We have all faced the dilemma. What’s the best herb for acne? While mint shows promising results in preventing breakouts, there are several varieties of mint out there.
The most significant of all varieties of mint are peppermint and spearmint. Both these herbs have distinctive taste and medicinal properties that have made them domestic favourites.
In this article, we will break down the major differences between peppermint and spearmint, their health benefits, and how their teas can help combat acne.
Which is better for fighting acne: Peppermint Tea or Spearmint Tea?
- While both peppermint and spearmint tea have various health benefits when consumed, spearmint tea has the upper hand in clearing acne.
- Spearmint tea has shown to visibly reduce the frequency of breakouts due to its amazing ability to control the level of male hormones. On the other hand, both spearmint and peppermint tea have antimicrobial properties.
- Additionally, both varieties of mint contain salicylic acid. Thus, by using spearmint or peppermint tea based toners topically, you can relieve your skin of acne fast.
A Guide To Making Peppermint or Spearmint Tea
If you buy tea bags of peppermint or spearmint tea from your local grocery store, all you have got to do is soak them in hot water to the desired strength. For freshly picked leaves, here is how you should brew the tea:
- Grind the fresh peppermint or spearmint leaves using a mortar and pestle to release the flavour. In case you want to keep the leaves intact, put them in an infuser.
- Mint tea tastes best in hot water. Bring the water to a boil, wait for a minute or two to let the water cool down, and add the leaves.
- Wait for 5 to 10 minutes to let the mint leaves soak in the hot water. You can keep the mug covered during this time to get a greater aroma.
- Your home brewed mint tea is ready.
What Is Peppermint?
Peppermint or Mentha balsamea Wild, is a cross breed between watermint and spearmint. Known for its refreshing and minty taste, the distinctive flavour comes from a very high menthol content (40%) present in peppermint.
Peppermint offers a wide range of medicinal benefits. Due to its high menthol content, it produces a cooling effect on the body. This makes peppermint beneficial for treating sore throats, muscle ache, and stress.
The presence of antioxidants and flavonoids in peppermint makes it a good anti-inflammatory agent. Peppermint oil has been used as a topical treatment for reducing breakouts.
What Is Spearmint?
Spearmint, also known as Mentha spicata, is another variant of mint. Unlike peppermint, the content of menthol in spearmint is as low as 0.5%. This gives spearmint a sweet and mildly aromatic flavour.
The lower content of menthol in spearmint makes it ideal for culinary use. Besides, the aromatic oil derived from spearmint contains a compound called carvone, which makes it an excellent insecticide and fumigant.
Spearmint also finds its place in herbal medicine. The presence of carvone makes spearmint an ideal antimicrobial medicine. Spearmint oil has been found to be active against a large number of gram positive and gram negative bacteria.
What Should We Know About Peppermint Tea?
Peppermint is one of the most widely used herbs. Due to its easy cultivation, peppermint can be found in almost all parts of the world. While there are several ways to incorporate peppermint in your diet, the most popular of them is peppermint tea.
Ideally, peppermint leaves should be harvested in the morning to gain the maximum health benefits. The leaves can also be sun dried and stored in airtight jars for future consumption.
While commercially purchased peppermint tea will contain a fruity flavour with a hint of vanilla, home brewed tea has a cool and tingling sensation.
Most importantly, peppermint tea does not contain any caffeine. This ensures that you can drink as much tea as you want without affecting your night’s sleep.By reducing insomnia and stress, peppermint tea also prevents acne caused due to stress.
Peppermint is deemed medically safe from allergic reactions. However, patients undergoing medication for heartburn and acid reflux should avoid peppermint tea.
What Should We Know About Spearmint Tea?
A sweet, minty, and refreshing concoction, spearmint brings a whole array of health benefits to the table. Similar to peppermint, the best way to consume spearmint is as a brewed tea.
Due to its slightly sweet taste, spearmint is an ideal replacement for sugar in tea for diabetic patients. In addition to this, spearmint tea too lacks caffeine making it a healthy nighttime beverage.
Spearmint tea is beneficial for balancing hormone levels, as well as for keeping the stress at bay.
How Does Spearmint Tea Fight Acne?
Spearmint tea is considered one of the best natural remedies for acne. Studies have shown that by consuming two cups of spearmint tea daily, we can reduce chances of acne by 25%. The reasons why spearmint tea is hailed as an acne warrior are as follows:
Ability to Lower Androgen Levels
Essentially, the reason why acne occurs is due to hormonal disbalance. When the level of male hormones (androgens) overshoots their normal level in women, breakouts appear on the skin.
Excess androgen stimulates more production of sebum in the skin. This can clog the pores of skin, lead to bacterial accumulation and cause acne.
Spearmint tea has the exemplary ability to control the testosterone levels in women. By limiting the amount of androgen that the female body produces, spearmint tea can effectively fight breakouts.
Besides, spearmint tea also aids in smooth digestion which consequently leads to clearer skin.
Another reason why spearmint tea can fight acne is because of its anti-inflammatory nature.
Primarily, acne is caused when bacteria inflames the clogged pores of the sebaceous glands on the skin. Thus by drinking spearmint tea, these inflammations can be reduced.
Besides having the strongest anti-inflammatory property among all mints, spearmint tea also has antioxidants that kill acne-causing bacteria.
The combination of menthol, limonene, flavonoids, and polyphenols like rosmarinic acid in spearmint tea makes it a powerful remedy against acne without causing the side effects that are associated with acne’s OTC treatment.
How Does Peppermint Tea Fight Acne?
Clinically, there is not much data on how peppermint tea can help combat acne. But this does not mean that peppermint tea is without its benefits.
The high concentration of menthol in peppermint tea brings a cooling sensation and can soothe inflammation and redness very well. For people suffering from painful cystic acne, peppermint tea can act as an analgesic and reduce the swelling and pain.
In addition to this, peppermint tea also has excellent antimicrobial properties. It can fight the bacterial accumulation on the skin and prevent the formation of breakouts.
If your sole focus is on reducing acne naturally, spearmint tea is your best bet!