Excess androgens can be a girl’s worst nightmare in the fight against hormonal acne.  When they’re out of whack, androgens can lead to more than just acne. Clinical disorders such as  hirsutism (excessive hair growth) and polycystic ovarian syndrome (“PCOS”) can be greatly impacted by excess androgens.  PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder in females and it affects 5 million women in the U.S., alone.  One of its symptoms is actually acne.

Although I don’t know what it’s like to suffer from PCOS, I know all to well what it’s like to suffer from acne. One way I’ve learned how to keep acne promoting androgens under control is to keep insulin from spiking.  Over the years, I’ve found which foods are really good at helping me accomplish this. But recently, I discovered that I’ve been missing out on a powerful tea that works wonders in clearing out hormonal acne.

It even works on women who suffer from PCOS.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it already.  It’s called spearmint tea and it works because it acts as an anti-androgen.  Anti-androgens work by reducing the levels or activity of androgen hormones in our bodies.  It is able to do this because it can block or control the action of androgens such as testosterone that can trigger breakouts.

This is exciting news for anyone who has tried one of the several anti-androgen medical treatments and wants to take a more natural approach.  Personally, I’m all for drinking any kind of tea that keeps acne away.  On top of that, I like knowing that I’m not taking a synthetic substance that has a long list of unwanted side effects.


For many years spearmint developed a reputation for having testosterone reducing properties.  In the Middle East it is relied on for its ability to effectively treat excess hair growth in women. A study from Turkey by Akdogan and colleagues studied the anti-androgenic properties that allow spearmint to reduce the level of free testosterone in the blood.  The study included 21 females with excessive hair growth (12 of whom suffered from PCOS).

They each drank a cup of spearmint tea twice daily for 5 days during their menstrual cycles.  What were the results? After their herbal tea treatment, the patients had significant decreases in free testosterone in their blood. That wasn’t the only study conducted to test spearmint’s testosterone reducing properties.

After that study, a randomized clinical trial by Grant was conducted.  It clearly showed that drinking spearmint tea twice daily for 30 days vs. chamomile tea (which was used as a control) greatly lowered blood levels of androgens in patients with excessive hair growth associated with PCOS. The study concluded that it is possible that drinking spearmint tea on a continual daily basis could result in an additional decrease of excessive hair growth.


That’s certainly promising for anyone struggling with the effects of PCOS. But what about those who have to battle hormonal acne?  Spearmint uses its significant anti-androgen effects and anti-inflammatory properties to destroy disease-inducing bacteria and yeast on the skin. In a 2015 study by the American Academy of Dermatology, it was noted that drinking two cups of organic spearmint tea daily reduced inflammatory acne lesions by 25% after one month and by 51% after three months. Those are some pretty impressive stats.

Intrigued by the promising hormone balancing powers of spearmint, I hit the web to see what results others had using it to treat their acne.  Guess what I found?  Girls who claimed they tried everything from OTC creams to prescriptions pills without getting results were actually starting to clear their skin after drinking spearmint tea.  It’s not an overnight cure.  Be prepared to wait 1-3 months before seeing an improvement in your acne.


If you’re looking for a good brand of organic spearmint tea to try, look no further than Traditional Medicinals.  Buy it online or in the tea section of your local store. This is the brand I recently purchased and can testify that it holds up to its description of being fragrant, sweet, and minty.  If you’re new to the world of tea, this is how to make a perfect cup:

  • Pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 1 tea bag
  • Cover cup and steep for 5-10 minutes
  • Squeeze tea bag to get all the acne fighting goodness in your cup
  • Kick back, relax, and enjoy!


Join the Conversation

My favorite part of doing these posts is engaging in the conversation they start. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this:

Would you use spearmint tea to treat acne?


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Grant P, Ramasamy S., “An Update on Plant Derived Anti-Androgens.” Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2012;10(2):497-502. DOI:10.5812/ijem.3644