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Both the oil and the extract can have beneficial properties, but they can also have a sensitizing effect on skin. Peppermint oil is a more potent sensitizer than peppermint water. Peppermint is a common cause of sensitivity on the face, particularly around the mouth, as it’s frequently used as flavoring in toothpastes. The oil contains 44% menthol, an ingredient believed to be largely responsible for peppermint oil’s benefits as well as its risks.
References for this information:
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, August 2015, pages 601-611
Contact Dermatitis, April 2008, pages 143-150 and January 2008, pages 9-14
Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, Volume 32, 2013, page 143
Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, June 2006, pages 575-581
About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!