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What-it-does: soothing

Official CosIng Information


Menthol needs no introduction: it's the thing that causes the cooling sensation so well-known both from cosmetic products as well as a bunch of other things like chocolate, chewing gum, toothpaste or cigarette. It's a natural compound that comes from the essential oil of Mentha species (peppermint oil contains 40-50% menthol) and it gives them their typical minty smell and flavor.

As for skincare, menthol seems to be a mixed bag. Apart from the cool cooling sensation (that might last up to 70 mins!), it also has painkilling, itch reducing, antibacterial, antifungal and even penetration enhancing properties. On the other hand, it also seems to act as a skin irritant that increases trans-epidermal water loss (the water that evaporates from the outer layer of the skin) and thus contributes to drying out the skin.

Show me some proof

  • Phytochemistry 96 (2013) 15–25, Menthol: A simple monoterpene with remarkable biological properties
  • Archives for Dermatological Research 288(5-6):245-8 · May 199, Effect of topically applied menthol on thermal, pain and itch sensations and biophysical properties of the skin

Products with Menthol

Maybelline Baby Lips Dr Rescue® Medicated Lip Balm Snake Brand Prickly Heat Cooling Powder Blistex Lip Medex Ecohair Sdn Bhd Sensitive Soothes Therapy Shampoo Muji Lip Cream Spf 20 NOAH Treatment For Weak Hair Rohto Mentholatum AD Milky Lotion Badger Company Herbal Hair Oil For Dry Scalp Banish Fighter Gel Clinique For Men™ Face Soap With Dish Davines Naturaltech Energizing Superactive Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel Indie Lee I-Recover Mind & Body Gel JorgObé Scrub Mask SKINVOLVE Body Boost Gel Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 ENN Pre Game - Pre Primer Toner Good Pharma Dermatology (Singapore & Ireland) Suu Balm King of shaves Super Cooling Shave Oil Le Labo Camphor Balm skinChemists Rose Quartz Lip Plump Davines Naturaltech Energizing Gel Dr. Bronner's Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap Forever Aloe Heat Lotion Mentholatum Acnes Medicated Powder Lotion Nioxin Night Density Rescue Nivea Men Deep Clean Face Wash Nivea Men Fresh & Light Gel - Hydra Max Noxzema Triple Clean Anti Blemish Astringent Prodermic Mega Tonic Rohto Mentholatum Melano CC Concentration Measures Toner Badger Company Navigator Class Man Care After-Shave Face Oil Balea Gesichtswasser Hautrein Anti-Pickel Beauté Pacifique Enriched Toner, All Skin Types Dove Men+Care 2 In 1 Shampoo And Conditioner Herbal Essence White Grapefruit & Mosa Mint Dry Shampoo L'Oreal Professionnel Serioxyl Fuller & Stronger Tonic MBH DERMACARE Clarifying Toner Mary Kay Clear Proof® Blemish Control Toner** Nihonskin Night Repair Creme Pond's Oil Control SheaMoisture African Water Mint Bubble Bath Body Wash Stridex Daily Care Acne Pads With Salicylic Acid, Maximum Strength Stridex Essential Acne Treatment Pads Stridex Maximum Strength Medicated Pads Swissline cosmetics Water Shock Purifying Toner Thankyou Botanical Mint & Spring Flowers Body Wash Volition Eucalyptus Stretch Mark Minimizer Biobelle #Iwokeuplikethis Facial Mask Biore Charcoal Deep Cleansing Pore Strips