Just like the name suggests, witch hazel extract is derived from the witch hazel’s twigs, back and leaves. Witch hazel is a shrub native to North America. The extract is loaded with astringent and anti-inflammatory properties and is widely used to formulate many skin care products. So versatile is the extract that it can be used to get rid of skin conditions such as varicose veins and acne, as well as diaper rash. In addition to being used in skin care products, the extract is also used in shaving creams, eye drops, astringents and toners, as well as facial cleaners.
How Do You Make Witch Hazel Extract?
The easiest way to make witch hazel extract at home is to boil the plant’s stems. This basically means having access to a flowering witch hazel shrub. Mash the broken pieces of the shrub and stems in a big pot, add distilled water and cover it.
Allow the water to boil, reduce the heat and simmer on low temperature. Leave the concoction uncovered for at least eight hour to make sure that the stems are soft. You will need to add more distilled water as needed during the entire period that the twigs are covered.
When the allocated cooking time has elapsed, remove the pot from the heating source and let the mixture cool down. Strain the extract with a fine cheesecloth into a jar.
Witch hazel extract can be used in its fresh from, but you may consider keeping it in a refrigerator for a period of one or two weeks. If you want to increase the shelf life of the extract to as much as one year, mix the extract with alcohol from the pharmacy.
If you don’t have access to the witch hazel stems, you may buy the plant’s barks. The procedure of making the extract from the barks is the same, save for the fact that you will have to boil the barks a little longer than the stems.
How do You Use Witch Hazel Extract?
The extract is only intended for external use. You should not use the extract close to the eyes or mucous membrane. Also, you should not use it on broken skin, wounds, or burns. Note that the extract may cause skin irritation if used in excessive amounts. Seek immediate medical attention if the extract is ingested.
Does the Extract Have any Side Effects?
While witch hazel is beneficial to the human body in more than one ways, it comes with some side effects that may differ from one person to the other. In most cases, the side effects come into being if you use the extract in excessive amounts. Some of the common side effects include nausea, constipation, and upset stomach. Note that these side effects are only temporal and may go away as the body gets used to the activities of the extract.
The benefits of using the witch hazel extract far outweigh the disadvantages. If you are serious about keeping your skin looking flawless and smooth, then the extract should feature highly on your list of skin care products.…