Ever wondered what people used thousands of years back on their skin? There were hardly any commercial products. That was an era when there was nothing best than ‘nature’ when it came to grooming skin. It still is today and shall remain tomorrow. One such time-honored medicinal plant is Witch Hazel (WH). This blog is dedicated to introducing you to the infinite benefits of Witch Hazel.

What Is Witch Hazel?

Native to North America and Asia (some parts, not whole) is Witch hazel. The bark and leaves of this plant come into use as an astringent; which means ‘a lovely’ goodbye to acne, blisters, insect bites, poison ivy, inflammation and much more.

Did you know, Witch Hazel is also called Winterbloom? Such is its usage value that witch hazel is widely used in a wide range of beauty and medicinal products – for eg., anti-aging serums, shaving cream, aftershave, bug repellent, nail treatments, hemorroid products, and shampoo, you name it.

Come, let us step into the ‘world of witch hazel’ and explore its efficiency.

Benefits And Uses Of Witch Hazel For Skin:

This “witch” is good. Not the one we read in fairy tales, but the one which is nature’s best remedy in medicine and healing.

Witch hazel is a “miracle in a bottle”. It tightens skin pores, cleanses skin, removes excess of oils and is total relief for sore skin. We will go step by step.

1. Natural Astringent

‘Pore tightening’ is very important to get clear skin. Witch hazel has surplus of tannins in its bark and leaves. This helps remove excess of oil/dirt/bacteria from skin and shrink down ‘open’ pores, making it an effective natural astringent.

What all you need: Witch hazel toner, cotton pad


  • Wash your face with a good face cleanser
  • Pat your skin dry
  • Now soak a cotton pad in witch hazel toner (go for one which has NO ALCOHOL)
  • Pat it on your face
  • Follow it up by using moisturizer (so that there is no dryness)

2. Soothe Body Rash

Body rashes can be quite a discomfort to the patient. Itchiness can be quite irritating. Witch hazel forms a protective layer on the lesions on skin, which thereby helps in healing of the skin, by killing bacteria inside the skin rashes.

What all you need: Witch hazel, cotton ball


  • Pour witch hazel liquid on a cotton ball
  • Apply it on the skin sores to get relief

3. No More Sunburns

The anti-inflammatory nature of witch hazel helps your skin in healing, whereas Aloe helps cool down the burn.

What all you need: 3 tbsp witch hazel, aloe vera gel, cotton balls


  • Pour the required amount of witch hazel in a small bowl
  • Mix in the gel of aloe vera.
  • Soak cotton balls in it
  • Now dab it on your ‘sun-burnt skin’ in order to experience relief

4. No More Itchy Dermatitis, Psoriasis And Eczema

Anti-Itch”. This is what WH is. The witch hazel is effective in treating itchy skin and eczema to psoriasis. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it helps you say goodbye to pesky skin problems like itching, dryness, redness.

What all you need: Witch hazel toner


  • Cleanse your face first
  • Then apply WH toner on the parched and irritated skin
  • For ‘severe’ cases, combine neem oil (repels bugs and relieves pain) and witch hazel extract

5. No More Puffy Eyes (Refreshes Tired Eyes)

Whether it is under eye circles or eye bags, fine lines or redness, get your eyes to be ever fresh and glowing with WH.

What all you need: Witch Hazel, cotton balls


  • Soak cotton balls in witch hazel (remember, its a natural astringent)
  • Place them on your tired eyes for 5 minutes

6. A Great Follow Up Post Hair Removal

Got hair on your face or chin? Don’t want the whole world to say your “face is hairy”. Get rid of this hairy prob., when you have witch hazel by your side.

What all you need: Witch hazel should be sufficient


  • Once you are through with waxing, apply a few drops of WH on your waxed skin on face
  • Do none of the following 24 hours after your hair removal: use face wash, moisturizer and makeup

7. Treats Acne And Pimples

Acne-fighter! This is what Witch hazel is. WH has flavonoids, and resins which give it the anti-inflammatory edge, plus calming properties on skin.

What all you need: Witch hazel (distilled), Glycerin and Aqua (optional), cotton swab


  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
  • Dip a cotton swab in the treated liquid
  • Apply it on acne scars and pimples twice a day (or more, depending on the severity of acne/pimples)

Tip: Before using witch hazel for acne and zits, refrigerate it. The cold factor will reduce the pimples’ redness and size.

8. Controls Oily Skin

Oil residues on skin can be very disturbing. But not for Witch Hazel, which happily ends this saga.

What all you need: 1 tbsp witch hazel extract, 1 tbsp Fuller’s Earth, honey


  • In a bowl, add witch hazel extract and fuller’s earth.
  • You can also add honey to it as an option
  • Apply this paste now on your face and neck
  • Rinse it off when it dries up

Tip: This remedy lightens blemishes and spots, as a result of oily skin.

9. Heals Bruises

Got caught in a brawl with your friends, neighbors (or strangers) and got hurt? How to get rid of nasty bruises? Thank God…there’s Witch hazel!

What all you need: Just WH


  • Clean your bruised skin first
  • Apply witch hazel on affected area thrice daily for faster healing of the bruises

10. Moisturizes Skin

When it comes to dry skin and you need to moisturize it badly, go for alcohol-free WH! (or else alcohol can be irritating for dry skin).

What all you need: Just Witch Hazel!


  • To get cleaned and refreshed skin, apply witch hazel extract
  • It will nourish your dry skin with moisture (and plenty of it), thereby preventing your skin from drying up

11. Skin Tightening

WH can be used to tighten skin on the face and on body too. Helps fight sagging skin in a mature way.

What all you need: Witch hazel, cotton balls


  • Clean your face of dirt, makeup and impurities
  • Take WH on a cotton ball
  • Apply it to the face/affected areas of the body
  • Let it dry
  • Repeat this often
  • In some time, you will notice ‘tighter skin’

12. Minor Cuts And Bleeding

Guess what is nature’s answer to ‘Neosporin’ when it comes to healing cuts and bleeding? Witch hazel!

What all you need: WH plant


  • Apply a dab of Witch hazel on the ‘cut’ area in the skin for best results
  • It will not only do the ‘cleansing’ part, it will also protect you from future infection and ensure quicker healing of minor skin breaks

13. Anti Aging

Can a ‘witchy’ thing turn out to be anti-ageing? Yes. Witch hazel protects your skin against cancer, melanoma and other damages from UV light, and makes your skin as smooth as porcelain.

What all you need: Witch hazel, cotton ball


  • Cleanse your face first
  • Then saturate a cotton ball with WH
  • Apply it on your face – wherever you see signs of ageing and wrinkles

14. Treats Chicken Pox Rashes

Chicken pox blisters are a great pain to the skin as well as the affected person(s). Witch hazel vastly reduces the discomfort caused by C.Pox rashes.

What all you need: 1/2 cup witch hazel (distilled), 1 tbsp honey, Lavender essential oil (40 drops), Lemon essential oil (15 drops), Peppermint essential oil (5 drops), 1 tsp Carrot Seed oil, 1/2 cup aloe vera gel


  • Mix the ingredients – honey, all the essential oils mentioned and aloe gel completely
  • Then add 1/2 cup distilled witch hazel and mix again
  • Pour the treated liquid into a spray bottle
  • Now spray it on the affected areas (avoid eyes)

Tip: This recipe of witch hazel is better than the ‘unsightly’ calamine lotion.

15. Treats Excess Sweating

Battling excess of sweating is a pain. Thankfully, there is Witch Hazel extract by your side – it has tannins, catechins, flavonoids and essential oils which treat the sweat problem effectively.

What all you need: WH, cotton ball


  • Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel
  • Apply it on sweat-prone areas – such as armpits, face and feet.
  • Leave it like that or wash it off after half an hour
  • Repeat this regularly

16. Insect Bites

Troubled with pesky bugs? Hate the ‘redness and swelling’? Do away with them when you have witch hazel with you.

What all you need: Witch Hazel, Cotton Ball


  • Dab a cotton ball with WH
  • Apply it on the area with ‘bug bites’
  • It will reduce itching and swelling. Plus it has a faster healing time

17. Poison Ivy

If you are a ‘camping’ lover, then there are reasons to rejoice. There is a bottle of witch hazel for you. It cuts down on painful rashes, swelling on skin or itching from poison ivy and poison oak.

What all you need: Witch hazel


  • Clean the affected area
  • Using a cotton swab, apply witch hazel on the bruised skin and see how it delivers results.

18. Soothes And Prevents Razor Burn

In male or female, shaving is likely to cause irritation in skin due to razor burn. Try out the natural relief in Witch Hazel.

What all you need: WH, cotton ball


  • Shave with your usual shaving cream or gel
  • Rinse off your face/skin with cold water
  • Allow it to dry
  • Dip the cotton ball in WH (If you have a sensitive skin, then skip the cotton ball. Use witch hazel without alcohol)
  • Splash it/ or spray it on your face
  • On damp face, apply after–shave balm
  • If your skin is oily, then use aloe vera gel after “witch hazel” and follow it up with a moisturizer

19. Treats Hemorrhoids

You know hemorrhoids can be painful. WH comes of help in lowering the pain and inflammation caused by hemorrhoids (which are pretty uncomfortable, to say the least).

What all you need: Witch hazel, aloe, glycerine, petroleum jelly


  • Combine witch hazel with aloe, glycerine or petroleum jelly
  • Rub it on the external hemorrhoids
  • You will find itching reduced and bleeding dried up

20. Treat And Protect The Lips, Gums, And Inner Cheeks

Got those annoying blisters on your sensitive parts on face? Try out Witch Hazel.

What all you need: Witch hazel, coconut oil


  • Combine witch hazel with healing oil such as coconut oil
  • Now apply it to infections, sores, bleeding, and blisters to get immediate relief from cracked/blistered skin.

21. For Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are a perennial problem for preggie women. It can also affect teenagers who want to lose weight quickly. Here comes in ‘witch hazel’

What all you need: Witch hazel and cotton ball


  • Keep applying witch hazel on stretch marks
  • With time, they will fade away

22. Loosen Blackheads

What all you need: Witch hazel, cotton ball


  • Clean your face first
  • Then using a cotton ball, apply witch hazel to your blackheads
  • Rub off excess dirt and oil from skin

Tip: Within a span of 2 weeks, blackheads will vanish off and pores tightened up

23. Reduces Clogged Pores

What causes clogged pores? Trapped dirt and oil, hormonal changes, no makeup removal. Why sad, when there is Witch Hazel by your side?

What all you need:Pore-friendly” Witch Hazel


  • Clear your face first by using a skin-friendly face wash
  • Now Cleanse it by using Witch Hazel

Want a ‘chemistry lab’ experience at home? Let’s find out how to make witch hazel extract.

Make Your Own Witch Hazel Extract

Witch Hazel can turn out to be your favorite shrub, considering its spectacular looking leaves and flowers.

But, the beauty of it lies, when you make it yourself. Here is how to go about it:


  • 1/2 pound bark of Witch Hazel
  • Distilled water (which should cover 1-2 inches over bark)
  • Vodka (you can use pure grain alcohol alternatively)

Making Process

  • Put Witch Hazel and distilled water on the stove
  • Bring the water to a boil
  • Then, turn the flame to low and simmer it for 20 minutes (with the vessel covered)
  • Turn off the stove and let it cool
  • Now strain it
  • Add half of the total part of tea in vodka or pure grain alcohol (it means to 18 ounces of tea, for example, add 9 ounces of alcohol)
  • Now store this tonic in the fridge for a week
  • Relax, this tonic has a shelf life of maximum 2 years
  • Now store it in a cool place. Keep it away from direct sunlight.

Choosing the right witch hazel is simple, if you know how to go about it.

How to pick the right witch hazel for you?

Did you know you can buy it online?

Here are the brands:

  1. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner @ INR 1,630 from Amazon
  1. Thayer’s Thayers Alcohol-Free Unscented Witch Hazel With Organic Aloe Vera Formula Toner @ INR 1,714 from Amazon
  1. Humphreys Witch Hazel Astringent @ $26.36 (approx. INR 1705) from Amazon

How about ‘Side effects’?

Let’s find out:

Side Effects Of Witch Hazel

Whenever you are pursuing herbal remedies, it’s best to talk to the physician. Same advice applies when you are taking witch hazel. This is largely applicable to pregnant and breast feeding ladies.

If expecting mothers face the following symptoms – swelling in legs, problems in breathing, chest pain, rashes or irritations, nausea, upset stomach, constipation or vomiting, they should immediately rush to a qualified doctor.

Any preventive tips? Not much, but still calls for a read!

Prevention And After Care Tips

Those with sensitive skin can feel a little redness after using Witch Hazel. But thankfully, it doesn’t last long.

If you feel a sense of discomfort, then put cold compress over the treated area. Follow it up by using cooling gel or toner which has aloe vera or witch hazel.

Now it’s your turn! Write in and tell us how you found Witch Hazel. Ever used it? Or would you like to use it, having read this piece?

Source: fashionlady.in

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