Move over, pumpkin spice, it’s peppermint time! Yeah, yeah, it’s good in a latte and all, but you know where it’s even better? In your beauty products—and there are a tons of studies and plenty of science to back up why. Here, we round up the research on why you should be using winter’s iconic scent all year long.
1. It’s a natural anti-itch remedy
In one study, participants who suffered from pruritis, or a fancy word for itching, were divided into two groups. The first was told to hydrate and then apply peppermint oil, while the second was told to use petrolatum to hydrate. The results? Significant improvements for peppermint oil users and not-so-great results for petrolatum users.
2. It promotes hair growth
In a study in which animals were given 3% peppermint oil, minoxidil, jojoba oil, and saline, peppermint oil showed the most promising effects for “a significant increase in dermal thickness, follicle number, and follicle depth” in the study. And hey, even if you don’t see super-noticeable results, it’ll leave your strands smelling divine.
3. It has anti-bacterial properties
Out of hand wash? Peppermint oil can stand in. In a study it was effective at killing 22 bacteria and 11 fungi.
4. It has the highest SPF value of essential oils
Repeat after us: You still need sunscreen! You still need sunscreen! This isn’t cause to go slathering it here there and everywhere in place of your daily SPF, but when tested among other essential oils for SPF efficaciousness, it had the highest SPF value, which is definitely a nice perk (even though, we’ll say it again, you still need sunscreen).
5. It keeps your nails glossy
Remember those anti-fungal properties we talked about? They came in handy in a recent study about peppermint oil, which showed that it played a part in keeping nasty fungal nail infections (you know—those you might be prone to picking up in the gym shower) at bay.
6. People swear by its ability to decrease acne
Those of us with acne can all agree that we’ll do just about anything to nix it from flaring up. Interestingly, a thread on Acne.org touts the benefits of peppermint oil as a remedy to oil production. And it makes sense because, as inflammation lessens in the skin, less oil is gets trapped and clogged, leading to less oil buildup.
7. It may boost your energy levels and mood
Maybe the scent of peppermint wafting through the streets on the shortest days of the year is a good thing after all. In aromatherapy, peppermint oil is used to boost energy, sharpen focus and even boost your mood.