Peppermint oil is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world.
It can help with a wide variety of health problems, and is used for its flavoring and fragrance in a number of culinary dishes, cosmetic products, and soaps.
It also has a number of properties that make it useful for treating acne.
In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of using this essential oil on your skin, and I’ll show you how to use peppermint oil for acne.
- 1 What Is Peppermint Oil?
- 2 Is Peppermint Oil Good For Acne?
- 3 How To Use Peppermint Oil For Acne
- 4 Side Effects And Precautions
- 5 Final Thoughts
What Is Peppermint Oil?
The peppermint plant is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. Originating from the Middle East and Europe, it can now be found across most parts of the world.
There are records of its medicinal use dating back thousands of years. Peppermint leaves have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs, and it was also used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Peppermint oil is extracted from the mint leaves and stem of the plant, prior to it flowering. It’s extracted by steam distillation when it’s either fresh or slightly dried.
There’s a high level of menthol in the oil, which is what gives it most of its medicinal properties.
These days it’s used in healthcare to treat:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Respiratory tract catarrh
- Muscle pain
- Nerve pain
Is Peppermint Oil Good For Acne?
While scientific studies specifically looking at its effectiveness in treating acne patients are hard to find, peppermint oil does have a number of properties that are useful in the treatment of acne.
Scientific studies have shown that menthol is a potent antibacterial (1).
In one study, peppermint oil was shown to be effective in reducing the amount of the acne bacteria P. acnes (2).
This ability to act against P. acnes provides a clear way that peppermint oil could be useful in reducing an acne infection and preventing it from occurring.
When applied to the skin, peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory properties due to the menthol it contains (3).
Your body’s inflammatory response to the bacterial infection is responsible for the red, angry swellings that mark your face and body.
As an anti-inflammatory, menthol could help to reduce this response and calm the inflammation.
Peppermint oil contains flavanones and phenolic acids (such as caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid) that act as antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals (4).
This is useful for the treatment of acne. When these antioxidants are applied to the skin they help to protect it from the free radical damage that occurs after exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
UV induced damage to sebum in the skin is an important stage in the development of an acne infection as it provides the necessary environment for the bacteria to grow (5).
Antipruritic And Analgesic
Menthol creates a cooling sensation when it’s applied to the skin which helps to numb pain and irritation (6).
This can alleviate any discomfort that you are feeling on your skin from an acne infection.
Studies on rats have shown that peppermint is anti-androgenic. Spearmint is also an anti-androgen, and studies have confirmed that this is the case in people. It’s therefore very likely that peppermint oil is also anti-androgenic in people.
This means it can reduce androgen levels in men and women. In doing so it reduces sebum production by the skin (7). Excess sebum production is a feature of acne.
Anecdotal reports from people who have used peppermint oil indicate that it can treat oily skin.
How To Use Peppermint Oil For Acne
Peppermint oil should be diluted before you apply it to your skin. You can use it on its own diluted with water. Aim for no more than a 2% solution if you are new to using it.
It can also be combined with other natural acne treatments to enhance the effects. Here are some healthy recipes for you to try:
Peppermint Oil And Avocado Oil For Acne
Directions For Use:
1. Get a bottle of peppermint oil and a bottle of organic cold pressed avocado oil.
2. Measure 10 teaspoons of avocado oil into a container.
3. Add 3 drops of peppermint oil and mix together.
4. Apply to your face using your fingers or a brush.
5. Repeat each day.
6. Keep the excess in a sealed container in the fridge for further use.
Peppermint Oil And Tea Tree Oil For Acne
Directions For Use:
1. Get a bottle of peppermint oil and a bottle of 100% tea tree oil.
2. Get a measuring cylinder.
3. Measure out 2 ml of tea tree oil and 2 ml of peppermint oil into a small container with a lid using the measuring cylinder.
4. Add 100 ml of water to the container and put the lid on.
5. Shake the container before use to mix the oils with the water.
6. Use a cotton bud to apply it to your face.
7. Keep the sealed container with the diluted oils in the fridge.
8. Use each day.
9. You can replace the tea tree oil with another essential oil with proven acne-fighting properties, such as lavender oil if you prefer.
Peppermint Oil And Aloe Vera Gel For Acne
Directions For Use:
1. Get a jar of the best Aloe vera gel brand and a bottle of peppermint oil.
2. Measure 1 tablespoon of the gel into a container.
3. Add a couple of drops of peppermint oil and stir the ingredients together.
4. Use your fingertips to apply the mixture to your face.
5. Keep the excess mixture in the sealed container in the fridge.
6. Repeat every day.
Side Effects And Precautions
- Before using peppermint oil on your skin it's best to do a patch test on the back of your wrist to check for any reaction, as it can cause a rash.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before using peppermint oil.
- Don't use peppermint oil on the face of small children as it can cause breathing problems.
- Be careful when applying the peppermint oil to keep it away from your eyes. Even using it on your eyelids can cause discomfort.
- If you are on medication then speak to your doctor before starting to use this essential oil (8).
Peppermint oil has a long history of use for medicinal purposes, and some people find that it helps them to clear up their acne.
But, not everyone’s skin reacts the same, and it might not be an effective home remedy for others.
It has a number of properties that can be beneficial in treating acne, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-androgenic properties.
It can be used on its own, diluted with water, or mixed with carrier oils and other natural treatments for acne.
Have you tried peppermint essential oil for acne? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.