Peppermint Oil: What Is It? Why Use It?

You’ve probably heard about or seen peppermint oil.  Maybe you’ve seen it on a list of ingredients in something you have bought, or maybe you have tried Neauties peppermint lip gloss or lip balm; but you may not have considered what benefits peppermint oil has for you, or even known it has benefits at all!

peppermint plantFirst, a little background.  Peppermint is actually a plant.  It is a hybrid species of water mint and spearmint.  The peppermint plant has dark green leaves and grows up to three feet tall.  It has been used for thousands of years by the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans for its medicinal properties.  So, as you can see, it has been around for a long, long time!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to use peppermint oil in body care or aromatic recipes, there are some important things you need to know. Peppermint oil is very concentrated–more concentrated than most other essential oils.  Because of this, it must be diluted with a carrier oil for topical applications, like lip balm or lip gloss.  Carrier oils include coconut, grape seed, castor, jojoba, olive, sesame seed, or sweet almond oil.  Your choice of oil depends on the application.  Does your finished product need to be extra moisturizing?  Then you will need a heavier oil.  Does your mixture need to be lighter?  Then, of course, you would go with a light, gentle oil.  Keep in mind that when using peppermint oil for your lips, you want to be certain it is food grade quality, because, for example, small  amounts may be ingested when using Neauties’ lip products (or large amounts if a child or pet finds it!).  At Neauties, we have heard stories of both happening with our lip products–but, thankfully, no adverse side effects were experienced!

The unmistakable mint smell from the peppermint plant is from the menthol that is extracted from the leaves and stem.  This is the familiar smell most associated with natural dentifrice products like toothpaste, mouth wash, or breath freshening gargle.

When peppermint oil is applied to the skin it causes a slight numbing effect to the area.  This fact makes it an excellent ingredient for lip balm and lip gloss.  We have all experienced chapped lips, whether from the sun, wind, or dehydration.  Applying lip products that are laced with peppermint instantly cools, freshens, and calms the chapped area, providing instant relief!diffuser

An interesting side benefit of using peppermint lip products like Neauties is when the product is on your lips, you are also inhaling the aroma. Inhaling peppermint oil stimulates, energizes, and awakens the mind.  In fact, it is a popular oil to diffuse as a room freshener for this reason.  And for all you students out there, did you know that it can also help improve your test taking and study skills?  If you inhale the smell of peppermint (or any other stimulating scent) while studying and the same scent while actually taking the test you will have a greater chance of remembering the material!  So, for example, you could diffuse peppermint oil while studying, and then wear peppermint balm or gloss while taking your test.  Your brain will associate the smell with the information, causing your retention rate to be higher, which could result in higher grades!

Peppermint oil has many other uses as well.  It is widely known for its anti-nausea benefits.  Chewing peppermint gum or eating a mint can calm your stomach on a long trip if you experience car sickness.  I actually used this trick recently when on a hot school bus on a student field trip, and I happened to have mints in my bag.  Boy did they save the day!  My alternative was to be sick in front of 50 second graders–thank goodness for peppermint!  Peppermint is also wonderful to inhale when your sinus and allergy issues kick in.  It unclogs the sinuses, relieves sore throats, and relaxes the muscles in the nasal cavity.  Many products, like cough drops, use peppermint oil to provide relief of sinus and allergy symptoms.

Peppermint Lip BalmPeppermint oil is a proven treatment for headaches as well.  A study conducted at the University of Kiel in Germany found that a combination of oils including peppermint oil “had significant analgesic effects with a reduction in sensitivity to headaches.”  Oils were applied to the temples and forehead to relieve pain.  Remember, always exercise extreme care when applying peppermint oil to the skin due to its high concentration.

The peppermint plant provides us with a multitude of uses–it proves to be a very diversified plant.  Peppermint oil is among the most popular of the essential oils for this reason.  When using, however, use caution and be sure to research the proper methods of application for your intended set is proud to carry all natural, handmade lip gloss and balm containing all natural food grade peppermint oil.  All Neauties products are free of preservatives, chemicals, and fillers making them good for your lips.  While you’re there,explore our other flavors- Cherry, Strawberry, and Original (which has a touch of honey sweetness).  You may also wish to browse the Shimmers collection if you’re looking for a little natural coloring and sweet flavor!

Thanks for stopping by!  And remember, show your Neauties–your natural beauty!




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