Beyond smelling fantastic, peppermint oil is one of the most versatile essential oils to have stocked in your medicine cabinet. In fact, peppermint oil has been applied both cosmetically and medicinally for thousands of years, and records of its use can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt. While its origins may be ancient, there's never been a better time to add this fragrant, healing substance to your beauty bag. Read on for nine of the top benefits of peppermint oil.
#1: DIY Facial Scrub
One of the best benefits of peppermint oil is its ability to cleanse and rejuvenate skin. Combine four to five drops of peppermint oil with a tablespoon of fine Himalayan rock salt and two tablespoons of tamanu oil (olive oil will also work in a pinch) for a refreshingly natural, restorative facial scrub.
#2: Heal a Sore Throat
To help soothe a sore throat or alleviate your cold, add a couple drops of peppermint oil into 1/4 of a teaspoon of salad oil. Dissolve a half-teaspoon of rock salt into a glass of warm water and whisk in the peppermint oil mixture. Gargle this mixture once or twice daily to relieve inflammation and kill bacteria.
#3: Better Shampoo
For a cleansing and energizing boost to your regular haircare routine, add a few drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo. The antiseptic properties of peppermint oil make it ideal for DIY scalp treatments and clean, healthy roots.
#4: Soothe Itchy Skin
Similar to lavender oil, one of the top benefits of peppermint oil is its ability to soothe dry or irritated skin. Dilute two drops of pure peppermint oil in one tablespoon of aloe vera gel or warm coconut oil and smooth over itchy or dry skin. Add a drop of tea tree oil for added relief.
#5: Reduce Acne
Peppermint oil's antibacterial properties can work as a natural alternative for clearing acne-prone skin. Best used in conjunction with two drops of eucalyptus oil, five drops of peppermint oil diluted with one tablespoon of tamanu oil can be dabbed directly on pimples and left to absorb overnight.
#6: Ward Off Bug Bites
As much as we may love peppermint oil, bugs hate it. Spray a bit of diluted peppermint oil to fend off ticks, spiders, ants, and mosquitoes. Natural bug sprays use peppermint oil as one of their active ingredients.
#7: Heal a Sunburn
Grab a two-ounce glass bottle and fill it almost to the top with aloe vera gel. Add 15 drops of peppermint oil and shake vigorously. Smooth the mixture over your skin to soothe inflammation and expedite the healing process.
#8: Stimulate Hair Growth
Combine a few drops of peppermint oil with about a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage over your scalp and through your hair. You can also sub the coconut oil with emu oil, known for nourishing hair and naturally boosting growth.
#9: All-Natural Lip Balm
For soft lips, one of our favorite benefits of peppermint oil is to be found in DIY lip balm. Combine equal parts shea butter, coconut oil, and grated beeswax, and then heat in a double boiler until fully melted. Add peppermint oil (about a quarter teaspoon per half-cup of melted mixture). Allow to cool, and then place in metal or plastic tubes or tins.
Note: Make sure to test the oil for skin sensitivity on your inner elbow and observe any reactions for up to 24 hours. If you experience headache, sore throat, or shortness of breath, wash the oil off with soap and water and discontinue use. If you are on medication or pregnant, consult your doctor before use and do not use during your first trimester. Store out of children’s reach and do not expose essential oils to infants for 12 months (peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree for up to 24 months).