Witch Hazel, Do you Know What it Does?

Natural deodorant has been my go-to now and I am pleased with my choice since I have higher risks of getting breast cancer (there is research that suggest antipersperant is linked to cancer), and I want to be proactive.

Always research and never be afraid to ask questions about products you put on your body or foods you consume.

I discovered witch hazel benefits, over at Wise Bread recently when perusing the web. What is it, you ask? Witch hazel is an astringent from the leaves and bark of the North American Witch Hazel shrub (Hamamelis virginiana), which grows naturally from Central-Eastern Canada and US. This plant has been widely used for medicinal purposes and witch hazel extract was obtained by steaming the twigs of the shrub.

The essential oil of witch hazel is not sold separately as a consumer product. The plant does not produce enough essential oil to make production viable, but I would caution to read the label because most use alcohol as a filler. Be sure to head to a natural store and ask if they have an alcohol free version.

VERSATILE Uses for Witch Hazel

1. The big one: Spot and blemish control

Witch hazel can reduce the inflammation on a pimple. Some people claim daily use helps with acne, and witch hazel can be found in many over-the-counter treatments.  Dab it on with a cotton ball or pad.

2. Soothe and heal diaper rash

If your baby’s rash isn’t healing quickly, apply witch hazel solution with a cotton ball and you should see immediate improvement to your baby’s bottom.

3. Shrink bags under the eyes

I’m sure you’ve hear Preparation H helps shrink under-eye bags and what’s so great about it?  It has witch hazel in it! It helps tighten up the skin and reduce the bagginess.

4. Soothe and reduce external hemorrhoids

Not only does witch hazel tighten skin, it’s also a good anti-itch remedy. By combining witch hazel with aloe or coconut oil and rub it on external hemorrhoids, you will reduce itching significantly and dry up most bleeding.

5. Soothe poison ivy and poison oak

Just like blemishes, the witch hazel reduces itching and relieves swelling. Something definitely worth packing on your next camping trip.

6. Treat chicken pox blisters

(I wish I knew this earlier!) A combination of aloe, honey, lavender and other essential oils create a spray that will vastly reduce the discomfort of chicken pox blisters. And it’s all-natural. Here’s what to do:

Mix together 1 tablespoon honey, 40 drops lavender essential oil, 15 drops lemon essential oil, 15 drops bergamot essential oil, 5 drops peppermint essential oil, 1 teaspoon carrot seed oil and 1/2 cup aloe vera gel.

Once completely mixed, and 1/2 cup distilled witch hazel and mix again. Pour mixture into spray bottle and use on affected areas (avoiding eyes).

7. Heal your bruises faster

Applying witch hazel 3 times a day can help speed up the healing time of bruises.

8. Soothe razor burn

The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel stop itchy bumps from forming up around your irritated hair follicles. Apply after shaving. I find its most convenient to do it post-shower when you’re already in primping mode.

9. Treat and soothe a nasty sunburn

Healing damaged skin is one of witch hazel’s specialties. But as sunburn is also a type of skin inflammation, witch hazel is ideal for treating this too. Treating sunburn with witch hazel will shorten healing time and prevent the infamous skin peeling and flaking. BUT use sunblock to avoid needing it altogether.

10. Treat dry skin

Applying witch hazel immediately after showering, locks in the moisture that has just soaked into your skin (hellooo smooth skin).

11. Use to heal and soothe various cuts and bruises

Witch hazel may be nature’s solution to Neosporin. Applying a dab of it will cleanse the cut, protects against infection, and encourage quicker healing of minor skin breaks.

12. Take the bite out of bug bites

With its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel is ideal for treating bug bites.

13. Refresh tired eyes

Soaking a clean rag in witch hazel and cold water and place the cold compress over your closed eyes. After 10 minutes, your eye tissue should be refreshed, and any redness should be gone. If you’ve been doing a lot of crying, this can get you back to normal quickly (like after watching the Notebook).

14. Make your own deodorant

Witch hazel is often used in deodorants due to its natural skin-healing and skin-care properties. Here is a home-made recipe you may want to try.


  • 1 tsp high proof vodka
  • 10 drops geranium
  • 10 drops cypress
  • 8 drops bergamot
  • 5 drops neroli
  • 4 drops lavender
  • 3 drops black pepper
  • 4 tb sp (40 ml) witch hazel
  • 2 tb sp (25 ml) cornflower water
  • 2 tb sp (25 ml) orange flower water
  1. Measure the vodka into a 4 oz (100 ml) glass bottle with a spray attachment.
  2. Carefully add the essential oils, one by one.
  3. Shake vigorously to dissolve the essential oils.
  4. Pour the witch hazel into the bottle, using a funnel if necessary, followed by the two flower waters. Shake well. Label the bottle.
  5. Shale well before each use.


If you’re like me and allergic to a lot of things, be sure to test on a small patch of skin like the inside of your wrist.

I hope this is helpful to you, since I have only found out about all these alternatives since my undergraduate education in Environmental Studies, being curious and listening to my sisters suggestions (she’s 8 years older… so it took me some time). Taking care of yourself in a good way helps you in the long run,  and with maintenance of good health instead of having to fix problems.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or feedback, below! & remember you are a:



2 thoughts on “Witch Hazel, Do you Know What it Does?

  1. You put this together so clearly; what a useful post. I didnt know it was the active ingredient in preparation H. Well done, and thanks for the credit sis’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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