We’ve all experienced the unique taste of mint leaves in an array of dishes, enjoyed the minty-freshness of gum to toothpaste, and longed for the sweet cooling sensation of peppermint candy. What you may not know about mint is that it can also be used in beauty products. An herb loaded with therapeutic qualities, mint can help treat acne, soothe a sunburn, balance the natural oils on your skin and scalp, and even quash dandruff.
There are over a dozen species of mint including spearmint and peppermint. Mint leaves and menthol, the oil extracted from mint leaves, are excellent sources of potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, and magnesium. Nutrients in mint leaves help tone skin, minimize pores, reduce swelling, and restore skin elasticity. Vitamins A and C are powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation while B vitamins, riboflavin, and folate, work to brighten the complexion.
On Your Skin
Here are some mint-centric treatments that you can create and use at home.
To treat acne, create a paste with a handful of mint leaves and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Apply this mixture on your clean skin and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
If you have a sunburn, blend a small handful of mint leaves with plain yogurt and apply the paste on burned areas. Wash off with cool water after 30 minutes.
To exfoliate your skin, place two tablespoons of uncooked oatmeal and a few mint leaves in a blender and make a paste by adding water as needed. Add a tablespoon of honey and re-mix. Apply the paste on your skin for about 10 minutes and then scrub lightly to remove any dead skin cells. Rinse with warm water.
If you have dry skin, crush or grind mint leaves and then squeeze the juice out and simply apply it on your face, neck, and chest. You can also make a simple toner by boiling mint leaves in water. Remove the leaves and allow the water to cool before using it as a refreshing toner.
On Your Hair
Mint also works well on your hair. One of the highest sources of carotene and antioxidants, mint offers natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which helps quash dandruff and other scalp issues.
For at-home dandruff treatment, simply blend crushed mint leaves and lemon juice to form a paste. Apply on your scalp, leaving it on for 45 minutes and then rinse. Reapply twice a week for best results.
If you suffer from an oily scalp, grind mint leaves and camphor together and then add lemon juice to form a paste. Apply the mixture onto your scalp, leave for about 20 minutes and then shampoo and condition as usual.
Menthol and Hair Growth
Menthol also offers healing benefits. Rubbing menthol on your skin causes the nearby blood vessels to widen and increases the localized blood flow. Blood transports fresh nutrients to repair the area and carries away any generated waste. That’s why menthol is so beneficial in treating hair loss. This handy oil helps to increase blood flow to the scalp and creates the optimum environment for encouraging hair growth.
If you have your hair is thinning, mix a half dozen drops of menthol or mint oil with a tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil. After sectioning off your hair, apply the mixture to your scalp and gently massage until the oil is absorbed. Leave the mixture on overnight (consider covering your head with a soft cotton wrap and/or your pillowcases) and then wash your hair the next morning. Apply twice a week until you get the desired result.