Do you know those products your mom always had in the medicine cabinet? Preparation H (once I thought this was an acne cream and put it all over my face – big mistake!), hydrogen peroxide, makeup remover, and witch hazel were my mom’s staples. As a pre-teen who was finally old enough to start wearing (er, stealing my mom’s) makeup and playing with skincare, I was fascinated by the medicine cabinet. I wanted to use every product I could get my hands on. Inevitably, I started purchasing my own skincare and forgot about some of those holy grails my mom swore by. (She has the best skin I’ve ever seen and looks approximately 12-15 years younger than she is!)
On a Target trip not that long ago, I spotted Witch Hazel and remembered all the good my mom said it did for her skin. I picked it up on a whim and was floored at how gentle, calming, and effective it was for my combination, acne-prone skin.
On a journey to see what else this magical bottle could do for me, I discovered the plethora of ways in which witch hazel can be used for skincare. Here are some of our favorites:
As a makeup remover
In a pinch, witch hazel makes an incredible face makeup remover. Simply put it on a cotton round or a washcloth and wipe away! While it can remove some eye makeup, I wouldn’t rely on this to remove tough waterproof mascara or eyeliners without having to tug or pull at the eyes.
As a toner
Witch hazel has astringent properties that help give the skin a deeper cleanse. People often use witch hazel to clean cuts or scrapes in children, but they also forget that it is gentle enough and does the same for your face.
With continued use of witch hazel, I’ve noticed that it balances the oils and dryness in my skin. With certain foundations, I notice some oil buildup on my nose and forehead, and using witch hazel has helped me get rid of that while hydrating the parts of my skin that get dry and flaky.
As an eye mask
We love eye masks here at The Everygirl to de-puff and awaken our eyes. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy way to DIY your own eye masks, look no further than witch hazel. Because witch hazel is high in tannins, it can help tighten and firm the skin. Its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties also help to calm down any irritation or puffiness under the eyes.
To make a DIY eye mask, take two cotton rounds and soak them in witch hazel. Place these on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes and just relax.
To soothe freshly shaved or waxed skin
Some waxers use witch hazel to soothe the skin after getting your eyebrows done. You can do this at home, too! Because of its astringent properties, witch hazel helps to clean out the pores, which can stop razor bumps or acne from forming after you shave or wax. You can use this on your face, underarms, legs, or bikini area. It also is anti-inflammatory and helps to combat irritation and redness in the skin.
As an acne treatment
There are people who swear that witch hazel alone has cured their acne. While I haven’t had quite this intense of a reaction (if only!), I can say it has helped reduce the redness and inflammation in my spots. You can apply it as a toner after you cleanse for the benefits or use it as a targeted spot treatment in any areas that you have spots.
For those of us who just have to pop the pimple, you can use witch hazel immediately after to soothe the irritation, clean out the spot, and help it start to dry out. It’s a miracle worker in this way!
As a natural deodorant
If you haven’t hopped on the natural deodorant train yet, you must. It’s so much better for you and the benefits far outweigh the negatives. However, these deodorants can sometimes be expensive. You can make your own by combining:
- ½ cup of witch hazel
- ¼ cup of aloe vera gel or juice
- ¼ tsp of baking soda
- 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender, sage, and orange work well!)
Mix this up and put it in a spray bottle to use as a natural spray deodorant. It actually works! I’ve started bringing it with me as a travel deodorant in my purse.
To reduce skin irritation
For the same reasons that witch hazel is great for acne and reducing razor bumps, you can also use it whenever you notice some irritation on the skin. This is great for people who are prone to rashes or allergy flare-ups on the face. As soon as you notice redness, puffiness, or the like, apply witch hazel to the area to help soothe and reduce the irritation.