6 Incredible Uses For Witch Hazel

Its not alcohol or peroxide, but what is it? That was the question I asked when I found out about witch hazel. It sounds like something from the old days but I never really knew what it could for your body. Once I found out, I saw witch hazel in a whole new light and started using it almost daily!

Witch hazel (which has the species name Hamamelis virginiana), a type of plant native to North America, is a member of the Hamamelidaceae plant family. Sometimes also called winterbloom, the leaves and bark from the plant are used to make a skin-healing astringent that’s capable of naturally reducing acne, blisters, insect bites, poison ivy, inflammation and much more. It goes back to being widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians. Now, many more people swear by it too. Here are some of the favorite uses for theis wonder product:

1. Acne fighter

As a natural home remedy for acne, applying witch hazel to acne-prone skin can help slow down inflammation, redness, oiliness and bleeding. As a natural cleanser, it’s capable of reducing bacteria growth on the skin and speeds up the time needed to heal infections or scabs.

Another benefit for sensitive skin is that it reduces the look of pores (although no product can actually shrink pores) and helps stop excess oil production, sweating, and development of blackheads or whiteheads, which can contribute to embarrassing breakouts.

Instead of opening up a pimple and making the problem worse, apply witch hazel directly to the skin wherever you notice a zit forming or tend to break out. It’s even more effective when used in combination with other antibacterials like tea tree oil, coconut oil or apple cider vinegar.

Apply witch hazel with a clean cotton ball up to several times per day anywhere you experience irritation, starting slowly and giving your skin time to adjust.

2. Reduce Puffy Eyes

Puffy eyes are another common skin problem that many people face, it can be caused by allergies, stress, overindulging in alcohol, sun exposure, cigarette smoking and many other factors. The next time you wake up and find yourself with puffy eyes, be sure to have some witch hazel around, and you’ll have a quick fix for that problem.

Witch hazel is known to tighten skin, which helps reduce under eye baggage and puffiness. Just soak some cotton balls with witch hazel, and apply it to closed eyes. Let it remain for five minutes or so, allowing it to soak into the skin. Repeat one more time for severe puffiness. As it can be more effective if it’s cool, storing your witch hazel in the refrigerator is a good idea, particularly if this is the main reason you plan to use it.

(Chinese witch hazel)

3. Hair Cleanser and Scalp Protector

Use witch hazel on your hair to help reduce oil buildup — which leaves your hair shinier, healthier and more volumized. It’s also great for removing hair odors, helping with an irritated scalp, or speeding up healing from any bites or acne at the base of the neck when you’re prone to sweating.

One study conducted by the Center for Dermatology and Disease in Zurich, Switzerland, found that shampoo containing