Uses for Witch Hazel Extract for Skin Health (Plus ten recipes to make right now!)

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Witch hazel extract has been used for centuries as a home remedy to soothe everything from swelling and sores to infections and natural skin care. Keep reading to learn more about the powerful herbal properties of this flowering shrub as well as some of my favorite recipes and uses for witch hazel extract.

Uses for Witch Hazel Extract for Skin Health (Plus ten recipes to make right now!) Pull your witch hazel out of the medicine cabinet for these natural home remedies + skin care recipes! Learn more about the powerful herbal properties of this flowering shrub as well discover some of my favorite recipes and uses for witch hazel extract. #witchhazel #herbalism #homeremedy #naturalremedy #remedies #skincare #diy #folkmedicine

Uses for Witch Hazel Extract

Witch hazel has a long history of use in North America. The Native Americans originally used both the leaves and bark from witch hazel as a natural folk remedy. Since then, we’ve discovered that witch hazel contains tannins making it useful in both traditional medicine and herbalism.

These tannins are what make witch hazel an astringent – and an effective anti-acne treatment. In addition, witch hazel also helps to reduce inflammation, draw skin together (which is why it’s such a great skin toner!) and slow bleeding.

Recently my dog, Jasper, had some issues with his ears, which is common for dachshunds. With money being incredibly tight right now, I wanted to avoid the vet if possible. While I have no issues with going into debt for my darling little stinker (more on that here) I prefer to avoid it if there are other remedies that are both safe and effective.

Choosing the right brand of witch hazel however is just as important as choosing the right essential oils. Not all witch hazel is created equal. Some varieties of witch hazel have additional ingredients you may not want for every application. While others sting or burn when applied. Because of this, I use Mountain Rose Herbs Witch Hazel Extract.

Mountain Rose Herbs witch hazel extract has double distilled. Unlike most commercial witch hazel brands that have only been distilled once, their witch hazel only contains 14% alcohol. As a result their witch hazel contains 86% organic witch hazel extract. This makes their witch hazel more potent and soothing. Additionally, it neither stings nor smells like alcohol.

I applied a Mountain Rose herbs Witch Hazel Extract to Jasper’s affected ear twice a day using a cotton ball to gently clean his ear and remove excess wax. Not only did he stopped scratching almost immediately after application, but his ear was almost completely back to a healthy pink after a week of use.

(If you have a dog you may also want to check out my other natural remedies for dogs. These recipes include a natural flea repelling dry shampoo, a dog paw balm, a natural fresh breath gel and my natural dog shampoo with neem oil for troubled skin. Or for tough pet odors I love the Petbiotics line of products including their No Bath Probiotic Pet Spray and their Red Algae Infused Pet Wipes which I purchase from Thrive Market.)  

Common Uses for Witch Hazel Extract

With a long history of medicinal use throughout the world, it’s no wonder witch hazel has since become a staple in today’s households. There are many uses for witch hazel for health and skin care in your home.

Applied topically witch hazel extract soothes and promotes healing of skin. It is able to help remedy the following skin issues:

  • Itching
  • Inflammation
  • Insect Bites
  • Minor Bruises
  • Varicose Veins
  • Minor Wounds and Infections
  • Varicose Veins
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Acne
  • Diaper rash
  • Stretch Marks
  • Razor Burn
  • Minor Burns and Sunburns
  • Dandruff

Additionally, as it’s naturally deodorizing, witch hazel is effective both as a natural deodorant as well as for deodorizing tough pet odors in your home. For these applications, simply use your witch hazel extract in a spray bottle with up to 12 drops of essential oil per ounce of witch hazel as desired.

Learn how to save on natural cleaning products at Grove Co.

Best DIY Odor Neutralizing Spray! This 2-ingredient odor neutralizing spray DIY tackles tough odors your pets - and teenage boys - leave behind. Made using naturally sanitizing & deodorizing witch hazel in combination with an odor neutralizing fragrance oil, this homemade household product effectively conquers even the toughest smells. #cleaning #odorneutralizer #homemaking #homemade #lifestyle #lifehack #living #pets #parenting

Or try out my recipe for making your own odor neutralizing spray to use on tough odors throughout your home. Made using naturally sanitizing & deodorizing witch hazel in combination with an odor neutralizing fragrance oil or essential oil, this homemade household product effectively conquers even the toughest smells.

Homemade Moisturizing Facial Toner Recipe with Rooibos Tea & Manuka Essential Oil! Don't let your skin dictate your look. Instead, conquer your skin's unpredictability with this homemade facial toner recipe! This homemade moisturizing facial toner recipe is made with natural ingredients that help to remove excess oil and dead skin cells, while also balancing your skin's PH levels to help prevent dryness and breakouts.

Uses for Witch Hazel in Skin Care Recipes

Part of the fun of using witch hazel however is using it as an ingredient in your own natural skin care recipes. Following you’ll discover some of my favorite uses for witch hazel through a collection of my favorite witch hazel skin care recipes.

DIY Moisture Whipped Body Butter for Dry Skin! This soothing moisture whip recipe is an absolute dream for dry, parched skin. Crafted using natural ingredients, this ultra luxe moisturizer has a fluffy, cloud like texture melts instantly into skin when applied. Skin soothing butters, aloe vera and witch hazel extract offer rich moisture that promotes skin health while a calming essential oil blend lends its aromatherapeutic properties. #moisturewhip #bodybutter #whippedbodybutter #skincare #beauty #naturalskincare #diy #naturalbeauty #moisturizer #essentialoils

You can discover even more wonderful homemade skin care recipes by following my boards on Pinterest. Or learn how to make your own DIY bath and beauty recipes with an all inclusive DIY kit from The DIY Collectives.

Shop for Natural Skin Care Products

If you aren’t yet ready to dive into making your own natural skin care products, there are several great companies that I recommend. They are Real PurityThe Green LifeSpark Naturals and LOVEGOODLY. And then of course there are hundreds of amazing bath and beauty artisans on Etsy.

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Natural Flea Repelling Dry Dog Shampoo Recipe

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This dry dog shampoo recipe is made with all natural ingredients that deodorize your dog's coat while also helping to repel fleas.

This homemade dry dog shampoo recipe is made with all natural ingredients that deodorize your dog’s coat while also helping to repel fleas. Natural clays and botanicals gently deodorize dog’s coat while absorbing excess oil and dirt while neem oil works to repel fleas. This natural dry dog shampoo recipe is super effective and super easy to make!

This homemade dry dog shampoo recipe is made with all natural ingredients that deodorize your dog's coat while also helping to repel fleas. Natural clays and botanicals gently deodorize dog's coat while absorbing excess oil and dirt while neem and tree oil work to repel fleas. This natural dry dog shampoo recipe is super effective and super easy to make!

Natural Dry Dog Shampoo Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

2 oz. arrowroot powder
.5 oz. pure neem oil
.5 oz. colloidal oatmeal
.75 oz. bentonite clay
.25 oz. calendula flower powder
3 ml rosemary essential oil
1 ml peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

Using a digital scale, weigh out the arrowroot powder, neem oil, colloidal oatmeal, bentonite clay and calendula flower powder for this dry dog shampoo recipe and combine in a food processor or coffee grinder.

Using graduated transfer pipettes then measure out the essential oils and add them to the other ingredients.

Mix well using your food processor or grinder until thoroughly combined then transfer into a sifter bottle or other container.

To use apply a generous amount of dry dog shampoo to your dog’s coat and massage in with your hands. Then brush out using a dog brush.

Like this homemade dry dog shampoo recipe? Then also be sure to try my DIY Natural Fresh Breath Gel for Dogs also with neem oil! Or click here for even more recipes that use neem oil including homemade soap recipes, salve recipes and cream recipes. Alternately you can also purchase pre-made dry shampoo for both cats and dogs at Mountain Rose Herbs here. Made from botanical ingredients they’re dry shampoo contains no harmful chemicals, no essential oils, and no artificial fragrances.

For more home remedies and DIY ideas like this one, follow my boards on Pinterest. You can also keep up with all of my new posts and recipes by following on Blog Lovin’ and Tumblr as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and G+.

DIY Natural Fresh Breath Gel for Dogs

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

This DIY natural fresh breath gel for dogs really works at freshening breath and helping to prevent tarter on dog's teeth. Plus it's completely natural!

Does your dog’s breath kill trees from a hundred paces? Then perhaps consider this DIY natural fresh breath gel for dogs.

Let me begin by stating I have a miniature dachshund. His name is Jasper. And like most dachshunds he has some of the worst breath ever. No, seriously. Ever. That said I’ve tried all kinds of things to freshen his breathe including all those silly tooth brushing bones and minty dog treats. And while they might help keep tarter and plaque at bay, they seem to do absolutely nothing for the state of his breath.

Over Christmas my brother told me about a tarter control and fresh breath gel for dogs that he had been using. Not only did it work great on his dogs, but it also had neem oil as one of the ingredients. As neem oil was one of my favorite discoveries of the past year I decided I had to try this out. But instead of buying a gel tarter control and breath freshener I decided to try making something similar with ingredients I already have in my stash of soapmaking ingredients.

I looked at two popular products when trying to decide which natural ingredients to use. Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Clean Teeth Gel is one such popular product. It’s made with Purified Water, Natural Derived Alcohol, Natural Mint, Glycerin, Natural Cleanser, Carbopol, Chlorophyllin, and Green Tea Leaf Extract. The other is Nutri-Vet’s Tartar-Defense Spray for Dogs which is made with Water, Grain Alcohol, Peppermint Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Rosemary Oil, Thyme Oil, and Neem Oil.

This DIY natural fresh breath gel for dogs really works at freshening breath and helping to prevent tarter on dog's teeth. Plus it's completely natural!

For my DIY fresh breath gel for dogs I sort of combined select ingredients from both of these products. I was leery about using grain alcohol – aka moonshine – and water in my recipe as this was basically an “edible” product and I wasn’t entirely sure what to use an emulsifier to keep the oil and glycerin mixed with the alcohol without using propylene glycol. (I also wasn’t entirely sure about rubbing alcohol on my dog’s teeth.) So instead I simply used natural vegetable glycerin as the main base. This still encourages dogs to lick their teeth like the commercial brands to help prevent tarter. But as my main concern was fresh breath and getting my dog not to run and hide when I went to rub it on his teeth, I chose to use glycerin which makes for a sweet alcohol free base that can be easily administered.

I also used neem oil for it’s awesome anti-bacterial properties and essential oils for their anti-bacterial and breath freshening properties. Additionally my DIY fresh breath gel for dogs also incorporates liquid grapefruit seed extract for its anti-oxidant properties – an ingredient that Nutri-Vet states on their product helps to reduce inflammation – and grapeseed oil. There are a few easy substitutions you can make, however, if you don’t have a product on hand or for specific properties you’re after. For example, you could easily sub the grape seed oil – an edible oil which I chose for the pleasant flavor – with coconut oil which is used in the oil pulling method to remineralize and strengthen teeth. (I used refined coconut oil as it has a lower melt point than unrefined coconut oil.) You could also easily play around with the essential oils to see which ones work best for your dog’s breath and/or his taste buds.

This DIY natural fresh breath gel for dogs really works at freshening breath and helping to prevent tarter on dog's teeth. Plus it's completely natural!

Fresh Breath Gel for Dogs Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

.8 oz. vegetable glycerin
.1 oz. liquid grapefruit seed extract
.1 oz. grapeseed oil (or refined coconut oil, melted)
6 drops 100% pure neem oil
6 drops rosemary essential oil
6 drops spearmint (or peppermint) essential oil

Instructions:

If you don’t have grapefruit seed extract you can substitute it with more of the grape seed oil or with refined coconut oil. You can also try using 4 drops rosemary eo, 4 drops peppermint eo and 2 drops thyme eo in lieu of 6 drops each of the rosemary and spearmint essential oils.

Using a digital kitchen scale weigh out the glycerin, grapefruit seed extract and grape seed oil into a small glass jar or bowl. Use a plastic transfer pipette or glass dropper to add the drops of neem oil and essential oils. (If your neem oil has solidified due to cold temperatures simply place the bottle into a bowl of hot water until it liquifies.) Mix with a utensil to combine.

Now use a funnel to combine in a 1 oz. amber glass bottle with a dropper. Shake well once more for final measure.

To use add a few drops of this fresh breath gel for dogs to your finger or a toothbrush and rub onto your dog’s teeth.

Click here for more recipes that use neem oil including homemade soaps, salves and creams. Or, for more home remedies and DIY ideas like this one be sure to follow my boards on Pinterest. You can also keep up with all of my new posts and recipes by following on Blog Lovin’ and Tumblr as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and G+.

Natural Homemade Dog Shampoo Recipe with Neem Oil

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Homemade Natural DIY Dachshund Doggie Shampoo Recipe with Neem Oil for Dogs with Troubled Skin

Every spring through summer my dachshund enjoys spending his outdoor time rolling in grass and weeds and wildflowers. This inevitably causes his super sensitive skin to break out. As of course a multitude of various skin conditions are common ailments for dachshunds, not just allergies. So last I created a homemade dog shampoo recipe with neem oil after learning about all of its great benefits. I used it on my own dog and then also had friends use it on their dogs. One these dogs in particular was given an expensive prescription shampoo by their vet that didn’t do a whole lot to alleviate the symptoms, so as a last resort they tried my shampoo. Within hours of the first bath the results were obvious. Not only did it help overall but it also eventually cleared up the problem all together. I experienced the same with my dog but without the trip to the vet.

However, I found that my original homemade dog shampoo recipe would separate and I’d have to shake it before every use to keep it mixed. So this year I reinvented the recipe a bit and added in certified organic non-GMO liquid soy lecithin as an emulsifier and thickener. It also has skin softening and moisturizing properties. I added enough lecithin to give my shampoo a cream consistency so if you don’t have a suitable shampoo type bottle you can store this in a jar. For a thinner shampoo, you may use less lecithin. Alternately, in lieu of lecithin you can experiment with using an emulsifying wax or cetyl alcohol per recommended guidelines. However, if you are against using palm oil, you’ll want to opt against these two ingredients as cetyl alcohol is primarily derived from palm oil and emulsifying wax is typically cetyl-stearyl alcohol composed of 50% cetyl alcohol and 50% stearyl alcohol derived from coconut and palm kernel oils.

Natural Homemade Dog Shampoo Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

8 fluid oz. Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Unscented Baby-Mild Pure Liquid Castile Soap
2 Tablespoons neem oil
.5 oz. Shea Butter
.5 oz. certified organic non-GMO liquid soy lecithin

Instructions:

Using a digital scale weigh out the shea butter and melt in either a double boiler or a glass pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. Weigh out the lecithin and mix into the shea butter until it also becomes liquid, then combine with the liquid soap and neem oil.

Use a funnel to pour into lotion or shampoo bottles or pour into a jar or other container of your choice. Shake to mix occasionally once it’s almost cooled completely and again once cooled to ensure all ingredients are incorporated evenly. It does try to separate out during the cooling process but stays mixed once all ingredients have cooled.

To use simply apply to your dog’s wet coat and massage in giving special attention to any problem areas. Use once a week as needed until condition clears. For troublesome “hot” spots follow with a natural neem oils salve to affected areas.

Please note neem oil is not recommended for cats.

You may also want to try these other natural homemade recipes that use neem oil: Natural Neem Oil & Rosemary Salve Recipe, Natural Homemade Neem Oil Cold Process Soap Recipe, Homemade Neem Cream Recipe, Natural Topical Anti-Fungal Toenail Treatment, Homemade Cold Sore Therapy Lip Balm Recipe and my Lanolin & Neem Salve Recipe.

You’ll find more homemade bath and skin care recipes on my DIY Bath & Body board on Pinterest. Or keep up with all of my new projects and recipes by following me on Blog Lovin, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google + and Instagram!

DIY Liquid Soap Recipe with Neem Oil for Dogs and People with Problem Skin

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DIY Homemade Liquid Soap Recipe with Neem Oil and Shea Butter for Dogs and People with Problem Skin - Great for Skin Conditions Like Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Dandruff and Athlete's Foot

I have a miniature dachshund who is, unfortunately, prone to some not so pleasant skin conditions much like eczema in people. With this of course there is itching and some flaking. Often times giving poor Jasper a bath actually makes his skin worse. So I decided to try a natural dog shampoo with neem oil. While I initially concocted this liquid soap recipe for my dog, it also works well on people. You can use it as a facial wash or a body wash to help with conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff – even athlete’s foot. The neem oil is super effective at combating these skin conditions, however, it does stink to high heaven so be prepared.

DIY Natural Homemade Dog & People Body Wash with Neem Oil

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

8 fluid oz. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Unscented Baby-Mild Pure Liquid Castile Soap
2 Tablespoons Organic Neem Oil
.5 oz. Shea Butter (or about 1 1/2 Tablespoons)

Instructions:

Using a digital kitchen scale, weigh out the shea butter. Melt the shea butter in the microwave, then combine with the liquid soap and neem oil and gently stir until thoroughly combined. Then use a funnel to pour into a container. I upcycled a Method liquid soap bottle for this purpose. (And yes, I buy soap even though I make soap. I just fell in love with the Orla Kiely designs. Allow to cool completely then use as you would a regular dog shampoo, face or body wash.

If you can’t stand the scent of the neem oil, you can tone it down by adding a small amount – up to .16 oz. (or 2%) – of another essential oil such as lavender or lemongrass. This recipe is specifically for treating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and athlete’s foot. For dandruff or acne, use up to .4 oz. (by weight) or up to 5%  per 8 oz. (by weight) of liquid soap or shampoo. Neem oil is also excellent at deterring fleas.

To help soothe eczema and psoriasis out of the tub or shower, be sure to try my natural lanolin and neem salve recipe. I gifted some of this to someone at work who suffers from severe psoriasis and he found it did a lot to help his psoriasis. He also found it very soothing.