Peppermint oil is well regarded for its healing powers in ancient medicine practices and its natural properties offer a great alternative to some traditional remedies.
That includes using peppermint oil for skin care, whether it’s diluted with a carrier oil or blended with your favourite cosmetic products.
If you are one of many people wondering, “Can I put peppermint oil on my skin?”, then you’ll find everything you need to know about its benefits in this article. We also explain how it can be good news for your scalp, hair and much more.
Can peppermint essential oil be used on skin?
Peppermint essential oil can be used on skin as long as it is diluted with the correct amount of carrier oil. Like all essential oils, peppermint is highly concentrated and if applied topically without dilution, it can irritate the skin or even cause an allergic reaction. Peppermint oil offers a wide range of benefits, which we’ll explain in more detail below.
Peppermint oil benefits for skin
Peppermint oil offers a lot of benefits for skin, such as:
1. Rejuvenating your youthful appearance
Menthol is the main active ingredient of peppermint oil and when applied to the skin it can make you feel refreshed and energised. It can also help to promote better circulation, stimulating the skin to give it a youthful glow that you can enjoy any time you wish.
2. Calming skin irritations
Sometimes, unexpected skin irritations appear out of the blue, whether it’s a rash, dry skin or even a burn. Applying peppermint oil can offer some relief to ease feelings of discomfort, helping to soothe and cool the area. Always follow the dilution guidelines when applying to the skin, as using the wrong mixture could cause further irritation.
3. Reducing excess oil on your skin
Following a regular application routine could help to reduce the secretion of excess oil on your face, opening up clogged pores so you don’t have to worry so much about concealing unwanted pimples. It could also allow you to better manage the appearance of acne, complementing any existing medication you may have been prescribed.
4. Helping to naturally repel bugs
If spraying chemical-filled bug sprays on your skin is something you’d rather avoid, then peppermint oil could offer the solution. Use it to deter mice, ants, spiders, ticks and mosquitos, as most insects find the scent repellent. Simply dilute and add to your skin before heading into areas that contain a large amount of insects.
5. Soothing and reducing inflammation
Peppermint oil is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so if your skin is itchy, irritated or inflamed, diluted application could offer some relief. And if you experience hives, itchiness or a rash, you can apply some peppermint oil to calm and soothe the skin.
6. Bringing dull skin to life
Many people use peppermint essential oil in combination with their favourite skincare products to achieve radiant and healthy skin. You can add a few drops of the oil to toners, cleansers or facial masks, or simply look for products that use peppermint oil as a main ingredient.
Peppermint oil benefits for hair and scalp
There are just as many peppermint oil benefits for your hair and scalp as there are for skin, which can help to transform the way you look and feel. Some of the ways peppermint oil can improve your hair health include:
1. Improving your pH level
Having a healthy scalp is vitally important to having healthy hair, which also includes maintaining a pH level between 4.5 and 5.5. Your scalp and hair face several risks on a daily basis, whether it's stress, chemical ingredients or extreme weather conditions, which can affect the pH level. Regular use of peppermint oil can help to create more balance, warding away harmful bacteria and fungi that can cause unwanted damage.
2. Supporting hair growth
Many men and women have to contend with hair loss at some stage of their life, which can occur naturally, due to a health condition or as a result of a chemical treatment. Peppermint oil’s stimulating properties can help to enhance oxygenation to give you healthier hair and stronger hair roots. Add a few drops of the oil to your preferred hair products to improve the condition of your scalp and hair.
3. Increasing blood circulation
When peppermint essential oil is massaged into the scalp or hair after being combined with a shampoo or conditioner, it could help to increase blood circulation to the scalp. The oil’s antimicrobial and antiseptic properties can also prove useful in combating dandruff and even the spreading of lice.
4. Adding a fresh scent to your hair
Peppermint oil is a common ingredient found in a variety of hair care products, as the scent can add a wonderfully pleasant fragrance to your hair. It adds a fresh and rejuvenating air to your hair and scalp that you and others around you can enjoy whenever you want to change things up.
What else can you use peppermint oil for?
Aside from improving your skin and hair health, you can use peppermint oil to boost your overall wellness. This includes:
- Clearing your airwaves: The menthol in peppermint oil can help to clear your respiratory tract, working as an expectorant to relieve a blocked sinus or offer relief when you have a cold or cough. Simply add a few drops to a handkerchief or tissue and inhale to enjoy its benefits.
- Easing a painful headache: The anti-inflammatory properties offered by peppermint oil can work wonders when it comes to headache relief. Dilute a few drops of the oil and apply to your forehead or temples to ease tension headaches or migraines, with the menthol working to alleviate the pressure.
- Overcoming stress and anxiety: We all experience different levels of stress and anxiety and using a natural remedy like peppermint oil can offer some much needed relief. Diffuse the oil or add 5-10 diluted drops of the oil to a warm bath to help you de-stress and feel calmer and more relaxed.
- Fighting off feelings of nausea: A popular natural remedy for pregnant people who want to ease morning sickness symptoms or general feelings of nausea is to inhale peppermint oil. You can do this directly from the bottle or by adding a few drops to a handkerchief and inhaling, which can offer a distraction via your senses to calm a wobbly stomach.
What are the side effects of using peppermint oil?
Like all essential oils, peppermint oil should always be used and applied carefully to the skin to reduce the chances of experiencing an allergic reaction.
Before using larger amounts of the oil on your skin, you should complete a patch test to ensure it is safe to use. This can be done by simply adding a few drops diluted with a carrier oil to the inside of your elbow and covering with a plaster for 24 hours.
If you experience any redness, irritation or inflammation, wash the oil off your skin with warm water and discontinue use.
Providing you buy the oil from a reputable supplier, it should come with dilution instructions, so you know exactly how much to apply without putting your skin at risk.
How to use peppermint oil on your skin
Here are a few different ways you can use peppermint oil on your skin:
- Relieve joint and muscle pain: Dilute 2-3 drops of the oil and rub directly into the target area a few times a day. Alternatively, dilute the oil and add 5 drops to warm bath water filled with Epsom salt.
- Relieve itchiness: If you have itchy or inflamed skin, combine with a carrier oil and apply to the affected area 2-3 times a day. Alternatively, add 5-10 diluted drops to warm bath water and allow it to soak into your skin as you relax.
- Promote hair growth and reduce dandruff: Add 2-3 diluted drops of peppermint oil to your favourite shampoo or conditioner and massage into your scalp as normal.
- Ease sunburnt skin: Skin that feels sensitive after being out in the sun too long can benefit from the soothing feeling offered by peppermint oil. Mix 2-3 drops with a carrier oil and apply the area of sin you need to calm and reduce inflammation.
So, can peppermint oil be used on skin? The answer is a resounding yes, as it offers a host of benefits that can improve its condition whilst helping to reduce inflammation, manage excess oil and much more. You can also apply it to your hair and scalp to promote hair growth and reduce dandruff and it’s also great at minimising headache pain and repelling insects. It’s easy to see why peppermint essential oil remains so popular, so no matter how you intend to use it for your skin, the chances are you’ll soon see the benefits it can offer.