When it comes to skin issues, acne is one of the most prevalent and frustrating conditions to deal with. Whether you’re faced with a single pimple or a chronic break-out, trying to get rid of acne can be maddening. The common over-the-counter treatments can be full of chemicals, and after time, they may stop working or actually irritate the skin even more. For those who want a more natural alternative, there is hope – recent studies have shown that spearmint tea may be able to help with acne and promote healthy, beautiful skin.

Causes & Symptoms of Acne

Although acne is known for appearing on the face, it can actually appear on the neck, shoulders, arms, chest and back. When the hair follicles in the skin become clogged with excess skin oils and dead skin cells, the clogged pores will cause acne to develop. Bacterial infections can also happen within the pore, causing inflammation and a raised red spot on the skin – a pimple. Only when the infection is cleared and the pore unclogged will the breakout be healed.

Excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria are the main causes of acne, but other factors can increase the likelihood of a breakout or make it worse. Specific hormones called androgens can cause an increase in the creation of skin oils, which causes acne breakouts. These hormones fluctuate during puberty, hence why more outbreaks occur during this period, but they can lead to acne in older adults and even in young children.

Certain medications can also make acne worse, as can a diet high in carbohydrates and dairy products. Stress can also contribute to acne, leading to more frequent breakouts. Surprisingly, dirt on your face does not increase outbreaks, but scrubbing too harshly might, as it irritates the skin. Use gentle cleansers to remove oils and dead skin from the face, and use warm water rather than hot when washing your face.

How Spearmint Tea Alleviates Acne

Used internally or externally, spearmint tea can have a positive effect on healing and reducing acne outbreaks. Spearmint helps women in particular by promoting the balance of hormones, reducing the amount of androgens in the blood. This limits the production of skin oils and makes it less likely that pores will become clogged. Spearmint tea also helps to reduce stress levels, removing another factor known to worsen acne.

Spearmint tea also has antibacterial properties that can work against a variety of bacteria. This may help to limit bacterial infections that cause inflammation in the pores, and may aid the immune system in combatting an existing bacterial infection. Best of all, spearmint tea does not irritate the skin of most people in the way that the chemicals in over-the-counter treatments can, and can be used as needed.

Using Spearmint Tea

Drinking 1-2 cups of spearmint tea daily can significantly help to reduce breakouts, especially in cases of acne that is caused by a hormone imbalance. It is important, however, that the tea be 100% spearmint; many tea companies offer spearmint tea blends rather than pure spearmint, thus limiting its effectiveness.

To use spearmint tea externally, steep a strong tea and allow it to cool to room temperature. Use the tea as a rinse for your skin, or apply it to the skin with a cloth. You can also place the used tea bag against the skin for a few minutes.

Some people with sensitive skin or allergies to menthol may find that spearmint can irritate their skin. Before applying spearmint tea to your face, test it on the skin of your inner elbow, where the skin is more sensitive. If the skin becomes irritated, do not use spearmint tea externally.

More Information on Spearmint Tea