Photographed by Jennifer Biswas


Witch hazel is just as magical as it sounds. Although it has nothing to do with witches, it is a very powerful astringent that has been used by Native American cultures for centuries.

Witch hazel, which is also commonly known as Hamamelis, is a flowering plant that produces yellow flowers that release a citrus scent. The witch hazel itself is a liquid derived from the bark, leaf and twigs of this plant.  The liquid contains oils, tannins, and antiseptic properties that help to promote healthy skin.  There are many ways witch hazel can be a beneficial product, and we are here to share with you a couple of our favorites:

  1. Acne treatment- Acne is one of the most difficult skin conditions to treat. Applying witch hazel after you wash your face a couple times a day will help reduce buildup and bacteria on your face. When you start to notice your skin clearing up reduce it to just once a day.
  2. Stretch marks- Many of us suffer from stretch marks and there are ways to minimize them.  You can apply witch hazel directly to your stretch marks to help lighten your skin while also tightening. I’ve been using this treatment for a few weeks and already see great results!
  3. Relieving razor burns- Razor burns can be so uncomfortable. They itch, burn and can produce the most unattractive bumps. Using witch hazel after you shave (especially underarms) can help calm your skin and also prevent razor burn. I use it all the time on my underarms, and it also doubles as a deodorant.
  4. Varicose vein relief- these blue toned veins usually appear on the face and legs. To help heal them soak a cotton ball with witch hazel and apply directly to veins a couple times a day until you see them fade away.
  5. Bug bites- the next time you get bitten by some pesky bug apply the astringent to help soothe the itching and inflammation.

After trying many different witch hazel products, my favorite by far has been the Bretanna witch hazel. It’s so gentle on the skin and always leaves my skin looking fresh, evenly toned, moisturized and perfectly clean.  All of their witch hazels are also paraben free which is a huge plus! The Bretanna Witch Hazel comes in many variations with a variety of ingredients. My go to is Geranium Rosehip Aloe.  It not only works wonders on my skin, but also smells absolutely delightful!

Products available at BRETANNA