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Is Spearmint Tea the Miracle Cure For Acne?

By Megan Griffith

Reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Jaggi Rao,
MD, FRCPC Double board-certified dermatologist

When it comes to dealing with acne, whether spontaneous or chronic, we’re all guilty of getting on Google to find an answer. While the internet is full of both great and terrible advice, when it comes to miracle cures, a lot of it remains in the “questionable” zone. But can the same thing be said for spearmint tea?

Spearmint Tea Acne
Spearmint tea is known to reduce the male-hormone androgen, which could be the cause of acne in women.

According to users, spearmint tea actually cures acne, although it’s no overnight miracle remedy. In fact, not only do users agree, but studies and dermatologists have also established that there is a link between spearmint tea and certain hormones1, namely androgen, being decreased. Androgen is a male hormone, and just like testosterone, it has been linked to hormone-related acne2 in women.

This means that spearmint tea may have a direct impact on reducing acne caused by hormone imbalances. In order to get the best results, you have to drink it. (Just clarifying in case you assumed you had to put it ON your skin.)

According to users on Reddit in the Skincareaddition sub-Reddit, spearmint tea has been responsible for many users clearing up and staving off severe acne, including stubborn cysts. Of course, reducing hormone-related acne is never a quick-fix process. For most users, it takes a couple of months for the results to really show, about 3 to 6 months to be exact. But when the results did kick in, they were incredible, to say the least.

Dermatologists, dietitians and doctors have already confirmed the anti-inflammatory properties of spearmint tea3 and its ability to reduce androgen4. However, it has never been a standalone cure for acne. Does that mean it can’t be? It’s hard to say, but it’s probably a safe bet to continue your current acne treatments while you add a few cups of spearmint to your daily mix, to start with. That means, if you’re treating the surface of your skin with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, keep going until your conditions clear up.

Does this mean spearmint tea can cure every kind of acne? Again, spearmint tea is known to reduce the male-hormone androgen, which could be the cause of acne in women5 who suffer from hormonal imbalance. If you have acne that isn’t hormone-related, spearmint tea might not be your miracle cure. But it doesn’t hurt to try it anyway.

On another note, since spearmint tea seems to be helpful for women struggling with male hormones6 in their body, it may be safe to say that acne-prone men won’t exactly experience the same miracle results that women are facing. But then again, you never know.

References:

  1. Grant P., Ramasamy S. An update on plant-derived anti-androgens. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2012;10(2):497-502.
  2. Shaw J.C. Acne: Effect of hormones on pathogenesis and management. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2002;3(8):571-578..
  3. Connelly E.A., Tucker A.J., Tulk H., Catapang M., Chapman L., Sheikh N., Yurchenko S., Fletcher R., Kott L.S., Duncan A.M., Wright A.J. High rosmarinic acid spearmint tea in the management of knee osteoarthritis symptoms. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2014;17(12):1361-1367.
  4. Grant P. Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytotherapy Research. 2010;24(2):186-188.
  5. Khondker L.1., Khan S.I. Acne vulgaris related to androgens—A review. Mymensingh Medical Journal. 2014;23(1):181-185.
  6. Akdoğan M., Tamer M.N., Cüre E., Cüre M.C., Köroğlu B.K., Delibaş N. Effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism. Phytotherapy Research. 2007;21(5):444-447.
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