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Uses for witch hazel

By on January 19, 2011

Witch hazel is a cheap product that has multiple uses. Maybe you have a bottle of it in your cabinet collecting dust. Many people use it as an astringent/facial toner a couple of times and then put it away and forget about it. How have you used it?
Here are a few suggestions.

witch hazel


Apply witch hazel to a cotton ball and apply under your eyes or soak a washcloth with witch hazel and cold water and use it as a compress under your eyes to reduce bagginess.


Apply witch hazel to a washcloth and apply to skin to sooth a sunburn. It has anti-inflammatory properties and provides temporary relief to prevent peeling and flaking. Or add a few tea bags, 2 cups of Epsom salt or several drops of lavender or peppermint essential oils to a cool-water bath and soak in the tub. When you get out, you can apply some witch hazel to your skin.


You can make your own deodorant. Simply dab your armpits with a cotton ball soaked with witch hazel. One reader, Ali from Indiana, shares: “I make homemade deodorant. I have such an awful time with regular deodorant. It makes me itch!” Here’s her recipe.

1/4 cup witch hazel
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
drops of essential oil

Mix in a spray bottle. Spray it on a cloth and wipe on.


You can make your own. Another reader, Misty from Indiana, shares: “For those of you who want to make something for the men in your life, try making homemade aftershave. It is simple and inexpensive to make.

1/4 cup witch hazel
1/2 cup distilled water
3 drops benzoin oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup dried herbs and/or a few drops of your favorite essential oils, such as lavender; crushed herbs, such as rosemary, lavender and sage; citrus, such as orange or lemon peels; or spices, such as cinnamon or cloves.

Combine ingredients in a glass jar. Cover and place in cool, dark place. Shake the jar once or twice a day for two weeks. Strain through a colander and refrigerate.” Splash on after shaving. It soothes razor burn, too.


Apply to affected area of skin with a cotton ball. It takes away the itching and inflammation/swelling.


Apply to the skin. Much like with insect bites and minor sunburns, it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and aids in healing.


Use it on chrome, glass and mirrors or to clean jewelry. You can also use 1/2 cup witch hazel, 1 cup of water and about 15 drops of essential oil such as lavender, grapefruit, eucalyptus or cedar, combine it in a spray bottle and use as an air freshener or for countertops, too. Witch hazel on a cotton ball works well to remove hair dye stains on skin, too.


Combine 1 part witch hazel to 2 parts water and add a few drops of essential oil and massage into hair and scalp. Rinse.


  1. Elizabeth

    1/19/2011 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips! I have a bottle left over from when I had my ears pierced and now I have some ways to use it up!

    The piercer I saw recommended witch hazel for regular cleansing for the reasons you listed above. Hydrogen peroxide dries out tissues and actually impedes healing.

  2. Pete

    1/24/2011 at 2:01 pm

    Wonderful tips! Unfortunately, when I looked for some, it was terribly difficult to find, and quite expensive. Am hoping that has changed recently. Where is the best place to find it?

    • Fran

      1/29/2011 at 12:24 am

      Pete, You should be able to find witch hazel at any drug or retail store such as Walmart, KMart, CVS, Walgreen, etc. It is usually stocked along side hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol. The last two bottles I bought this fall were on sale for $.99 each, I think the regular price at CVS is $1.49. Good luck.

  3. nat

    10/3/2011 at 12:03 am

    Witch hazel is a miracle product. Works great for all the uses above and I might add that it works getting rid of dark spots on the face and acne marks in a short period of time when using it morning and night. I’ve found all sorts of uses for witch hazel and wouldn’t live without it now!

  4. Joy DeLong

    3/9/2012 at 10:49 pm

    So, how does one process the flower to get the oil?

    • Pamela

      10/9/2016 at 8:34 am

      You have to have many flowers.. Distillation processes..

  5. jim Horvath

    7/21/2012 at 2:29 pm

    I simply use it as a splash on after a shower, shaving and whenever. GREAT!

  6. anni

    2/7/2013 at 10:43 am

    I love wich hazel. I use it for an astringent daily and always use it after I get my eyebrows waxed! I run home and wash the area then wipe away. It reduces the irritation on my sensitive skin. I’m researching on using it (preferably ONLY wich hazel) as a deoderant

  7. Talia

    4/19/2014 at 1:11 pm

    If you use this product as a skin remedy, is it necessary to moisturise you face as well ?

  8. Nancy

    12/11/2019 at 7:53 pm

    I’m really glad that I found this comments to read, I’m gonna continue reading more about the use on Witch Hazel, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I’m gonna search if there is any relief on using Witch Hazel by applying it on my body…. Thank you again

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