I took this for 6 months. It did more for me than Spironolactone or Doxycyline ever did. My acne while taking it, never returned. My excessive oil production was stabilized. I will note that this was not a cure all solution. I still had to use diligent skincare to keep my skin perfect.
And then one day, I quit taking it. I know that sounds crazy. Especially since I had dealt with cystic acne for about 13 years. Every derm I went to in 2011-2013 wanted to put me on accutane. I never went on that because it had long term effects on the aging process in terms of moisture issues. My mom/dad/brother were on it. I know from first hand.
But stopping spearmint tea was a personal decision. Although it has no permanent affects on oil glands, I'd still rather be dependent on a topical product than a supplement. Finding PURE spearmint tea & always having a LARGE supply for all day use became a HUGE pain in my ***. AHAs got rid of at least 75% of my acne prior to spearmint tea. I'm now adding in retinoids to take it one step further. If you have awful acne your best bet is an internal and external approach. I just am too lazy for this.
Be sure to check the ingredient list because a lot of "spearmint teas" are actually diluted with other herbs. Most people don't seem to realize this (I got recommendations for plenty of them by people that were clueless about this here on MUA.)
I did not fully understand acne until my early twenties. I have spent the last 4 years studying it, and at 24 I finally got rid of my volcano-like cystic acne. I could write for days on the science behind it. However I'll save that for another time & make my review into a simple version that everyone can understand.
Spearmint tea has anti-androgen effects. Meaning it messes with your hormone levels and blocks (to a certain degree) your male sex hormones (testosterone). In turn, this has an effect on your skin. Less testosterone means less oil production. Less oil production, often means less acne.
Spearmint tea is a good way to decrease acne without needing a prescription. A lot of people turn to birth control in order to combat their acne. A simple explanation for why birth control pills often helps acne is because it changes hormone levels. But if you wanted to know a deeper explanation: the most popular birth control pills for acne have antiandrogen effects. YAZ is very popular for this purpose.
Another popular acne medication is Spironolactone (commonly referred to as "Spiro".) I was prescribed this by a dermatologist months ago after realizing my hormones were to blame for much of my oil production. Spironolactone is actually a medication for fluid retention treatment. However studies realized early on that it has an antiandrogen effect. A lot of long time acne suffers have found relief taking it. Once again, it works very similar to Spearmint Tea. (Note: I had to get off Spiro immediately due to adverse effects.)
The biggest drawback I've found is that spearmint tea will never be as effective as birth control pills with major anti androgen properties nor high dosages of Spiro. To see results I would recommend drinking it as frequently as you can (within reason). Drinking one glass every three days is not going to do anything for you. The more spearmint tea you drink, the more antiandrogen properties you'll have in your system. Another word of advice is give it some time before throwing in the towel. Sometimes birth control pills or Sprionolactone can take up to 6 months to make an effect on oil production. And Spearmint Tea is NOT NEARLY AS POTENT. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, just moreso that you'd need a much larger amount to get the equivalent of other options. I actually had some effects while only taking spearmint tea that I got while taking Yaz - spotting in between periods. Is that good? Obviously not. However it solidifies the impact spearmint tea has on hormones.
Now that I've explained that, let me tell you all about what having slightly less oily skin has done for me. My acne has dramatically reduced, my makeup doesn't look nasty by 1PM, and I can go all day without powder touch ups. YES THIS STILL REQUIRES PROPER SKINCARE AND MATTE MAKE UP FORMULAS. But spearmint tea has still greatly contributed. The best part of my acne clearing up has been the realization that my Rosacea isn't nearly as bad as everyone assumed. There's no doubts about whether or not I have Rosacea, I definitely do. However my acne was so inflamed and widespread that when it began to clear up, my redness decreased by at least 50%.
There are some things I'd like for everyone to consider before giving antiandrogens effects a chance. Is your skin oily or dry? If it's dry, testosterone levels most likely aren't your problem. That's not to say a hormonal imbalance is out of question. HOWEVER spearmint tea does have the ability to worsen your acne...BECAUSE it has an effect on your hormones. This could go either way for you. Just like how some BC cause people to have worse acne!
Other supplements or foods that may have an impact on hormones & thus acne:
-Hormones in lactose can potentially affect your hormone levels *negatively*. I found that giving up dairy helped clear up my skin ALMOST as good as spearmint tea. But a life without cheese isn't worth living...and spearmint tea still works better.
-Zinc can help.
-Vitamin D can help.
-Vitex supplements can help regulate hormones.
-Omega 3,6,9 can have various effects on hormones/acne
Other medications that can help:
-Accutane for a (potentially) permanent effect on your oil glands.
-Spironolactone as listed above (non-permanent, just like spearmint tea.. the chemistry behind it has VERY short half lives)