Witch Hazel: A Cheap, Simple Cosmetic Worth Its Weight In Gold

When it comes to stocking my medicine cabinet, I like to stick with the basics. The older I get, the less interest I have in expensive, complicated beauty products that only have one function.
Why should I spend money on a million lotions and potions when I can get the same effects from just a handful of simple products intended for multiple purposes?
That’s why, lately, I’m ditching the piles of cosmetics in my life, and switching to just a few medicine cabinet staples that are endlessly useful, like coconut oil for cleaning teeth and banishing wrinkles!
The latest item to join my carefully curated collection is an ordinary bottle of witch hazel extract, which is a cheap and effective way to treat a whole variety of run-of-the-mill ailments and blemishes.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about this all-natural tonic, and what it can do for your skin, body, and overall health!

What Is Witch Hazel Extract?

What Is Witch Hazel Extract?
Céline Haeberly/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
Witch hazel is a flowering shrub with pretty yellow flowers that crop up in lots of gardens.
The clear liquid you buy at the pharmacy is actually the extract, which is made from the bark and leaves of the shrub.
It’s an astringent that is rich in tannins, which means it encourages the skin to contract, helping with a variety of simple medical and beauty needs.
But, witch hazel can help more than just your skin. Scroll through its many amazing uses below, then let us know in the comments how you use witch hazel!

Use #1: Dandruff

Use #1: Dandruff
Céline Haeberly/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
Dandruff is an itchy, unsightly condition in which you get flaking of the skin on your scalp.
Depending on your hair type and dandruff, witch hazel could be the perfect way to tackle the ailment.
People with dry, brittle hair should avoid witch hazel, which can have drying properties, but if you have oily hair, this is an excellent way to remove excess skin and oil from the hair before shampooing.

Use #2: Messy Makeup

Use #2: Messy Makeup
Céline Haeberly/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
If you wear makeup, you already know that it’s important to remove it all before you head to bed at night.
That can be easier said than done with sticky, resistant makeups like mascara and lipstick.
The astringent properties in witch hazel can grab onto stubborn makeup residue to make sure you’re fresh as a dewdrop for bedtime!

Use #3: Itchy Spots

Use #3: Itchy Spots
Witch hazel, like fellow astringent calamine, can work miracles when it comes to itchy and irritating skin conditions.
If you’re suffering from something like chicken pox or eczema, blending witch hazel with something like aloe may be very soothing and able to provide relief from the itching.
According to Mercola, it should also help encourage sores to close and heal.
With bug bites, it works the same way, but with an added benefit: applying it before you’re bit can discourage blood-thirsty pests.

Use #4: Smudged Glasses

Use #4: Smudged Glasses
Céline Haeberly/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
I was once chewing gum and blew a bubble that popped onto my glasses, and witch hazel was the only thing that worked to get rid of the sticky film.
In addition to more unusual situations, it’s incredibly effective at clearing up everyday smudges without leaving streaks behind.
Soap and ordinary water leave marks behind, and a microfiber cloth doesn’t always cut it — these are situations that call for a splash of witch hazel.

Use #5: Scrapes And Scratches

Use #5: Scrapes And Scratches
Remember getting a skinned knee as a kid and having mom pour something on it that stung? There’s a good chance that was witch hazel.
Witch hazel is often used in conjunction with antiseptics like alcohol to clean minor abrasions.
Despite the initial sting, it can almost instantly relieve the pain of a cut or scrape, and it encourages your skin to contract, which helps slow bleeding, according to WebMD, and jumpstarts the healing process.

Use #6: Tarnished Jewelry

Use #6: Tarnished Jewelry
Céline Haeberly/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
Most of my jewelry is silver and I feel like I’m always dealing with tarnish.
Witch hazel is a great, simple way to touch up your jewelry when it starts to show its wear and tear.
While you should avoid using it on plated jewelry and soft stones like opal, it’s great for solid silver or bronze items that need a little bit of shine.

Use #7: Puffy Eyes

Use #7: Puffy Eyes
Céline Haeberly/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
As an astringent, witch hazel is great at causing the skin to contract.
It may sound a bit funny, but this can work wonders for puffy, inflamed eyes after a bad night’s sleep.
The astringent properties will encourage inflammation and swelling to go down, leaving the skin around your eyes smooth and bright!
If you loved learning a bit about what witch hazel can do for you, make sure to SHARE this awesome info with friends and family!