There are plenty of reasons to keep a supply of mint in your home. It can flavor your tap water, spruce up a salad, or add a hefty amount of benefits to in your skin and hair routine for cleansing properties that no doubt cheaper than anything on the shelves. While I can't get enough of mint essential oil in my dental care, the natural oils straight that come from fresh mint are known to soothe skin conditions like acne and brighten up the scars from previous outbreaks. That's more than enough reason for me to bathe in the benefits of mint leaves.
The anti-inflammatory properties of mint will help alleviate swelling of pimples, but mint also has a unique ability to relieve itchiness and swelling from the pesky bites of a mosquito, bee, or wasp — the anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties make it an ideal natural remedy for treating skin conditions. Mint contains vitamins A and C and in combination with the right ingredients, it helps promote healing of damaged skin cells.
Mint can be easily found at your local grocery or grown at home which is always an added bonus when using natural remedies. Use it from top to bottom on your hair or skin knowing this natural ingredient can support your beauty woes without extra additives and chemicals.
Here are seven of my favorite ways to use mint.
1. Detoxing Pepper-Mint Body Scrub
Mint is more than skin deep, it stimulates both the respiratory and digestive system making it an excellent ingredient in a detoxing scrub when a common cold starts to drag you down. For a pepper-mint scrub that's gentle enough to use near the mucus glands, mix one teaspoon of black peppercorns, 4 ounces of fine sea salt, and 3-5 mint leaves in a bowl. Add a light-weight oil like grapeseed or jojoba and mix vigorously. After a test patch on the inside of your elbow to make sure no dermal irritation is present, apply this body scrub on wet skin in the shower or bath for a weekly detox.
2. Brightening Paste
Fresh mint can brighten up your complexion when it comes to lightening unwanted dark spots. All that's needed to make my favorite brightening paste is a few fresh mint sprigs, a tablespoon of raw honey, and 1/4 teaspoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice. To extract the oil from the mint, use a blender or muddle by hand before adding honey and lemon juice and mixing well. Apply on clean, affected areas and leave on for 20 minutes. Don't forget to do a test patch and apply a moisturizer with UV protection because lemons are notorious for causing photosensitivity.
3. Soothing Foot Bath
According to sources at Stylecraze, soaking your feet in fresh mint can alleviate dry, cracked skin and remove odor. Add fresh mint to a foot bath and soak your feet for 20 minutes allowing the mint to stimulate your body from the bottoms of your feet while you get some much needed chill time.
4. Skin Tonic
I love making skin tonics to control oil production and lighten any pesky scars that creep up on me after even a mild break-out. Make a mint tea with hot water and add dried roses to balance the stimulating properties of the mint. The combination will keep acne away while giving you the nourishing, anti-aging properties that have made roses famous. Once the tonic has cooled, transfer to a tinted, sealable bottle and keep refrigerated for daily use throughout the week. Your tonic will turn within a day if left at room temperature, but will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
5. Bug Repellent
Cursed with a bee allergy, I turned to minty repellents to save my life and the life of a hard-working bee. This no-kill repellent can be made with distilled water and peppermint and mint essential oil. Just put about 35 drops in tinted spray bottle and fill with water to keep bees at bay.
6. Cleansing Hair Rinse
I'm all about a stimulating hair rinse to get my scalp ready for hair growth. This hair rinse can be made with dry or fresh mint leaves, steeped in one cup of hot water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of lavender essential oil to de-stress your scalp from manipulation and detangling. Apply your rinse on damp locks in lieu of shampoo for about 10 minutes before rinsing well. Condition and style immediately.
7. Acne Relieving Mask
This mask will cost you a fraction of what an OTC mask to treat blemishes and breakouts and you can whip it up in seconds. Blend mint leaves, banana, and a hormone-free, organic milk together and apply immediately on make-up free skin. Leave the mask on for about 5 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water and applying a daily moisturizer.
Ready to get a gentle tingle while you cleanse? Be sure to test out the topical applications for a sensational beauty regimen.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (8)