Summer State of Mind: Peppermint Oil
FIRST UP IN OUR SEASONAL SERIES IS A QUICK, NATURAL WAY TO COOL OFF AS THE MERCURY RISES
Ahhhh, summer. What’s not to love about an entire season that evokes the carefree style and spirit of vacation? Whether your milieu is a coastal retreat or your own rooftop on a rare Summer Friday, you can tap into the season’s state of mind: easy, blissful, sensual, free.
So, do you aim to squeeze every last drop of out of summer, or simply make it through these sweaty, sultry months without melting? Either way, allow us to guide you. What to expect: beloved products, tried-and-true home remedies, crucial nutrients and rituals to make the most of those extra hours of sunlight.
PEPPERMINT OIL: Topical chill for tropical temps
When I’m feeling overheated—literally, as in August, or figuratively, as in, inbox at critical mass—dabbing peppermint oil on my inner wrists, earlobes and back of my neck helps me keep my cool.
As it turns out, the physical sensation of cooling I love so much is a neurological trick. The menthol in peppermint doesn’t actually lower your body temperature; instead, it blocks a current along the nerves that detect temperature and triggers cold-sensitive receptors in the skin. As for my peppermint ritual’s effect on my state of mind, some research suggests the aroma does, in fact, enhance alertness and memory. All I know is, the bracing effects are instant—and equally welcome on a steamy subway platform, amid heat wave-induced nighttime tossing and turning, or when my mental to-do list is encroaching on my beach day.
Common-sense rules apply: Avoid the eyes and face, don’t put it on broken skin, and dilute with a carrier oil like jojoba if you’re particularly sensitive. Enjoy the chill.