Witch hazel has been used for hundreds of years – if not longer. One of the first home remedies in the United States, this now-common household product is derived from a shrub first used by Native Americans to treat many illnesses and injuries. Today, witch hazel remains as versatile as ever. According to health experts, the shrub extract is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, possibly anti-viral, and an astringent. In fact, witch hazel is so powerful, it’s recommended that you only ever use the product when diluted with water! Here are four surprising ways you can use witch hazel in your daily life.
Treat an itchy or sensitive scalp.
Witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory nature makes it a great choice for those looking to soothe their scalp. If you’re suffering from hair loss, an allergic reaction, dandruff, or something similar, try rinsing your hair and scalp with diluted witch hazel. Follow with shampoo and rinse again for the best results.
Spot treat acne.
If you use a skin toner, it’s likely that you apply witch hazel to your face every day. Witch hazel is a common ingredient in toners and other products and is considered a great home treatment for acne. That’s because of witch hazel’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and oil-wicking properties make it ideal for battling blemishes and oily skin. Try applying diluted witch hazel with a finger or cotton swab.
Soothe insect bites.
Insect bites are the worst – but, they can become a little more manageable with witch hazel. Simply apply witch hazel to a cotton swab and apply it to affected areas. Aside from witch hazel’s ability to soothe the skin and kill any bad bacteria, the product has been shown to suppress erythema, a reddening of the skin caused by injury or irritation.
Heal eczema, rashes, and other minor skin ailments.
Though strong in potency, witch hazel is an incredibly gentle cleansing agent. This makes it perfect for treating eczema, skin rashes, and any other minor skin ailments. Some parents even apply witch hazel to babies with diaper rash! Though great for skin, dermatologists recommend that you only use witch hazel on dry or scaly skin if you intend to follow it with a more moisturizing product, like lotion or baby oil.
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