With the rising popularity of all-things natural, beauty junkies and gurus are often searching for plant-based and toxin-free products to try. Witch hazel is derived from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel shrub found in North America. This local plant has been long recognized by Native Americans as having medicinal properties. In recent times, it’s been commonly used as natural cleanser and toner, especially for acne-prone individuals. However, aside from the skincare advantages there are a number of other benefits that witch hazel offers. Whether you want to eliminate redness in your complexion or soothe your skin after shaving, we’ve curated a few benefits of this natural ingredient.
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Remedy itches, rashes and burns
Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce itching and treat sunburns. It contains a chemical called tannins, which may help to reduce swelling when applied directly to skin. Try applying witch hazel on bug bites and poison ivy rashes, or mix with aloe for a post-burn treatment.
Treat cuts and bruises
Since witch hazel is a natural astringent (causing contraction of skin), it promotes the treatment of blemishes and tightening of skin. Its properties have been said to help repair broken skin and fight bacteria. In fact, some users believe that witch hazel has reduced the appearance and even the pain of bruises.
Natural eye brightener
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel may be beneficial to dark circles and swelling under and around the eye area. The tightening abilities of witch hazel are said to help with puffiness. Its apparent ability to combat discolouration around the eye make it a good natural alternative to brightening eye creams. However, be aware to avoid getting witch hazel in your eyes, as it will cause irritation and discomfort due to dryness.
Use after waxing or shaving
If you practice hair removal such as waxing or shaving, witch hazel may help with razor burn or post-wax redness. Again, the anti-inflammatory properties are what contribute to its soothing abilities. This is especially handy for those who may experience post-wax bleeding from damaged hair follicles. As smooth legs are certainly on the agenda for summer, it may be worthwhile to consider the properties of witch hazel.
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Photo: Twenty20 Kamal Patel is the director of Examine.com, an independent and unbiased encyclopedia on supplementation and nutrition. He is a nutrition researcher with an MPH and MBA from Johns Hopkins University, and is on hiatus from a PhD in nutrition, in which he researched the link between diet and chronic pain. He has published peer-reviewed articles on vitamin D and calcium as well as a variety of clinical research topics. Not too long ago, many health-conscious eaters were intent on avoiding dietary fat like the plague. Today, many among that crowd...
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