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Huile essentielle de menthe poivrée contre les pellicules ?

Dandruff: Can it be eliminated with peppermint essential oil?

Although dandruff does not pose a health risk, it can be extremely bothersome for those who suffer from it. That's why some people seek natural methods to eliminate it. Peppermint essential oil is often mentioned as an ideal solution. But is this really the case? We will provide some answers in this article.

Published July 31, 2023, updated on February 9, 2024, by Manon, Scientific Editor — 4 min read

What are the causes of dandruff occurrence?

Affecting approximately half of the population, dandruff consists of flakes made up of dead scalp cells. This phenomenon is triggered by an accelerated renewal of the epidermal cells of the scalp. Although the shedding of dead cells is natural, dandruff occurs when this chronic desquamation process becomes excessive. These cells, forming at an abnormally rapid rate, are still too immature to be naturally eliminated, leading to their accumulation and clumping, thus making them visible to the naked eye.

Several factors can cause the appearance of dandruff. They are generally caused by:

  • A genetic predisposition;

  • The activity of the sebaceous glands;

Dandruff can also have a fungal origin. Indeed, it can be caused by a variety of yeast known as Malassezia furfur, formerly known as pityrosporum ovale. While this fungus naturally occurs on the scalp, it can multiply. If its growth is not controlled, it can lead to the development of dandruff and cause itching.

Is it possible to get rid of dandruff using peppermint essential oil?

Peppermint essential oil can be used to manage dandruff issues. Indeed, it possesses soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. This is due to the properties of menthol and menthone, which have the ability to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. As a result, these compounds help to soothe scalp irritations and itching that are associated with the onset of dandruff.

Some of the active substances found in the formulation of peppermint essential oil also exhibit antifungal properties. Indeed, a study has shown that menthol, in combination with menthone, has a synergistic fungicidal action against Rhizopus and Mucor, as well as a significant suppression of the growth of Sclerotinia. Although this property is interesting, no research has yet proven that the essential oil can exert a fungicidal activity on Malassezia furfur.

Therefore, the use of peppermint essential oil may prove promising in combating dandruff due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which help soothe scalp itchiness. Furthermore, its fungicidal activity could be beneficial for addressing the underlying cause of dandruff, although this specific effectiveness against Malassezia furfur still requires further in-depth research to be confirmed.

How to use peppermint essential oil against dandruff?

To enjoy the benefits of this oil, pour 1 drop into a dollop of shampoo that you will then apply to your hair by massaging the scalp. Let it sit for a few minutes then rinse. Peppermint essential oil can also be diluted in a vegetable oil such as thesweet almond oil. You can then apply this mixture before your regular shampoo.

Before embarking on a dandruff treatment with peppermint essential oil, it is recommended to consult a professional and conduct a preliminary test. To do this, pour a few drops of peppermint essential oil inside your elbow or on your wrist. If a reaction occurs within the next 24 hours, avoid using it.


EDRIS A. E. & al. Antifungal activity of peppermint and sweet basil essential oils and their major aroma constituents on some plant pathogenic fungi from the vapor phase. Nahrung/Food (2003).

ALANKAR S. A Review on peppermint oil. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research (2009).

KEHILI S. & al. Peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory, wound healing and anti-nociceptive drug. European Journal of Biological Research (2020).

CHEN X. & al. A Natural Plant Ingredient, Menthone, Regulates T Cell Subtypes and Lowers Pro-inflammatory Cytokines of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of Natural Products (2022).


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