Home cleaning solutions for natural beauty treatments, there are many reasons to keep a bottle of witch hazel on hand. For centuries, this naturally derived product from the magic nut plant was harvested in North America and has been used for everything from promoting skin health to fighting infection and deterring unwanted pests. We spoke to Dendy Engelman, MD, and Eudene Harry, MD, of Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center to learn about all of the amazing benefits and uses of witch hazel and why it deserves a place in your medicine cabinet.

01 Cleanse oily skin

One of the best uses of witch hazel is as a natural face cleanser, especially when it comes to controlling excess oils. es, so it can be used effectively as an antiseptic," explains Engelman. Apply witch hazel to a cotton ball and cleanse the skin once or twice daily. You can also use a formulated witch hazel cleanser, like the Meow Meow Tweet Facial Cleanser ($ 25). This vegan face cleanser is made with a blend of witch hazel, Castile soap, and organic vegetable oils like sunflower and jojoba.

02- Treatment of minor wounds

Another great use of witch hazel is as a natural disinfectant for cuts and scrapes.You can use Thayer's Medicated Skin Irritation Relief Pads ($ 9) to relieve irritation from a minor burn. However, witch hazel should not be used on more widespread wounds and infections.

03 Treating insect bites

Do you have an insect bite?  Engelman explains that witch hazel can soothe itching, redness, and irritation from insect bites, along with other skin reactions such as poison ivy. Be sure to add witch hazel to your packing list for your next camping trip or outdoor trip. only keeping in spirit that if you have sensiitive skin, you may need to try using witch hazel in a cream form, according to Harry. You can also search for formulas that are alcohol-free. Try Green Goo's Bugs Be Gone ($ 15), an all-natural insect spray that uses witch hazel as the main ingredient so you can keep pests away without the strong smell of a typical bug repellant.

04 Acne treatment

As anyone who has experienced acne knows, it can be difficult to find a treatment that is truly effective and free of harsh chemicals. But this is where witch hazel comes in. Since witch hazel works as a drug, Engelman says it dries up acne blemishes. 

05 Reducing stretch marks
Witch hazel may offer some benefits for supporting healthy collagen fibers, making it a consideration for treating stretch marks. It's often used by pregnant women to prevent stretch marks from developing, ”Engelman says. Take advantage of the many benefits of witch hazel throughout the body with Susan Kaufman's Witch Hazel Bath ($ 76) for the perfect combination of self-care and skincare.

Keep in mind that witch hazel is acidic, and when used too much, it can be irritating to sensitive skin.

06 Soothe Razor Burn

We'll be honest - razor burn is pretty much the bane of our existence. Fortunately, witch hazel can help with that.  Thayer's Alcohol-Free Facial Toner ($ 11) is a drugstore staple skin care product that's always good to have in your medicine cabinet.

07 Treating cold sores
Dealing with cold sores is just that - that simple. Aside from treating her, you are also stuck knowing how to cover her with makeup. Although we're not here to talk about the latter, you may be able to using witch hazel to aide treat a cold sore, thanks to fact that wiitch hazel is a natural astringent. 

08 Makeup removal

It should come as no surprise that witch hazel can also help remove your makeup at the end of the day. Soak a cotton pad with Witch Hazel Enhanced Dickinson Toner with Rose Water ($ 6) and wipe it across your face to gently remove traces of makeup and impurities.

09 Reducing scars
Since stretch marks are such a type of scar, it should come as no surprise that witch hazel helps reduce their appearance as well. Try adding Witch Hazel ($ 7) general merchandise to your regular routine.

10 clean surfaces

Although not a skin care use, the cleansing properties of witch hazel can also be used to clean other surfaces. Simply combine witch hazel (like Witch Hazel from T.N. Dickinson's Witch Hazel, $ 4) with warm water and a pinch of lemon juice to create a refreshing, natural cleaning solution that works brilliantly on metal and glass surfaces, tiles, and even jewelry.
11- Helps treat hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are caused by swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum and anus, causing symptoms such as itching and bleeding.

Witch hazel is often used as a natural remedy to relieve discomfort and pain caused by hemorrhoids.

It is usually added to a washcloth or cotton ball and applied directly to the affected area to soothe the skin.

12- Reduces skin irritation
Sensitive skin, identified by abnormal sensory symptoms, is a very common condition, affecting up to 45% of Americans (6).                                                                                                                                                                                13- Fights acne
Thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, some research indicates that witch hazel can be helpful in treating acne.

It acts as an astringent, causing tissue to shrink to help shrink pores, while soothing your skin and relieving inflammation (5).

14- Relieves scalp sensitivity
Scalp sensitivity can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from cosmetic hair treatments to skin conditions, such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

Applying a little witch hazel to your scalp before washing your hair may help treat scalp sensitivity and relieve symptoms, such as itching and pain.

15- Soothes sore throats
Due to its ability to reduce inflammation and act as an astringent drug, witch hazel is sometimes used to treat sore throats.

Boiling 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of witch hazel in 1 cup (240 ml) of water for about 10 minutes, then gargling with the mixture may make you feel relief.

This is thought to help reduce swelling, reduce pain, and excess mucus dryness caused by a sore throat.

16- Protects against skin damage
Witch hazel is rich in tannins, a natural plant compound with powerful antioxidant properties that can help protect your skin from damage when applied topically.

One animal study found that tannins can act as a barrier that prevents inflammatory substances from entering skin cells.

17- Defenses of infection
Some studies indicate that witch hazel may be helpful in fighting certain types of viral infections.

One test-tube study found, for example, that the tannins in witch hazel showed antiviral effects against both influenza A and human papillomavirus (HPV).

18- Relieves inflammation
Inflammation is a natural immune response designed to protect your body from injury and infection.