Astringent and toning
Witch hazel is astringent and ideal to boost circulation in blood vessels, helping to maintain glowing and bouncy skin. The plant is also thought to prevent bacterial growth and to soothe the skin.
The common witch hazel is from the Hamamelis family and is native to North America with oval, jagged leaves that look like the leaves of hazel plants. It is thought that this may be how witch hazel got its name even if the two plants have no relation.
The plant produces clusters of vivid yellow flowers in the autumn, appearing while the previous year's seed pods are reaching maturity. The pods contain two black and glossy seeds. Native Americans ate these, even if collecting them can be an occupational hazard because they explode from the shell when ripe. The leaves branches, leaves and twigs are collected at various times throughout the year. They are dried, blended with alcohol for tinctures, or steamed for distillates.
While witch hazel infusion is done by adding the twigs and bark of the plant to hot water, the extract is sourced from France and distilled from the same parts of the plant, bringing its powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties to various products.
How It’s Made: Sunflower
Sunflower solid deodorant is made in small batches of up to 30 kilos. Because the batchsize is so small it can all be done by one compounder.
The process begins with a traditional deodorising and anti-inflammatory infusion, which is made of dried witch hazel, dried cleavers and fresh chrysanthemum tops. Once the infusion is complete, propylene glycol and sodium stearate are mixed in by hand. The first ingredient is a humectant and gives a beautiful slip to the product, making it a roll on, and locking in moisture into the skin, and the second ingredient solidifies the mixture into a solid slab. When the mixture is cool enough freshly squeezed orange juice is poured in, alongside the zesty fragrance.
Now it’s ready to pour into the moulds with more beautiful chrysanthemums for decoration. They are left to set overnight and are ready to be shipped out to keep pits smelling as fresh as a…. Sunflower.