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Note: Always check with your doctor before adding any new medicinal herbs to your diet, especially if you’re taking other medications.

Corey Williams
November 12, 2018

I’ve struggled with severe hormonal acne since I was about 10 years old. I’m not talking run-of-the-mill breakouts that can be cured with a dab of zit cream. No—I mean 50-60 deep, painful, depression-inducing cysts at a time.

Too often people consider acne an annoying and slightly embarrassing fact of life. That may very well be case for many mild acne sufferers. For others, though, it’s debilitating.

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For about a decade, painful cysts covered almost every inch of my face, chest, shoulders, and back. I tried everything over the years: topical treatments, antibiotics, birth control, Accutane, etc. The list goes on and on. Some helped, sure, but nothing stuck.

As I entered my late teens and early twenties, the cysts became concentrated to my cheeks and jawline. That’s when my dermatologist put me on a strong dose of Spironolactone.

Spironolactone, a medication that’s been used for controlling high blood pressure in the past, has recently become a popular treatment for adult women suffering from hormonal acne. It definitely hasn’t cured my skin, but it has helped me so much more than anything else. My skin is as close to clear as it’s been in more than a decade.

I owe a lot to Spironolactone, and I’ll probably take it for the foreseeable future. I understand, though, that some people are skeptical about prescription medications and prefer to treat their ailments naturally. If you’re an adult woman who suffers from severe, seemingly untreatable acne—and you’d rather try a holistic treatment before taking more drastic measures—you may want to try spearmint tea.

Though not definitively proven, recent studies have suggested that spearmint and Spironolactone work in similar ways.

Here’s why:

Androgen hormones, though typically thought of as male hormones, are also present in lower levels in the female body. Too much androgen in a woman can cause severe acne, usually on the lower portion of her face. This hormonal fluctuation can be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome or any number of factors.

Excess androgen is one of the most common causes of acne in adult women, but not many know about it. Advertising and (some) doctors have conditioned us to believe all acne is the same.

The truth is, it’s not. There’s no reason to treat hormonal acne in an adult women the same way you’d treat hormonal acne in a teenage boy.

Spironolactone and spearmint tea are both anti-androgens, meaning they block the androgen receptors that can cause some people to break out.

Though the studies were focused on hirsutism and not acne, many women on Reddit and MakeupAlley.com are convinced that a daily cup (or two) of spearmint tea successfully keeps their hormonal acne at bay.

If nothing else seems to work, it may be worth a shot.

But before you try it for yourself, remember: Even though you can get herbal tea at your local health food store, it’s still medicinal and can interact negatively with other medications or health conditions. Always check with your doctor before starting any herbal treatment plan.

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