Used as an astringent, toning facial cleanser; decreases skin puffiness and reduces pore size.
When distilled and combined with alcohol, the aromatic oil extracted from the bark of the witch hazel shrub makes a soothing and mildly astringent lotion. Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana) is an excellent astringent, toning facial cleanser, used to decrease bags under eyes, skin puffiness, and to reduce pore size. It can be used for all skin types, oily to dry. Native Americans used the plant to stop bleeding, soothe itchy skin and bites, and for eye irritations. In the 1800s, Theron T. Pond made Witch Hazel extract widely available in America as a commercial preparation. It became known as Pond’s Extract. Witch hazel may be the most familiar of all home herbal medicines being mild and gentle in action. It is a general and all purpose first aid remedy for abrasions, burns, scalds, insect bites and other inflammatory conditions of the skin.