Down on the Farm with Thayers

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Long after the last of the summer and fall vegetables have fallen off the vine and most fields are laid bare, the Thayers farm in Fairfield County, Connecticut comes alive. Like a diva making a late, show-stopping grand entrance to a party, the countless Witch Hazel shrubs produce a spectacular display of blooms from September through December and bask in the limelight when few flowers can compete for attention. Earning the nickname “Winter Bloom” for its late flowering period, American Witch Hazel or Hamamelis Virginiana jazzes up winter landscapes with its silvery-gray bark and oval leaves that gradually mature to clusters of shimmering gold.

Here at the Thayers family farm and company headquarters, the carefully tended Witch Hazel plants have a much more important purpose than offering a colorful pop of yellow during gray winter months. The certified organic Witch Hazel grown here is continuing a legacy of a beloved personal care brand that started in 1847 with the launch of Henry Thayer & Company.


Henry Thayer was the son of a prominent physician from one of the earliest families to settle in Massachusetts. He opened a laboratory on Main Street in Cambridge, where he formulated and sold herbal extracts, tinctures, poultices, syrups, and other remedies exclusively to


the medical community. At one time, Henry Thayer & Company produced more than 800 products and was described as the largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals in America during the Civil War. A legacy ingredient in many of the products was Witch Hazel Extract, which was frequently prescribed as a “tonic, astringent, and sedative.”

When Henry passed away in 1902 and left the company to his niece, Thayers was well on its way to becoming a beloved, globally recognized brand that would produce an array of astringents, facial mists, soaps, lip balms, Slippery Elm lozenges, and premium witch hazel toners. Today, thousands of loyal customers rave about the #1 selling Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Rose Petal Toner* that has amassed a cult-like following over the years. The family farm in Easton, Connecticut, has enabled Thayers to continue to provide organic, cruelty-free and time-tested skincare remedies to generations of happy customers.


Harvest time begins at Thayers farm in late autumn and continues throughout winter. The witch hazel is harvested the old-fashioned way, with all parts of the shrub collected and sent to a local manufacturer for extraction, a process that sets Thayers products apart from many of its competitors.

“We recently sent 250 pounds of Witch Hazel to be extracted into our proprietary Witch Hazel Aloe Vera blend that is renowned for its skincare benefits,” said Andrea Gity, Thayers Marketing Manager. “Because our Witch Hazel is extracted instead of distilled, it contains 195% more tannins, a naturally occurring antioxidant that helps balance the skin’s pH levels.”


After the extraction process, Thayers premium Witch Hazel products are manufactured and packaged with a nostalgic nod to Henry Thayer, whose likeness and profile graces every product. Toners, astringents, facial mists, and towelettes are finished with an iconic red cap and shipped to select retailers nationwide, including Target, Ulta and Whole Foods, to name a few. After more than 170 years of perfecting Witch Hazel products, Thayers reminds its customers to “Trust the Red Cap” for quality, cruelty-free products that have amassed tens of thousands of positive reviews online. Here are just a few reasons skincare and beauty enthusiasts are obsessed with Thayers Witch Hazel products:


  • Witch Hazel is a natural astringent
  • It helps control acne and oil production
  • The vast majority of Witch Hazel products on the market are distilled. Thayers is non-distilled, resulting in 195% more tannins for better hydration and collagen production
  • The tannins in Thayers Witch Hazel serve as a mild antioxidant
  • It helps heal cuts, bumps, burns, and bites
  • It’s a natural anti-inflammatory that reduces puffiness and redness
  • No matter why you choose to have Witch Hazel as a staple on your bathroom shelf, you can be sure our products were made with the utmost love and care, starting with our year-around attention to the Witch Hazel shrubs that reign supreme at our farm!


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