Uses for Witch Hazel Extract for Skin Health (Plus ten recipes to make right now!)
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
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:
- Insect Bites
- Minor Bruises
- Varicose Veins
- Minor Wounds and Infections
- Varicose Veins
- Diaper rash
- Stretch Marks
- Razor Burn
- Minor Burns and Sunburns
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.
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.
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.
- Witch Hazel & Shea Butter Soap Recipe
- Homemade Shaving Cream Recipe with Witch Hazel Extract
- Soothing Moisture Whip Recipe for Dry Skin
- Homemade Moisturizing Facial Toner Recipe with Rooibos Tea
- Homemade Rosewater Toner Recipe
- Natural Clay Cleansing Bar Recipes
- Natural Spray Deodorant Recipe
- Homemade Scalp Tonic Recipe
- Homemade Peppermint Mouthwash Recipe
- Eye Makeup Remover Recipe
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 The Green Life, Spark Naturals and LOVEGOODLY. And then of course there are hundreds of amazing bath and beauty artisans on Etsy.
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