6 Ways Spearmint Tea Helps Reduce Hormonal Acne Breakouts

Surprisingly, mint tea (spearmint, peppermint, etc) can help clear hormonal acne breakouts. 

The primary function of spearmint tea when it comes to acne is in managing sex hormones. We will dive into the science behind both testosterone and estrogen and explain how they are an important but not the sole perpetrator of hormonal acne breakouts. 

Outside of just managing sex hormones the compounds in mint teas are rich in antioxidants, support healthy insulin levels, promote relaxation, improve sleep, heal the gut, and alleviate symptoms of PCOS which can all assist in healing acne prone skin caused by hormonal imbalances.

Additionally, we will review the credibility of potential side effects of mint tea consumption including decreased energy, irritable mood swings, and declining libido. 

We will also investigate the different ways peppermint and spearmint tea can be used in acne treatment and how to effectively add them to your skincare routine.

Lastly, we’ll cover how spearmint and peppermint can help treat some hormonal acne in women, why men should think twice about using mint tea, and why decreasing sex hormones is often the wrong approach to take when it comes to beating hormonal acne.

1. Rich in Antioxidants

Both spearmint and peppermint contain several powerful antioxidants that are great for helping heal the skin from acne, scarring, and hyperpigmentation including vitamin C, rosmarinic acid, limonene, and polyphenols.

Antioxidants help treat and counteract acne by preventing sebum oil from oxidizing (going rancid) and skin cells from becoming damaged. 

Additionally, environmental factors like air pollution, smoking, free radicals, and overexposure to UV sun rays are more likely to cause acne (and wrinkles / dark spots) without enough antioxidants. 

2. Helps Lower Insulin Levels

Spearmint tea can help lower insulin levels due to its rich polyphenol content. Polyphenols are antioxidants that can improve insulin sensitivity and accelerate glucose metabolism, which helps to lower insulin levels in the body. 

One study conducted by Semnan University found that insulin levels in diabetic rats were significantly lower when they were supplemented with spearmint. The study also found that spearmint had little effect on insulin for healthy rats, so take this research with a grain of salt.

Additionally, mint teas also help reduce insulin levels by curbing hunger. Mints and spearmint flavored gum are a very popular way many people curb their hunger when they are trying to lose weight. So if you drink spearmint tea frequently, chances are you will eat less. 

If you’ve checked out our guide to hormonal acne, you’ll probably remember that insulin, not testosterone, is the biggest hormone behind adult acne.

When the body releases too much insulin, usually due to eating too many processed cabs or dairy, a cascade of acne-causing hormones and compounds are released. 

Together, these compounds lead to the overproduction of skin cells and oil from the sebaceous glands, which clogs the pores and ultimately leads to inflamed skin and acne. 

3. Alleviates Stress

Spearmint tea has a calming effect on the nervous system, due to its carvone (used for flavoring many types of mint candies) content. Carvone has a slight depressant effect on the central nervous system and has been shown in several studies to improve states of calm. 

Stress is a major contributor to acne. When you become stressed out, cortisol, a stress hormone, is released. 

Constantly elevated levels of cortisol can lead to inflammation, high insulin levels, and a damaged digestive system. That means that stress touches just about every root cause of acne.

Additionally, hot beverages in general have a soothing effect and relax the body, so spearmint tea is perfect for anyone dealing with a stressful day (especially if you are cold or have acne!)

4. Improves Sleep Quality

Spearmint teas can help improve sleep due to both their carvone content and temperature. The relaxing compounds in the tea as well as its temperature make it the perfect drink to have before bed. 

Getting enough sleep is extremely helpful for people with acne-prone skin. Just like stress, sleep deprivation can lead to inflammatory and hormonal acne by increasing insulin and cortisol levels.

Unlike other types of tea, herbal spearmint and peppermint tea don’t have caffeine, which means they won’t disrupt your sleep. One study even found that sleep improved in rats after supplementing with spearmint tea.

5. Improves Digestive System

Spearmint tea helps improve gut health due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Mint tea will inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, which will help to reduce intestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome, and accelerate the proliferation of beneficial gut microbes.

Several studies have found that spearmint oil benefits the overall health of the digestive system and treat symptoms of IBS.

Digestive problems, whether it’s an unbalanced gut microbiome, a leaky gut, or a bacterial overgrowth, can lead to acne by triggering inflammation and preventing your body from absorbing crucial skin-clearing nutrients.

6. Helps Alleviate Symptoms of PCOS

Both men and women need some testosterone to function, but unlike men, women need significantly less to function optimally

In fact, conditions where women produce too much testosterone, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), tend to be linked to higher rates of acne.

The best way to naturally lower testosterone without birth control or hormonal therapy is with a healthy diet. Low-carb diets have been shown to be particularly effective at treating hormonal acne.

Still, drinking spearmint mint tea is beneficial for lowering testosterone and DHT levels in women. Frequently this will also help treat acne breakouts as well as reduce the duration of irregular periods.

How Does Spearmint and Peppermint Help Treat Some (but Not All) Hormonal Acne?

Spearmint and Peppermint tea treat hormonal acne symptoms by lowering Testosterone and DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) levels, according to this study on androgen’s effect on sebum oil production conducted by Dr. Imperato-McGinley out of Cornell University

Both spearmint and peppermint tea have been shown to have a significant anti androgenic effects.  This includes lower levels of DHT, the specific male sex hormone responsible for our body’s producing too much sebum oil.

DHT is a specific male sex hormone (that is also found in women, in lower amounts than men) that can be responsible for our body producing too much sebum oil. Too much sebum oil can lead to clogged pores, which trigger an acne infection and inflammation (a bright, red, protruding pimple).

The key thing to realize here is that these things only happen if our body is ill-equipped to handle this excess sebum oil. Sebum oil is a natural, necessary, healthy layer of protection for our skin. Without sebum production your skin would dry out, crack, and bleed on a daily basis.

If we have enough antioxidants and oxidative stress resistance, sebum oil won’t become infected or oxidized. If we have a properly functioning immune system, there won’t be a massive inflammatory response that leads to a pimple. 

If these things are not the case, then excess sebum oil becomes an issue and DHT is problematic.

In this regard, spearmint, peppermint tea, and oil can help treat hormonal acne. Still, high testosterone and DHT levels are only one component of hormonal acne – it’s not the whole picture. 

More sebum oil doesn’t necessarily mean more acne. High testosterone doesn’t necessarily mean more acne, either. Depending on your sex, there are other, arguably more important dietary-driven hormones to tackle first.

Overall, both men and women should focus on eating an acne-free diet before implementing spearmint tea or oil into their routine. 

If you’re looking for a good guide to eating a skin-clearing diet, check out the GoodGlow Diet Blueprint. It has everything you need to get started, all on one page.

How Much Spearmint Tea Should You Drink To Clear Hormonal Acne?

Start out by drinking a cup or two of high-quality, organic spearmint or peppermint tea per day to clear acne. It’ll probably take some time to see results, but if you think you have hormonal acne due to high testosterone levels, it’s definitely worth a shot.

Does Drinking Spearmint Tea Cause Any Side Effects?

In excessive doses, the menthol in spearmint might have negative side effects. While it is impossible to overdose on menthol by drinking spearmint tea, it is not advised for persons with certain health concerns.

1. Drinking Spearmint Tea Lower Testosterone Levels?

Yes, drinking any kind of mint tea will lower the testosterone levels in both men and women. High testosterone and DHT levels can lead to hormonal acne. 

A study conducted by Dr. Paul Grant showed that ingesting mint tea led to significantly lower levels of testosterone, a key component in hormonal acne.

Unfortunately, men need healthy levels of testosterone and DHT to function, so whether or not you should consume mint tea depends on your particular situation.

  • Men should think twice about consuming mint tea. Yes, it might help treat hormonal acne, but it’ll likely lead to decreased energy, mood, and libido. If you simply like drinking tea and don’t want your testosterone lowered, look into drinking basil and matcha tea. Both are filled with antioxidants and will not interfere with testosterone production. If you are going to drink mint tea specifically to deal with acne prone skin you should talk to your doctor and have your testosterone levels checked.
  • Women, especially those with high testosterone or PCOS, may want to consider drinking a cup or two of spearmint or peppermint tea per day in order to naturally lower testosterone levels

Why Men May Want To Avoid Excessive Mint Tea Consumption

If you’re a man, you might want to think twice about treating hormonal ance by decreasing testosterone levels.

Testosterone is crucial for your well-being. A healthy amount of testosterone is needed for energy, mood, and libido. A lack of testosterone can lead to anxiety, lethargy, and a lack of sex drive.

Trust me, as a guy who has tried to treat hormonal acne by lowering testosterone, I can confidently say that it’s not worth it, especially when there are more important hormones, like insulin, to tackle first.

Having high testosterone doesn’t doom you to hormonal acne – there are plenty of other ways to decrease acne-causing hormones and actually feel better on a day-to-day basis.

4. Consuming Spearmint Tea Causes Heartburn

Yes, peppermint tea can both trigger and exacerbate heartburn in some people. 

Remember how we explained above that mint tea helps relaxation? We were not kidding. Mint can actually relax the lower esophageal sphincter so much, it will allow stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus, which can result in heartburn. 

Although peppermint can aid digestion and help heal the microbiome, it should be avoided if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, or other medical ailments stemming from stomach acid.

3. Ingesting Spearmint Tea Can Induce Kidney Stones?

Mint tea can trigger the formation of kidney stones due to its oxalate content, although this is unlikely. If you are currently dealing with or have a history of kidney stones it is best to avoid mint tea and use other methods to reduce inflammatory acne. 

4. Drinking Spearmint Tea Reduces Iron Absorption

Yes, drinking mint tea reduces the amount of iron your body is able to absorb. The polyphenols contained in mint teas bind to iron as it passes through the intestines and prevents the body from absorbing it. 

This can be especially problematic for vegetarians or anyone dealing with an iron deficiency. Because of this, anyone who has a history of low iron should avoid drinking excessive or amounts of mint tea. 

What is the Best Mint Tea for Acne Prone Skin?

Our favorite mint teas are Traditional Medicinals Organic Spearmint Tea and Organic Peppermint Tea. Both are solid choices and they contain only organic mint, no added sweeteners, oils, or caffeine, and are fair-trade certified.

Not all mint teas are created equal. Many mint teas contain concentrated mint flavorings without the actual herbs. If you plan to drink mint tea frequently as part of your “acne diet”, its essential to make sure you are using a high quality, organic tea. 

Can Spearmint Tea Be Used As A Topical Treatment?

Yes, spearmint tea can be used as a topical skin care treatment to reduce the appearance of acne breakouts. To do this, we suggest mashing up organic spearmint tea leaves and mixing with filtered water and applying to your face for 15 minutes. Spearmint tea’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make it ensure that it will soothe inflamed acne-prone skin, without clogging your pores or triggering breakouts.

Do Other Types of Tea Help Clear Acne Prone Skin

Yes, there are many other types of herbal tea that can help reduce inflammation and acne although none will be as effective in lowering testosterone.

Below is a list of several teas that can help reduce acne breakouts

  • Green tea
  • Black Tea
  • Oolong Tea
  • Matcha Tea

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Peppermint Tea Help Acne?

Peppermint tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the skin. Additionally, peppermint tea can lower DHT and testosterone levels which can cause hormonal acne in some women.

Do Mint Leaves Help Cystic Acne?

Mint leaves are anti-inflammatory and possess several anti-bacterial properties. Mashing mint leaves and water into a paste and applying it to acne can help reduce inflammation and scarring from previous breakouts.

How Long Does Spearmint Tea Take To Clear Acne?

There are several factors that determine how quickly spearmint tea can clear your acne including your diet, exercise, sleep, and the amount of spearmint tea you consume. Most people notice improvement within 60 days of daily use.

Is Spearmint Tea Good for Your Skin?

Yes, spearmint tea is antibacterial (will help kill acne causing bacteria without hurting skin) and is filled with antioxidants. Spearmint tea can be both consumed and used as a topical agent to soothe inflamed skin.


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Originally Published: June 23, 2023

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood

Hi, I’m Sam Wood, the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach at GoodGlow, as well as a best-selling author for one of the top acne books on Amazon. I struggled with acne for over 10 years, and began studying the effects of diet on skin quality while pursuing a degree in Nutrition Sciences at the University of Missouri. After shifting from mainstream skincare trends to in-depth research in medical journals, I experienced significant personal success in managing my acne. This inspired me to start GoodGlow, where I simplify complex scientific findings into easy-to-understand advice. With over 10 years in the field, I’ve helped more than 2,500 people achieve clearer skin through natural, holistic methods, and I’m dedicated to personally assisting those seeking guidance on their acne journey.

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