Thursday, May 2, 2013

TNO's Tips & Tricks 15 - How to Use Witch Hazel

When we were planning on a home birth for Little Lady, there was an entire list of supplies we accrued in preparation for the birth that we were unable to use.  After we came home from the hospital and I disassembled the birth kit, I realized that we now had a plethora of items leftover that we'd never purchased before.  Because I'm me, and I don't like to waste anything, I tried to figure out uses for everything we had left over.

One of those items was a bottle of witch hazel.

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I'd never used witch hazel for anything before, so I went ahead and scoured the internet for possible ideas.  After checking out a few ways to use witch hazel and testing them out over a few months, I've come up with some great ways I'll continue to use the witch hazel even long after our initial bottle is gone.

1. Part of your daily skin care routine.

I have been using witch hazel either on a cotton ball or just on my fingertips at the end of the day after I wash my face.  After a quick rub onto my skin, I initially was shocked at just how much my regular soap and water routine was missing.  When I rinsed off the witch hazel, I could feel the grime from the extra make-up coming off of my face.  Once I'd completely rinsed my skin, it felt really clean and actually well-moisturized despite not actually putting any moisturizer (which for me is coconut oil) on my face.  A bonus on this is that witch hazel is so.much.cheaper than tons of other facial care products on the market.  And most of those products contain witch hazel in them anyway!

I only tend to have acne during the first trimester of my pregnancies, so I couldn't test out it's use on acne-prone skin, but I've read that witch hazel also reduces inflammation and heals acne more quickly.

2. Diaper rash cream.

The healing properties of witch hazel can take an aggravated, red bottom and help your little one's diaper rash heal more quickly than it normally would have.

3.  Hemorrhoid cream.

No other comment here but to say postpartum mamas - I know you feel me on this one!

4.  To soothe poison ivy, mosquito bites, or a sunburn.

Witch hazel is anti-inflammatory and has anti-itch properties, so it will take those uncomfortable symptoms of these skin problems right away!  As for sunburns, witch hazel can actually help these heal more quickly it would have otherwise taken longer, in some cases preventing peeling and scabbing of the skin.

5. As a replacement for Neosporin.

Witch hazel has been said to heal cuts (and bruises!) faster than just leaving them be, and I've found this to be the case for several bruises I frequently encounter.  Like the one specific spot on the back of my leg where I bump it on Little Lady's nursery glider.  Like every night while fumbling around in the dark.  You'd think I would be getting better at that aspect of parenting on my second go around.... not so much.

6. A pre- and post-shave solution.

Using a bit of witch hazel just prior to shaving has helped me to decrease the amount of little nicks I accidentally give myself as well as definitely reduces razor burn for me.  Using it after the shower seems to hold in some of the moisture and keep my legs feeling smoother for a bit longer without the use of lotions.

While I haven't tried any other remedies than the ones I mentioned above, I've also read that witch hazel is great in homemade deodorant, in homemade hand sanitizer, decreases bags under your eyes, and is beneficial in decreasing the symptoms of varicose veins- especially in pregnancy.

One of the main reasons I've fallen in love with witch hazel- above all other reasons- would be the price.  For around just five dollars per bottle, you have a facial astringent, shaving solution, bug bite lotion, diaper rash cream, Neosporin, and so many other things.  Because a little goes a long way, you'll be able to hang onto that five dollar bottle for quite some time.

And your skin will thank you.

Have you ever used witch hazel for these or any other reasons?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

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  1. We use it as an astrigent, especially for our teenage daughter :) Great tips thanks for sharing!

  2. Love reading anything about natural remedies! Adding witch hazel to my shopping list :)

  3. You can also put a little bit in you hair before you blow dry it and it will make your hair dry faster and more evenly. It is used in many of those heat protection products.

  4. I have the same bottle! I also use it with pure aloe, tea tree oil and a little lavender oil as a natural antibacterial hand santizer.


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