Produced from the witch hazel shrub, witch hazel is a clear liquid that is often used as an astringent. The witch hazel shrub (genus: hamamelis) is a small plant that grows in North America, as well as Japan. Extracted from the leaves and bark of the North American variety (Hamamelis virginiana), witch hazel is fantastic for sensitive or dry skins because it is extremely gentle. Once the extract is obtained, water and alcohol are added for use. A clear liquid, witch hazel does have a unique, slightly sour odor.