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Witch hazel

I noticed that many people still use this from Thayer's or Dickenson's or other makers. I trying each of those brands and others in years past but never cared for it. Great folk medicine, even FDA approved in some forms, but personally, I can't stand the stuff. We like what we like and don't like what we don't so this isn't an argument or challenge but for those who use witch hazel as part of your shaving process, why? What do you like about it and why choose it over something else? And do you use the genuine stuff which is IIRC 86% distilled witch hazel with natural oils and 14% alcohol or some other variation?
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
I use Dickenson's witch hazel but not straight. Mine is mixed with bay rum, 1 part witch hazel to 4 parts bay rum. I like the feel and scent when applied and my girlfriends like the faint after-scent.

My mixture is relatively cheap, working out at under US$30 per litre. A litre lasts me about 1,000 shaves.
 
I’ve never used it, however I’ve been reading about it a lot here and am about to purchase a bottle on Amazon. I want to use it to “water down” my Pinaud Clubman aftershave as I just find it too strong in scent. I’ve read that several others here are doing this and it strikes me as a good idea.
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
I’ve never used it, however I’ve been reading about it a lot here and am about to purchase a bottle on Amazon. I want to use it to “water down” my Pinaud Clubman aftershave as I just find it too strong in scent. I’ve read that several others here are doing this and it strikes me as a good idea.
Just remember to shake before use. I think?

I use the cheap stuff, store brand, when I use witch hazel. Which is what my wife bought during the pandemic..... I have probably used it less than 5x... I just prefer the "face feel" of aftershave. And the scent.
 
What I recall about it (and it goes back some years) is that I tried a plain version and the rose scented Thayer's. The scent for both was quite off putting. But whattayagonnado? There are those who don't like the scent of Arko either... ;)
 
It's soothing to the skin. If you have redness or irritation, this takes care of it. I also use it as a kind of final rinsing step. I blot off any excess with a small paper towel. Then, apply some type of aftershave, either a splash or a balm.

If you don't care for the smell, you can add a small amount of essential oil. I use lemon, orange, lemongrass, lavender, a bit of rose water, whatever appeals. I mix up a small amount fresh when I run low.
 
It’s not important either way but I just like it and I use it every shave after rinsing and before an aftershave. It feels sort of soothing to splash it on and pat my face. It’s a small thing but I enjoy it. More a ritual really. NorthernSoul expressed it well when he said it’s like a final rinsing step - that’s how I feel too.

The scent isn’t joyful - it’s rather agricultural - but I stopped noticing it at all after a while and it was never offensive and it doesn’t linger. I just don’t think of witch hazel as a scented product and I use the aftershave of my choice for that if I want to add fragrance.

It’s balms that I don’t get. I always hated smearing goo of any sort on my skin. I don’t care what properties the goo has, I just hate having it on my face.
 
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...It’s balms that I don’t get. I always hated smearing goo of any sort on my skin. I don’t care what properties the goo has, I just hate having it on my face.
Maybe try using less and applying to damp skin which will help dilute it. You only need a tiny amount and it should soak in right away. It doesn't need to be applied like sunscreen.

I have some balm from LEA that contains alcohol & menthol. It's more like a gel aftershave. Good stuff, and a little goes a long way.
 

Ron R

I survived a lathey foreman
I enjoy witch hazel for cleaning the skin of soap residual and also for diluting my aftershaves that are to strong a scent. Witch hazel has been also used for folks with skin issues for many years. When I first researched Witch hazel benefits I would read lots of reviews on Amazon of people who had much better results for healthy skin than not using it and seeing is believing when looking at photo's of before and after results(It's not a cure) but it can have very good results.
I hardly ever use my Alum anymore because witch hazel does much the same but is not salt based like Potassium Alum, I like to use my Alum still for testing shaves with new aggressive razors sometimes because it does indicate much better how the shave went than anything else IMO.
 
I enjoy witch hazel for cleaning the skin of soap residual and also for diluting my aftershaves that are to strong a scent. Witch hazel has been also used for folks with skin issues for many years. When I first researched Witch hazel benefits I would read lots of reviews on Amazon of people who had much better results for healthy skin than not using it and seeing is believing when looking at photo's of before and after results(It's not a cure) but it can have very good results.
I hardly ever use my Alum anymore because witch hazel does much the same but is not salt based like Potassium Alum, I like to use my Alum still for testing shaves with new aggressive razors sometimes because it does indicate much better how the shave went than anything else IMO.
Interesting, Ron. I went the other way and use alum most days and stopped using witch hazel (I think I may have used it for a year or so after reading about it some years back). I would think 14% alcohol witch hazel would be even better to test how you did on a shave!
 
I used to use Dickinson’s, but switched over to the store brand to save a few bucks per bottle. I haven’t really noticed a difference between the expensive versus the cheap stuff, but my face always feels better after a splash of witch hazel.
 

Chef455

Head Cheese Head Chef
I sometimes use Thayers Aftershave Blam w/ aloe. Feels nice, not much of a scent. Could be the aloe and various oils that are soothing and the witch hazel does absolutely zero. I certainly don't know.

That being said, when the, ahem, hemmerhoids act up you can't tell me that some witch hazel pads don't help the booty.
 
Decanting witch hazel to glass is worthwhile, IMO. I never could properly get witch hazel's scent until I was given a vintage bottle. Now I always decant.

For me, witch hazel cleans off tallow soap residue better than just hot water.
 
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I use Thayers Lemon Witch Hazel. Simple, its an astringent, it tones skin, tightens pours, helps to seal off nicks, helps with irritation, soothes skin. Yes I use alum block after every shave too, but alum you gotta rinse off, otherwise your face begins stinging. Like I said, Thayers Witch Hazel is soothing.

This one is Lemon scented, but its a weak scent, not strong at all guys, its not gonna send anyone out to the nearest airlock. If you use an aftershave splash, it will come with witch hazel in it yes. But if you are using an aftershave balm, it doesn't come with witch hazel in it. So, having a bottle of this makes sense.

And no, Thayers Lemon Witch Hazel is not expensive guys, it doesn't cost that much to buy one bottle. And I have had this bottle since I bought it back in April I think it was. Now, I don't use it every single time I shave, so that helps to make it last. Like I said, I mainly use it for skin maintenance.
 

Mike M

...but this one IS cracked.
I only use witch hazel if I get irritation during a shave because I find it calms my face and neck. I spray a normal chemists brand from a mister bottle and give it a run with my hand. Rosewater works just as well and smells better too so if you don't like witch hazel that is a possibility.
 
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