresh and clean. Grab a cotton round and dap a few drops of witch hazel on it. Gently rub it over your face before you’ve cleansed to help control excess oil or after you cleansed as a toner to refresh.
Calm Inflammation and Redness
Witch hazel has many anti-inflammatory properties and contains many antioxidants making it a great solution to calm occasional redness and inflammation. Countless studies have been performed on witch hazel and inflammation and the studies have shown that when applied topically, it’s an effective treatment for various inflammatory issues like acne, eczema and even psoriasis. 
Treats Minor Irritations and Wounds
Witch hazel has been used for centuries as a natural disinfectant. From minor scrapes and burns to treating inflamed, irritated, or broken skin, it’s a great option to heal minor wounds. Apply a generous amount to the irritated skin and cover with a band aid to speed up the healing process.
Natural Acne Treatment
Acne can be tricky to treat, especially if you’re a natural gal or guy. Because it is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, our experts suggest using witch hazel as a spot treatment or toner for occasional pimple relief. Acting as an astringent to remove oil and calm redness, witch hazel can actively prevent the acne-causing bacteria affecting your skin. 
Soothes Bug Bites
Itchy bug bites are the worst and if you can’t stop scratching, it’s best to grab a bottle of witch hazel. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help calm and soothe the redness and irritation that comes with bug bites, naturally. Make sure to pack it on your next outdoor escapade!  
Alleviates Itchy Scalp
Ditch the itch and diminish dandruff with witch hazel! Dry, flaky scalps can happen to the best of us. So, if you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of the snow on your shoulders, try incorporating witch hazel into your routine. Add a couple drops into your current shampoo for a safe and gentle anti-dandruff treatment. 
Heals Cold Sores
Applied topically, witch hazel is a great natural alternative to over-the-counter remedies to treat cold sores. In numerous studies, witch hazel was shown to address the symptoms of cold sores and what causes them, making it a successful treatment. Dab on throughout the day to experience some relief.
Relieves Sunburn
We know you all wear your SPF daily, but if you happen to miss a spot, angry red sunburn has probably popped up. If you find yourself in this predicament, grab a bottle of witch hazel to soothe the burn and ease the pain. 
Alleviates Razor Burn
Like we said, witch hazel has extraordinary anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great alleviator to the dreaded razor burn. Apply to your skin after shaving to reduce the redness and keep the bumps at bay.   
Soothes Sore Throats
While most treatments are topical, witch hazel can be taken orally to help with a sore throat. Our experts suggest boiling one teaspoon of witch hazel with a cup of water for 10 minutes. Let cool and then gargle with the mixture for instant appeasement of your scratchy throat. Always consult with your doctor to see if this natural treatment is right for you.  
How to Use Witch Hazel
Safe and natural, most people can use witch hazel with little to no interactions or adverse side effects. Typically, witch hazel comes in an ointment or spray form and can be used multiple times a day. While generally safe, it’s smart to perform a patch test to make sure you won’t have a reaction. To use topically, simply spray or apply to a cotton round or on the area that needs some relief and let the witch hazel work its magic. If ingesting, it’s best to speak with your doctor before proceeding. Ingesting large amounts has been shown to cause irritation and stomach upsets.
One of our favorites in our beauty bags, witch hazel is a great topical treatment for a variety of different skin conditions. Because of its potent anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, it makes a great astringent and disinfectant to heal and soothe a multitude of issues. Have you tried witch hazel yet? How do you use it?   
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