On our quest to find more clean and just plain good ingredients to use for our skin, turning to plants and flowers that have been there centuries is becoming more necessary.
Witch hazel is always going to be a staple in the natural skin care universe.
Lets re-discover the reasons why we see witch hazel in almost every skin care toolkit!
What is witch hazel?
This North American plant was first used by the native Americans as a natural remedy for skin and other health ailments. The plant boasts a very bright yellow and fragrant flower. Also known as Hamamelis virginiana it is part of the hamamelis family which means ” together with fruit”. Witch hazel produces flowers and fruit at the same time which is a very rare occurrence.
Another reason it is so special is that all of its bits and pieces such as the twigs, leaves and bark are rich in tannins. When it comes to skin care this is a particularly useful astringent. It tightens pores and removes any unnecessary liquids.
7 Reasons you should use
Research has been done to support the idea that witch hazel can restore & protect the skin cells. Which brings us to the first reason to use it:
The study mentioned above entailed giving damaged skin cells the herb which resulted in a decreased activity of oxidation. The high levels of polyphenols help to fight off free radical damage caused by the UV exposure and polluted air. Heavens knows we all could use some extra protection when it comes to those radicals!
Shrinks your pores
The astringent properties go to work on your pores to tighten and unclog of any impurities. That’s why it comes highly recommended as a natural toner. Those tannins I mentioned earlier are the super heroes that draws out unwanted water and sets the tone ( excuse the pun) making the skin cells proteins a tighter, closer team.
On this point I can truly testify that I have been using a natural toner that is made up of mostly witch hazel and the blotchy red tones I had are disappearing. I have been recommending it to all who are inflamed and irritated and basically anyone will listen:)
All kinds of inflammation can be sorted here from various burns to rashes, sun damage and insect bites. Witch hazel settles the skin capillaries and soothes.
Those tannins are so good in soaking up excess oil which brings us back to it being the ultimate face toner. Ever since I started using the toner I have much less shine and more of a healthy glow:)
These properties also work well to cleanse your skin and to remove make up. Its very mild and safe to use on your eyes.
Those super hero tannins are at it again make sure all the bacteria is shut down and keeping the area clean and germ free. To add to this it also calms that acne aftermath and soothe the pesky irritation. Safe and easy to use, dab onto skin directly on that affected area or spray it on if that’s a better option for you:)
So I said you can use it as eye make up remover and the bonus here is it will reduce that puffiness as it restricts the blood vessels movements and tightens at same time. Say goodbye to swollen, red eyes!
Better skin tone
To sum up all of its properties which fight off free radicals, tightens pores, reduces bacteria and oil and controls the inflammation you most definitely will be having a clearer and more even skin tone in no time!
Also, because of its effects on the capillaries, it can also be used to treat varicose veins and stretch marks.
The lab to the rescue
This is my favorite section, when I hit “the lab” and create my own potions and then when I see the difference in my skin it’s the cherry on top:)
A toner for life
This recipe will be with you for decades because it stops oil and it leaves you hydrated. A mixture that all skin types will love using.
You will need the following:
- 1 cup witch hazel
- 1/4 cup rose water
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
Shake this all up and store in a glass spray bottle to apply easily as a refreshing toner face spray. If you simply can’t pull your self away from cotton pads then make sure you get enough onto your face instead of the swab:)
You can tweak the ratio of witch hazel and rose water depending on your skin type. Oilier skin will need more witch hazel and less rose water because the rose is a hydrating agent. I add lavender oil because it also assists with any skin irritation or uneven tones but try your own essential oil to suit a specific need.
Keep your magic potion sealed and out of sunlight and it will last up to two months.
Because of its anti bacterial powers the witch hazel eliminates germs and cleans out the dirty clogged pores. This is so vital to keep skin acne free and soothe the inflammation that goes along with it. The acne buster is safe and so easy to mix up and apply:
- 2 drops tea tree or frankincense essential oil
- 2 drops of lemon or eucalyptus essential oil
- 1/4 cup of witch hazel
Shake it all up together and apply on a cotton ball directly on the pimples twice a day and in two weeks you will see those spots vanish. I also like to decant into an essential oil bottle with a dropper that I can use to drop directly on to the pimple:)
Some more tips & precautions
The best way to use witch hazel is in its hydrosol form.as an astringent. Make sure it is totally alcohol free and has not been extracted using any alcohol to enjoy the organic benefits on a daily basis.
Alcohol has a negative effect on your skin, yes not only when consuming too many cocktails but it dries it out so make sure your hazel has none of that! A great way to balance the drying effect is to use together with a hydrating partner like rose water.
Witch hazel is relatively safe to use but if you do have sensitive skin I’m sure the first thing you do is check for a reaction by doing the patch test! The directions would normally tell you to dilute 1 part to 3 parts water to avoid causing any redness as the tannin content is quite high.
A great way to chase away insects is to mix up your hazel as an insect repellent using some lavender/ eucalyptus and lemon lemongrass essential oil. This is such a fragrant way to keep yourself bite free during those summer months.
The last drop
Witch hazel is one of those natural solutions that thankfully is not just written off as an old wives tale but is recognized by western and traditional medicine alike. Easy to store and extremely cost effective its one of those sustainable remedies that you will benefit from in more than one way.
So there you have it, the 7 reasons and much more why witch hazel is great for your skin.
Just remember to pick up your hazel alcohol free 🙂
I’d love to hear from you and if you have any natural skin care remedies using this wonderful plant please do. You can drop me a line below.
Love your skin naturally!