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Put Some Pep in Your Step With Mint
Author: Allison B. Vought
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mint is usually associated with food or drinks, however, with its new found helath properties more  people are opting to formulate with it.

When most people think of mint, food and drinks usually come to mind. Mint is an often used herb in skincare products becasue of its unmistakably aromatic fragrance. However, the mint family has more to offer than just a great smell.

Mint is often used in skin creams, toners, body lotions and facial masks. It is helpful in treating inflammation such as acne because of its high vontent of salicylic acid. This acid, which is found naturally in mint, is an acitve ingredient used in many facial care products. The acid loosens dead skin cells, allowing them to shed easier. This helps to prevent clogged pores, resulting in fewer pimples and clearer skin.

The most popular member of the mint family is peppermint. Peppermint acts as an astrigent in cleansing and toning products by shrinking skin tissue and reducing the amount of surface oil on the skin. These qualities make mint especially effective for oily skin types. Peppermint oil contains vitmains A and C, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals including potassium, manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, and copper.

Peppermint oil has also been used to treat stress and pain. Soaking in a bath containing some drops of peppermint oil or an infusion of dried mint can rpovide an uplifintg respite from stress. The refreshing properties of mint make you feel energized and have been shown to increase mental alertness. The cooling properties of peppermint oil benefit by removing pain and it can be diluted and applied topically to ease tension.

Menthol, derived synthetically as well as from mint essential oil, is an iongredient in many cosmetics and some perfumes. Menthol and mint essential oil are very popular in aromatherapy. Did you know that menthol is used in cigarettes as an additive, because it blocks out the bitter taste of tobacco and soothes the throat? Menthol is widely used in cooling products such as body sprays, foot care treatments and anti-itch creams because of its local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities.

Spearmint, another species of mint, is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and vital nutrients. Despite having a very similar aroma to peppermint, spearmint does not contain as much menthol, but is instead rich in limonese, dihydrocarvone and cineol.

Spearmint essential oil is associated with a number of antifungal properties, according to a study presented at the 2011 International Conference on Environmental and Agricultural Engineering. More than twenty kinds of chemical compounds have been reported from essential oil extracted from spearmint. The most important compounds with antimicrobial activity are Menthol, Menthoforan, Menthon, Pipriton and Polgon. Recent studeies on spearmint leaf show its effectiveness in reducing hirutism (excess body hair) in women diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

If you visit any spa, you'll likely find that many of the treatments there include some type of mint. Despite its countless benefits to skin health, however, spas mostly use mint for its scent, which many people find relaxing and soothing.

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