Witch hazel / essential oil % 's?

#1
I know this came up on another thread but it was a bit of a hijack and not quite the same issue discussed.

Had some oils which I found dubious and returned. Happy I now have some 100% proper stuff. Have had a play under some guidance and following a little research but it seems like the warnings are always around do not go over around 3% eo to witch hazel. The issue I am finding is that witch hazel has a very individual smell as you will know; almost animal like, and not in a pleasant way. The % oil I am adding changes that but I still get an underlying ( or is it over lying ) whiff of the original witch hazel. There are a few sources around that deal with this but what do you guys use? Have seen suggestions regarding adding glycerin and aloe vera to oils and WH with a splash of tea tree and so it goes on./ . Just trying to keep it basic but do not want to go overboard with the oil which can apparently have adverse effects on the skin. Need to get rid of the badger's ar*e whiff on the WH though./
 
#2
A lot of 'witch hazel' splashes are not, say, 97% witch hazel and 3% EO (esssential oils).
Grab a bit of distilled water if you get the opportunity - it can be found in places like B&Q for topping up car batteries or coolant but is fine to be used for experimenting at home. I doubt that most conventional witch hazel mixtures have more than, at a complete guess, 20 weight % distilled witch hazel and I guesstimate that even that value is high.

Glycerin isn't a bad idea - it's a humectant so draws moisture to the skin (as glycerin itself is hygroscopic, i.e. it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere).

It might be a good idea to have a look for 'witch hazel splash recipe' or similar to see what you can find with regards to witch hazel mixtures. You might be able to do a vodka, EO, witch hazel and glycerin mix with some skin-benefiting properties and a decent smell. For what it's worth, essential oils are very 'raw' in their scent so mixing them can be really quite hit-and-miss. You can experiment with what it'll smell like (with regards to the EOs only) by adding them to a portion of ethanol/vodka or similar and dab a sheet of paper into it. What you get off it will largely be your resulting smell.

Lastly, try and be vigilant with measurements. Don't be afraid to buy syringes or measuring cylinders to get accurate measurements under your belt. At the end of the day, if you're not accurate, you might like one of your test creations and be entirely unable to replicate it.

Good luck! :D I love experiments!
 
#3
Yes , I suppose the experimenting is a good part of what I am doing. The fact remains, having gone 'large' on ratios way and above what is recommended, the witch hazel smell is always there in the background if nowhere else. It goes without saying that the WH is excellent stuff. Maybe it should be accepted for what it is, raw and VERY effective. . Apply it, let it do what it does, let it scent off ( which it does VERY quickly ) then go from there.

Edit - having said all that and after overloading a sample with some proper peppermint a couple of hours ago, I am getting no WH and loads of the peppermint still. Promising?
 
#4
A lot of 'witch hazel' splashes are not, say, 97% witch hazel and 3% EO (esssential oils).
I doubt that most conventional witch hazel mixtures have more than, at a complete guess, 20 weight % distilled witch hazel and I guesstimate that even that value is high
Brain moment!!! Of course. All those over the counter / imported jobs... Thatchers etc etc, are all mixed down with water + the smellies. I am trying to do this with 100% distilled Witch Hazel. WTF did I not see that one and why the same 'F' did nobody else . No wonder I cannot get rid of the hint of badgers bum ( well tree bark ).

Must follow though that using 100% WH alone, or with a few drops of eo that will maybe remain after the WH smell has gone, must be better than those brands some people rave about and which come in at extortionate prices.
 
#7
Brain moment!!! Of course. All those over the counter / imported jobs... Thatchers etc etc, are all mixed down with water + the smellies. I am trying to do this with 100% distilled Witch Hazel. WTF did I not see that one and why the same 'F' did nobody else . No wonder I cannot get rid of the hint of badgers bum ( well tree bark ).

Must follow though that using 100% WH alone, or with a few drops of eo that will maybe remain after the WH smell has gone, must be better than those brands some people rave about and which come in at extortionate prices.
I’d be tempted to go for a lower WH quantity and more EO smell.
Just because you’ve more of something doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better.

Take the 30SPF vs 50SPF sun tan lotion argument. 30SPF blocks 98% of UV and 50 blocks 99%. Ontop of that, the 30 might still perform better even with a potentially lower concentration of active ingredients.

If it’s just for you’d I’d say do what you want. If it was to ever be distributed amongst friends then part of the battle is making people want to use it.
 
#8
I’d be tempted to go for a lower WH quantity and more EO smell.
Just because you’ve more of something doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better.

Take the 30SPF vs 50SPF sun tan lotion argument. 30SPF blocks 98% of UV and 50 blocks 99%. Ontop of that, the 30 might still perform better even with a potentially lower concentration of active ingredients.

If it’s just for you’d I’d say do what you want. If it was to ever be distributed amongst friends then part of the battle is making people want to use it.
Mmmm. Understand where you are coming from but disagree.

Not sure you can compare this to the spf nos on sun lotions. I would be more likely to compare the astringent properties of WH to an antiseptic remedy. Water it down = not as effective. I would rather forgo the niceties in favour of the benefits. Just trying to see if there is a solution to the smell without reducing the aforesaid benefits.
 
#11
Mmmm. Understand where you are coming from but disagree.

Not sure you can compare this to the spf nos on sun lotions. I would be more likely to compare the astringent properties of WH to an antiseptic remedy. Water it down = not as effective. I would rather forgo the niceties in favour of the benefits. Just trying to see if there is a solution to the smell without reducing the aforesaid benefits.
I can make the comparison.

Say the astringent properties of WH are only effective up to 15% concentration of WH and that thereafter there's no additional astringent properties; why would you need 90+% WH? Of course this is hypothetical but look around and you might be able to find the answer. Watering it down will only count past so far a %. It might not be a linear interaction as you're assuming (correct me if I'm wrong about your assumption, of course). To use your antiseptic remedy example, say a 5% wt mixture of antiseptic:water is 99% effective, would you use it undiluted for potentially that extra %, even if it came with it's downsides?

Often, there's more to some of the ingredients than them being 'niceties'. Glycerin, humectant. Carrier oils, emollient. Ethanol, increased rate of evaporation, preservative, antiseptic and solvation of 'niceties'. Vitamin E/Tocopherol, skin softening and antioxidant... The list does go on.

I think you're going to struggle to get rid of the bacon-flavoured crisps type smell (that's what I associated it with first and foremost, ha) with the high %'s of WH. To use a branded example, Thayers seem highly regarded with their not-100%-WH mixture as it doesn't smell bad and does what it's supposed to.

Like I said, it's entirely up to you to experiment but I think you'll struggle to overcome the fundamental issue of the quantity of witch hazel used producing an unpleasant smell. FWIW, activated carbon is sometimes used to remove impurities - it might reduce the amount of smell in your mixture but I doubt by much. NB: Activated carbon is usually very light so dusts easily - a mask, gloves and goggles would be worthwhile if you choose to handle it.
 
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