I only saw my Grandmother, who lived with us when I was a young girl, use pure, cold water on her face every morning. Though she KEPT a bottle of witch hazel on the shelf by the sink, I never saw her use it on her face, just plain water. But here's my mother's grandmother/ witch hazel story: When my mother birthed a huge 3rd child, she was so badly ripped up that she could not move for the terrible pain.
My grandmother, who had been travelling, visited her at the hospital the afternoon of the morning birth and assessed the situation. She then went to a pharmacy and purchased a giant cotton pad and witch hazel. She soaked the cotton pad and placed it between my mother's legs. My mother said, within minutes, she could actually feel the drawing of the pain by the witch hazel and within two hours, she was walking around, pain free. I did mention once before that my grandmother was a healer/mid-wife from a rural community of the early 1900's. She was known far and wide, especially to the "train jumpers" that she fed from a huge black kettle in her back yard, near the rail-road tracks, during the great depression. She was a woman who saw people in need and dived in -- AND, it didn't matter to her what color, religion, philosophy, or background came off those trains. People were hurt and starving, so.....
peace out, CAT