Who doesn't love a peppermint candy for instant fresh breath? I know I love them!
The cooling and sweet taste of peppermint-flavored candies comes from peppermint oil. We can often see products in the market — like toothpaste, mouthwash, and soaps — coming in peppermint variants.
But did you know that peppermint oil is used for various medicinal purposes and has studied beneficial effect on itchy skin?
Today, we are going to find out all about peppermint oil — what uses it is known for and how we can incorporate it to our skin care regimen.
What Is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint oil is steam distilled from Mentha × piperita or the peppermint herb. The peppermint herb is a natural cross between two types of mint — water mint and spearmint — and grows throughout Europe and North America.
This oil is characterized by its distinctive minty cool, invigorating fresh scent. The oil appears clear to a pale yellow in color and watery viscosity.
Peppermint oil is quite versatile and is a popular choice in essential oils because of this. Since time immemorial, peppermint oil has been used to treat headaches, the common cold, neuralgia, etc.There are more than 40 different compounds in peppermint oil, but menthol is often the subject of studies. Menthol is responsible for most of the known uses of peppermint oil.
History of Peppermint Oil
Peppermint, indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, is now cultivated widely in many regions.
Before the vast popularity of the plant, records from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome show that peppermint has been used medicinally for centuries. People of old treated gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, and nausea, as well as cold, headache, and cramps with the use of this oil.
But it was not until the 1700s that peppermint was recognized as a distinct kind of mint.
Different Uses of Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil gained its popularity, as mentioned above, because of its known multiple uses. Here are some of the super powers of peppermint oil:
- reduces or relieves irritable bowel syndrome
- reduces abdominal pain from GI tract issues
- relieves pain from headaches and migraines
- stimulates the scalp and removes dandruff
- de-congests nasal tract
- reduces the severity of itches
- relieves muscle pain and fatigue
Many from the list above are the effect of peppermint oil when used in aromatherapy. The oil is also believed to stimulate circulation, reduce feelings of nervous tension, soothe feelings of irritability, boost energy, balance hormones, and enhances mental focus.
Using a diffuser for this oil evenly disperses the vapors so that it can enter the respiratory system more gently.
Skin Benefits of Peppermint Oil
Now that we know a little bit more about peppermint oil, it is time to get more intimately acquainted with this oil's skin benefits!
Itchiness and acne-prone skin coexist. We all know the temptation posed by a newly formed red lump on our skin — begging to be lightly tapped then scratched, giving us satisfaction but only making the acne worse.
In various studies regarding the topical application of peppermint oil, studied extensively is the oil's ability to reduce the itchiness of the skin. Different data found on this skin benefit ensures that we can surely observe this effect on our skin.In this study, as little as 5% peppermint oil is needed to relieve chronic itchiness.
Little to no studies have made the astringent property of peppermint oil as a subject. Although herbalists often list this property as an effect of this oil. Natural astringents like peppermint oil are better than alcohol-based astringents saturating the markets. But we must always be cautious when it comes to our skin.
Fights Acne and Reduces Inflammation
The following mentioned are the studied properties and effects of peppermint oil. However, these are only based on the components of the oil. There are no research, as of writing, that performed topical applications of peppermint oil to study these properties and effects.
Among these three, the anti-inflammatory effect of peppermint oil has plenty of testimonials. This effect on the skin is highly probable since peppermint oil has a cooling impact brought on by menthol. We must only be cautious in the amount we use and be sure to only apply the peppermint oil after diluting it.
How to Use Peppermint Oil
It is hard to resist using peppermint oil in our skin care because of its fresh minty scent! Of course, we don't have to resist because using this oil will benefit us greatly.
From the benefits we discussed, the relief peppermint oil provides to itchy skin is a god-send for those with acne-prone skin. This oil is the cool solution to hot, inflamed itchy skin.
To obtain this benefit from peppermint oil, you can incorporate a drop or two to your existing skin care products or feature the oil in your upcoming DIY projects.
To inspire you, here is a DIY salve recipe with peppermint oil!
Salve Recipe with Peppermint Oil
- clean, dry container
- heat-proof bowl
- 2 ounces jojoba oil
- 1/4 ounces mango butter
- 5 drops rosemary essential oil
- 5 drops lemongrass essential oil5 drops peppermint essential oil
How To Prepare and Use It?
1. Add the jojoba oil and mango butter in a double boiler. Heat until all of the mango butter has dissolved evenly into jojoba oil.
2. Add the essential oils and stir well.
3. Quickly pour into the container. Be sure to pour it before it starts to cool, so you get a smooth looking salve.
You can use this salve both morning and evening on clean skin. Use after you have layered all your thin serums and oil blends, as the salve is thicker than them. This salve will not only moisturize and refresh your skin — it also locks-in the goodness from your previous skin care products!
Is Peppermint Oil Safe?
Peppermint oil has been in use for many years. Various studies focus on peppermint oil and its effects. However, it is best to practice caution in using any essential oils.
With all essential oils, you must dilute peppermint oil in a carrier oil. Even if you are welcoming this minty oil with open arms into your routine, you must still dilute essential oils!
Always perform a patch test when using a new oil. Dilute a small amount of the EO in a carrier oil and place a drop of it on the inner area of your elbow. Leave it on for 24 hours and observe the skin for any reactions.
For safety purposes, it is not advised for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use essential oils without consulting medical professionals.
For children and the elderly, it is highly advised to contact your physician or doctor before using oils. Self-treatment of chronic diseases by applying peppermint oil may also hold serious consequences without professional advice.
How to Choose Peppermint Oil
As with all essential oils, remember not to buy peppermint oil from food stores. Apart from these reminders, here are the things you should look for when choosing your peppermint oil:
- 100% essential oil
- Therapeutic grade
Peppermint is more than just an after-dinner mint. There are so many uses you can get from the oil of this herb, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic purposes.
Surely no one is too cool for this cool oil. The various benefits we can obtain from peppermint oil are hard to pass up! You can enjoy the cooling feeling and fresh minty scent while acquiring the numerous skin benefits this oil has to offer.
If we observe proper caution and utilization with this oil, we are sure to be a step closer to the wondrous skin of our dreams!
Thank you for reading the post!
Have you used peppermint oil before? What do you like best about it? Got any DIY recipes with this oil? Share in the comments below!
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The Information on this website has not been evaluated by FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The content is for educational purposes only and not intended to substitute medical advice. You should seek the advice of your health care practitioner before undertaking any health changes.
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