Witch Hazel: The Miracle Astringent
Jul 20, 2012 - by Zosia Baroody
Let's face it, when it comes down to health and beauty, the Native Americans knew what they were talking about. Witch hazel has been used for everything from clearing acne to shrinking under eye bags. Sadly, it has been forgotten and replaced with chemical-filled toners and face washes...until now. Read about witch hazel and the amazing things it can do for you after the jump.
Witch hazel is a miracle astringent produced from the leaves and bark of the North American Witch Hazel shrub. Obtained by cooking the shrubs and extracting the liquid, Native Americans used witch hazel mainly for medicinal purposes. That being said, the amount of benefits it has are countless. Here are a few:
1. Heal bruises faster: Dab the bruise with a cotton ball soaked with witch hazel a few times a day to reduce swelling and discoloration.
2. Treat acne: Witch hazel removes oil from your face. Moreover, it reduces inflammation on a pimple.
3. Reduce puffiness: Witch hazel shrinks blood vessels, so soak two cotton pads and put them over your eyes for immediate relief for puffy eyes.
4. Refine pores: Because witch hazel is a face astringent, it is great for tightening large pores.
5. Refresh skin: Use witch hazel as a toner by spritzing some on your face when needed.
6. Stop an itch: Dab some witch hazel on anything from bug bites to eczema to curb itchiness.
7. Soothe razor burn: Got razor burn? Witch hazel will provide immediate relief with its anti-infammatory properties.
8. Soothe sunburn: Witch hazel will lessen healing time as well as reduce peeling from awful sunburns.
If you're interested in snatching some hazel for yourself, Thayers (available at Whole Foods) has seven different types available.