I heard people were drinking spearmint to for acne treatment, so I tried it.
A few weeks ago I saw my dermatologist to work on getting my skin as perfect as possible before my upcoming wedding (read: kicking my acne and fungal acne woes to the curb). My skin certainly isn’t in terrible place, but it’s not at the level of perfection I want photographed and looked at for the rest of my life. After clearing up food reaction acne I was left with extremely predictable hormonal acne for which my derm prescribed a low dose of Spironolactone, a hypertension drug, that has the handy side effect of blocking androgens that can contribute to female hormonal acne. Something else that does the same thing? Drinking spearmint tea for acne.
Why Androgen Blockers?
Hormonal acne (on/around/because of a menstrual cycle) is adding insult to injury. You’ve got cramps, and cystic acne at the same time. It’s such a bummer. The way that Spironolactone (or Spiro, for friends) helps with acne is by blocking androgens.
Androgens like testosterone can contribute to sebum production and for those of us already struggling with acne, it can make matters worse. Unsurprisingly Spiro is not (usually) prescribed to men, or women trying to get pregnant because of of it’s androgen blocking effect. It takes a few months to see the results (still waiting!) but I’ve been told by my dermatologist, friends, and internet strangers that it’s life changing when it works.
I’m skeptical about taking pretty much any medication though. Frankly, I’m willing to wait it out till after the wedding, but I was curious if there was a more natural approach with the same results which led me on an internet rabbit hole of people drinking spearmint tea for acne, so I figured I could combine it with my turmeric for acne masks.
Why spearmint tea for acne?
Redditors are a bit obsessed with treating hormonal acne with a cup or two of spearmint tea daily. There are threads upon threads discussing how the tea has changed their skin. And guess what it does? Blocks androgens.
There are studies that have shown drinking two cups of spearmint tea (specifically spearmint not peppermint) per day lowered androgen levels for women. “After treatment with spearmint teas, there was a significant decrease in free testosterone,” found this 2007 study. The same can be said for this 2010 study.
Both studies were over a relatively short amount of time (5 days and 30 days respectively). Although they found significantly lowered levels of free testosterone, there weren’t significant results with regards to Hirsutism. It’s a condition that causes male pattern hair growth in women which is affected by testosterone just like hormonal acne. But, if it takes three months for Spiro to make a difference in hormonal acne by blocking androgens, it’s fair to say that drinking spearmint tea will also take a few months to see a difference.
And that’s exactly what nearly every Redditor mentions. It works, but you just have to give it a while. Plus, the side effects of drinking tea are few and far between. Though it’s still not a great idea for dudes or women looking to become pregnant.
BRB, adding spearmint tea to my Amazon cart right now.
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