General Question

desiree333's avatar

Is Peppermint Oil Useful For Treating Acne?

Asked by desiree333 (3206points) July 10th, 2009

I know tea tree oil can be used to treat acne, but is peppermint oil okay too, or will it break me out? Also why can tea tree oil be used to treat acne when its an oil? Won’t it clog my pores and cause acne like all other oils? And is it true that coconut oil is good for acne too?

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24 Answers

richardhenry's avatar

You’re basically looking for astringents—oils that cause the skin to dry and contract (but not too much). Drying the bacteria in the pore causes it to die, and things can start to return to normal.

Benzoyl Peroxide is a more effective astringent than tea tree oil if your acne is quite resilient; ask a pharmacist about 2.5% or 5% Benzoyl Peroxide ointment. Apply this topically, in small amounts. If it starts to become ineffective, ask for 10%.

I can’t vouch for coconut oil, but I don’t see it being a very effective solution.

marinelife's avatar

Tea tree oil has both antibiotic and antiviral properties. Peppermint oil is not at all the same or for similar uses.

Rather than either, you would do better with one of the new acne medications like Proactiv that are on the market.

maryleedy's avatar

Tea Tree oil kills bacteria on contact while leaving the tissues intact which makes for less scarring too. Peppermint oil is good for muscle relief and respiratory relief. Tea Tree oil can be rinsed off so that it doesn’t feel like a residue is still on your face.

You can use an astringent but remember not to overdo it because if you overdry your skin, your body will produce more oil than normal to compensate for oil/moisture loss.

desiree333's avatar

@Marina funny that you should suggest Proactiv, because I use it. It never cleared up my acne, but I use the lotion everyday and I use the cleanser every other day to keep from my acne getting out of control. For my daily cleanser I use clean and clear morning burst. I just tried it one day not expecting anything and it cleared my acne up better than any other product, but it didnt clear it up completley.

desiree333's avatar

I was thinking of trying the pill acutane or whatever its called, because nothing is working. I don’t have crazy bad acne, but at the same time its very, very hard to clear up a bit and never really goes away no matter what I do. Anyways acutane isn’t really an option for me because I tan in tanning beds and you can’t use it if you tan.

figbash's avatar

I’d stay away from the peppermint oil, because while it may simply dry, it’s not doing anything to unclog the pores or distribute an antibacterial.

From my understanding, coconut oil is a total no-no and can make your skin worse since it’s a major pore-clogger. Also, watch out for lotions that contain it.

If you really want a solution over-the-counter, start with salicylic acid products while you wait to get into the dermatologist. They really have come pretty far with antibacterials these days.

Also, don’t rule out Accutane entirely. It does wonders if you’ve had bad skin for years. And about the tanning beds – that tends to make acne worse. You may think it’s a solution because it dries up your skin, and makes you tan – which makes it less noticeable, but what it’s doing is causing you to sweat more, plugging your pores with dirt and oil. Then when your skin seems dry from the tanning, it overcompensates by producing more oil.

If you really want a solution, quit the tanning beds, try the salicylic acid to start, and then be open to what the dermatologist has to offer.

casheroo's avatar

Coconut oil is good for scarring, not for acne itself. It won’t clog pores though, so it’s a great moisturizer.

Darwin's avatar

I would stay away from the tanning beds, personally, and then I would go to a dermatologist. There are several factors involved in the development of acne and a doctor is best suited to figure out what is the primary treatable cause of your acne.

Otherwise, read this.

desiree333's avatar

@Darwin I have gone to a dermatologist and all she did was give me this gel/lotion stuff that dosen’t work. It has benzyle peroxide and it smells so bad it makes me sick. I think I might go back and get acutane.

Darwin's avatar

But you didn’t stop tanning, did you? Tanning itself causes acne, and tanning beds can be most unsanitary.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Peppermint oil is going to burn like hell if you recently popped one of those pimples too.

on the upside, youd smell nice :)

desiree333's avatar

@uberbatman. I took a container of water and added a few drops of peppermint oil and used it as sort of an astringent. It stung my eyes, even though I didn’t put it on the eye area, and it really dried out the area around my mouth.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@desiree333 I once was cooking with peppermint oil and i had some on my hands. Well stupid me decides to itch my nose. It burnt like hell and i smelled nothing but peppermint for the next 8 hours lol.

desiree333's avatar

@uberbatman wow thats hilarious, that must have sucked. When I put it on my face before I went to bed I could barely breathe and it was too painful to see, looking back I can’t help but laugh at how bad of a decision it was to clean my face with peppermint oil

RachelZ's avatar

What has really helped my face is taking Zinc pills! Also I use MD Forte cleanser its amazing & I use M2 recovery moisturizer!! I love it! When I was struggling with breakouts I did a few things wrong 1, over dry my face 2 pick at my face 3 sleep with makeup on 4 wash my face too much 5 keep changing my face washes so my skin doesnt know what to do!! Goodluck!

desiree333's avatar

@RachelZ I used to over dry my face. But now I really do think I am doing really good for my skin so I’m not sure why I have acne! This is my skin care routine:
-Wash my face
-exfoliate every 2nd day
-put proactiv toner on (not too much)
-put on proactiv lotion (enough so my face is moisturized)
-use oil blotting sheets when I’m out and can’t wash my face
-after I come home I wash my face and tone/moisturize
-plus I NEVER sleep with makeup on
-I take my vitamins
-I drink lots of water
-I try to use a majority of natural products

I really don’t understand why I have acne. It makes me look dirty when I am one of the most clean, and germophobic people I know of. I think I’m going to make an appointment with my dermatologist and get the acne pill Accutane because thats apparently some hard-core medication that can clear up almost anything.

RachelZ's avatar

Accutane has a lot of BAD side effects… Try Green Tea! Are you tanning at all? I used to go tanning ALL the time, but whenever I would stop my skin would break out… So I quit tanning and it was really hard for a while but my skin looks way way better… now I try and wear sunscreen as much as I can!

Have you ever had a facial?? They have treatments its called derma sound or high frequency machine… It makes your skin look much much better, also chemical peels are great to prevent scarring from acne and help the old skin shed…

Sounds like you are doing great! I understand how frustrating it can be I have been there also… I quit drinking COFFEE and Dark sodas and that helped! Raw dark veggies are great too, broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots… :)

Have you been to it has soooooo much great info on it!
Also, I did some praying to about my skin as funny as that sounds and I know that also helped!!

desiree333's avatar

@RachelZ thanks so much for the support and this website link, I really like it. Are you on the regimen?
I am a little bit wary to try this because I have some products from the dermatologist that are based on benzyle peroxide and they just make my face dry and peely, which makes my pores clogged, which creates new acne.

RachelZ's avatar

I use MD Forte cleanser its amazing & I use M2 recovery moisturizer! I order it on you can look up promo codes for the website and it will save on shipping! Thats all I need, it last for quite some time also… you should check it out!
also I crush up asprin pills for an exfoliator because its all natural gentle on skin and reduces redness :)
You are welcome, do not stress either about it… That will help you!

desiree333's avatar

I also use aspirin and crush it up and mix it with honey, aloe vera, or spectro acne gel. I think it works really well as a mask to leave on for about 15 minutes. I’m going to start the regimen tommorow because I’m at a friends house tonight. Im pretty excited and I hope it works for me! For my cleanser I think I’m going to use Cetaphil cleanser, benzyl peroxide from my dermatologist, and proactiv moisturizer.

kmw11187's avatar

Don’t use peppermint oil or coconut oil! One drop of tea tree oil per 9 drops of aloe vera gel applied topically once daily (pick a time and stick to it) has worked better than anything I have EVER used on my skin. And, I’ve used Retin-A, Differin gel, Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide products including pro activ.

Tea tree is an essential oil (considered to be a dry oil) that absorbs almost immediately into the skin and will absolutely not clog your pores!

Do your research on “Essential Oils for acne”. Be sure when you do decide to purchase an oil you get the pure essential oil and not the oil used in aromatherapy as they contain other additives that may be harmful to acne prone skin.

Also, you will want to buy an oil in a dark bottle as most essential oils are photosensitive and will “deactivate” so to speak if exposed to light for long periods of time.

Lemon oil can be very effective against acne. It actually regulates sebaceous (oil) glands in your skin! Just do your research and find what works for you. Be sure you use the proper carrier oil for whatever you decide to use.

Stop using any other acne treatment when you start an essential oil regimen and start washing your face with cool water and a washcloth twice daily. I do it once daily, but that’s what works for me. Washing your face with only water and using the essential oil of choice will clear up existing acne and allow your skin to balance out its oil production naturally and fix your acne problem for good!

I have cystic acne and as I said, tea tree and aloe combo is the best thing I’ve used in 10 years. I have also found that my diet has a definite impact on my acne. Lots of sugar and grease will cause you to break out. It does me anyway. Every dermatologist will tell you otherwise, but in my opinion, if you have never had to struggle with acne, then how the hell do you know what triggers it? Not everyone is a textbook case. So play around with your diet as well. Especially if you eat lots greasy foods.

I have never been able to use toner on my skin. Especially the one in pro activ. Be sure that you aren’t putting anything with glycerin on your skin. It makes breakouts worse. Pro activ worked for me for a little while without the toner.

kimberjean's avatar

ive been eatting alot of spicy foods… do you think that has alot to do with my recent break out.. i havent had a break out like this in a long time. il know ive been under a lot of stress with a recent miscarriage. .should i stop eatting spicy foods altogether or is every once and a while ok.

kmw11187's avatar

If you haven’t noticed a breakout before now in reaction to spicy food, its probably the stress making you break out…spicy food is probably fine. I break out when I’m super stressed too.

The main foods I’ve noticed breaking my skin out over the years are:
Greasy and processed foods and
Dairy!!!—-And it is in everything! We are the only species that consumes milk after infant-hood, and we aren’t even consuming our own! Dairy can cause a number of health diseases/ issues/ side effects. Asthma in children, acne among other skin conditions. Again, this is my own research and findings that have worked wonders for my skin. You should do your own research. Just remember to ask questions on both sides of the story: Why is dairy good for you? Why is dairy bad for you?

But, I have found that sticking to a natural diet of fruits and veggies and occasionally meat and using natural skin products (make-up, soap, lotions) really gets RID of my acne and redness. I don’t even need make-up when I eat right because my skin is so clear and radiant. But, eating right is the hard part!! Just do some research on potential causes and always ask both sides of the story…you want the good and the bad!

Brittjosh727's avatar

So I’ve recently had a terrible break out I’ve been using benzoyl peroxide which takes a few day to dry my pimples up but it also makes my skin very dry scaly and flaky I’ve been using tea tree oil as well didn’t seem to work very much so I tried peppermint oil I’m on day 3 or 4 and my face looks absolutely amazing best it’s looked in months! The redness in my pimples went down so quick and the brought the cystic pimple to white heads withing hours I’m now applying all over my face to prevent future pimples and so far i havn’t gotten one..I’ve tried EVERYONE for my acne and so far this is the best fastest product I’ve ever used which I had no clue peppermint oil was seven an option but I’m so glad I tried I feel so much more confident hoping pretty soon I will no longer to wear as much make up If I’m applying make up then I use a few drops in my lotion so my face isn’t so oily otherwise I apply 3 times a day if no make up and once before bed my fave as this amazing glow and and getting rid of acne scars too I couldn’t be more thrilled that I may have actually found somthing n won’t have to spend another dollar on stuff that will leave me disappointed

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