Friday, September 30, 2011

Aromatherapy/Botanicals Tip of the Week

Ever since I was a kid, I've had trouble keeping my skin clear because it's so sensitive and pale. Every little blemish or patch of redness would seem magnified a thousand times on my fair skin. Of course, I tried all of the popular brands of acne care and whatnot, but they were always too harsh and made the situation worse. Luckily, someone finally told me about the wonders of witch hazel, a medicinal plant that has beneficial astringent properties when used in toners or any other facial care products. When I first started using witch hazel, I would buy the type available in most drug stores, which has alcohol in it. However, a few years ago I discovered a brand of witch hazel toner without alcohol, which is great for my skin because the alcohol would tend to be too drying.

There are many options out there when it comes to witch hazel toners, but I've become more interested in making my own to save money. Here is a recipe I found on eHow to make your own toner (find the entire article here):

1. Place the witch hazel bark and water in a saucepan. Allow the witch hazel bark to soak for half an hour.
2. Place the saucepan over a heat source, and bring the water to boil.
3. Put the lid on the saucepan, and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow the contents to cool.
5. Strain the liquid into a sterile, airtight glass container to remove the witch hazel bark.
6. Seal the container securely.

If you're interested in learning more about witch hazel, this site has a ton of fascinating info on the history and uses of this wonderful plant.

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