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What-it-does: soothing


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

MBK Skincare Ice For Eyes Mask Maybelline Baby Lips Dr Rescue® Medicated Lip Balm Rohto Mentholatum Medicated Lip Stick Snake Brand Prickly Heat Cooling Powder Tiger balm Pain Relieving Patch Red Amazing Oils Magnesium Active Bath Flakes Blistex Lip Medex Blistex Lip Medex Denorex Extra Strength 2 In 1 Medicated Shampoo With Conditioner Ecohair Sdn Bhd Sensitive Soothes Therapy Shampoo MTM Custom-Blended Deep Cleansing Purimask Muji Lip Cream Spf 20 Tiger balm Neck & Shoulder Rub listerine Gum Therapy Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment BÚRSÀY Breakout Fighter Treatment Water Calduch Laboratorios Suavina Dermo Original Colgate Max White Expert Mouthwash Elence 2001 Plus Black Garlic Scalp Essence Gatsby Body Wipes Freeze Peach Lador Dermatical Scalp Tonic NOAH Treatment For Weak Hair Postquam Cold Bandages Liquid PuroBIO Chilled Lip Balm Rohto Mentholatum AD Milky Lotion Snake Brand Cooling Body Spray Classic Snake Brand Cooling Mist Classic So Plump Lip Glaze Some By Mi CICA Peptide Anti Hair Loss Derma Scalp Tonic Suu Balm Rapid Itch Relief Moisturiser Suu Balm Rapid Itch Relief Scalp Spray Moisturiser Alfaparf Milano Semi Di Lino Energizing Lotion Amazing Oils Active Magnesium Spray Auli Magic. Potion Mattifying Massage Gel With Aloe Vela And Turmeric Aveda Cooling Balancing Oil Concentrate Badger Company Herbal Hair Oil For Dry Scalp Banish Fighter Gel Bio essence Bio-Hydra Jeju Marine Algae Aqua Skin-Dewy Exfoliator Clinique For Men™ Face Soap With Dish Davines Naturaltech Energizing Superactive Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel Fanola Energy Energising Hair Loss Prevention Lotion Indie Lee I-Recover Mind & Body Gel JorgObé Scrub Mask La vie en rose Bikini Cream Laca Criogel Reafirmante Linnex Stick Mentholatum Original Lipbalm Mielle Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil O'Care Love More Hair Tonic