Menthol has been used for centuries on its own, but it has only recently been incorporated into shaving creams. Why is it such a staple in many brands’ lineups?
Menthol is a natural ingredient extracted from the mint plant. Menthol has healing, soothing, and cooling properties, making it a compelling addition to men’s shaving cream. Many men find the cooling sensation a pleasant contrast to the warm shave. However, it can sometimes it can be used to cover up the presence of more irritating substances.
Read on and understand why shaving cream with menthol has become such a large part of the shaving market.
Why does shaving cream have menthol?
For centuries, menthol has been a staple of herbal medicines, especially in Eastern countries.
Western companies have recently added menthol to their products because of the cooling and soothing sensation. The cooling sensation of menthol is non-toxic and can be very nice when applied with shaving cream to the face.
Because of this pleasing sensation, mentholated shaving creams have built their own niche in the market. Some people even swear by it, and won’t choose a shaving cream without the ingredient.
Although menthol isn’t for everyone, it certainly has a solid following among those who enjoy the sensation.
How does menthol in shaving cream work?
Chances are your menthol shaving cream doesn’t look or feel any different than regular shaving cream, so how does it work?
Once applied to the skin, the menthol tells your brain that your skin is cold. Menthol does not magically make your skin cool, although we’d still love it if it did.
While menthol is only present in shaving cream formulas in small amounts, it can have a big impact.
After applying it to the skin, the activated menthol communicates with skin receptors to create a cooling sensation on the skin for five to fifteen minutes.
Where else can you find menthol?
You can find menthol in many brands and different types of products, but what is it used for?
In addition to the trademark cooling sensation, menthol’s soothing, antiseptic, and pain relief qualities are well-known. For these reasons, it is often included in everyday products like gums, candies, moisturizers, and topical creams.
It has also found its way into unsafe products like cigarettes and vape products. The FDA has recommended banning menthol in cigarettes. Not because menthol is unhealthy by itself but because menthol soothes smokers’ lungs – this relief can make it easier for new smokers to become addicted.
There is still more to learn about menthol, so there may still be new menthol products on the market.
Is menthol safe in shaving cream?
If you’ve never paid much attention to menthol’s characteristics and uses, you may be wondering if it’s safe in shaving cream.
Menthol is safe in the many products it’s found in, assuming it’s used in small amounts. Larger amounts of menthol can be considered an irritant. In shaving cream, the contents are highly regulated so you can shave knowing it shouldn’t cause serious harm to your face.
Of course, some people are sensitive to certain substances. If you’re considering trying menthol in shaving cream, be safe and try it out before putting a full batch on your chin.
Try putting a dab on your hand first. If this works, try putting a small dab on your face. In both instances, if after a while you don’t find your skin reacted in any uncomfortable way, you should be safe to shave with it.
If you’re okay, you’ll be one of the many people who are able to enjoy the cooling sensation menthol in shaving cream brings.
Should you use shaving cream with menthol?
Many men have a sort of shaving ritual, and it may feel like an unpleasant chore to interrupt it for something new.
Swapping out your regular shaving cream for menthol shaving cream can be a small yet impactful change to your routine. You don’t need to use the menthol for any longer than you would normally use shaving cream to get the effects. Menthol shaving cream typically costs about the same as a comparable non-menthol version.
We think it’s worth trying for something that doesn’t cost too much or add too much time to your routine.
Top tip: Try menthol shaving cream during the hot summer for a much-needed cool down!
The pros and cons of using shaving cream with menthol
There is a lot to menthol shaving products, but what are the pros and cons?
- Cooling – When you think of menthol, you likely think of the cool, minty feeling you get when it’s applied to the skin or eaten in a treat. Menthol’s cooling properties are one of its most popular features, especially in warm weather.
- Antiseptic – One of menthol’s lesser-known benefits is its ability to cleanse. Still, its antiseptic properties are one of the many things product manufacturers value.
- Aromatic – Once inhaled, menthol does more than smell pleasant. Its soothing and cooling features also come into play and relieve the lungs it also is cool and provides
- Soothing – Menthol’s ability to soothe otherwise irritated skin requires more research for western medicine to back. But many people promote its at-home usage in soothing irritated skin.
- Contact dermatitis – With people who have allergies, sensitive skin or use too much menthol, the substance can cause contact dermatitis. This term is simply a catch-all for skin rashes, burning, itchiness, pain, and other forms of irritation.
- Cooling – For some people, this might not be a feature they’re looking for in shaving cream. Especially when there’s snow on the ground, you might not be looking for a reason to cool off.
- Nausea – Now no one is going to recommend you ingest shaving cream with menthol. However, if you do, you may find yourself feeling nausea, drowsiness, and other symptoms.
Does menthol shaving cream really help sunburn?
There’s been some viral information circling the internet that menthol shaving cream can help counter sunburn pain, but the truth is a bit trickier.
Undoubtedly, a cool sensation can be a strong counter to the hot pain of a sunburn. That being said, there are often some strong chemicals in certain types of shaving creams, let alone ones with menthol. Because of this, it can be hard to recommend you use every menthol shaving cream on a sunburn.
Sunburns are the result of skin irritation and inflammation. Dermatologists struggled with the idea that all menthol shaving creams, including ones that might normally irritate someone’s skin, would be good to put on someone’s irritated skin.
So at the end of the day, this one is still undecided. However, aloe vera is a safe, tested alternative to soothe sunburns.
Is menthol shaving cream good for razor bumps?
Razor bumps can turn a fine shaving experience into an awful one.
Razor bumps are triggered when hair reenters the skin after shaving, by curling back around and penetrating the skin’s surface or retracting under the skin.
Menthol can soothe razor bumps after a shave, but it won’t help you during it. Dermatologists recommend a non-comedogenic facial cleanser, shaving after showering, and using a good aftershave.
There are aftershaves specifically formulated to counter razor bumps and many even feature menthol. Everyone’s skin is different, so try and find out what works best for you.
Should I use both menthol shaving cream and aftershave?
Is it too much to use menthol in shaving cream and aftershave?
Menthol is meant to be applied in the amount included in the product you’re using. Double dosing your menthol could lead to skin irritation, rashes, and otherwise cause pain. We recommend you use one menthol shaving product at a time.
Menthol originally found its way into men’s shaving products through aftershave, and some people swear by this. That being said, menthol shaving cream has come to find a strong place in the shaving market because of it is soothing, easy to apply, and you only need to buy one product.
If you want a cheap shave and a simple routine, menthol shaving cream may be the easiest product for you. Otherwise, aftershave can be a great option for a bit more care.
Best shaving creams with menthol
The market has so many shaving creams that choosing a new brand can be difficult.
To help, we’ve listed three that we recommend checking out on your own:
- Proraso Shaving Foam
- Cremo Cooling Shave Cream
- Palmolive Menthol Shaving Cream
Let’s take a quick look at each of these.
Proraso Shaving Foam
Proraso is one of the oldest names in the shaving industry. Their 10.3 oz eucalyptus oil and menthol formula has great reviews and will leave your skin feeling cool and fresh, and for only $8.55.
Cremo Cooling Shave Cream
Cremo cooling shave cream’s cruelty-free shaving cream features menthol for that classic cooling and soothing feel. This $6.99, 6 oz bottle of cream requires moisture and brush to turn into a lather that will leave you smelling like peppermint and tea tree oil.
Palmolive Menthol Shaving Cream
Palmolive menthol shaving cream that features a clean scent for those shavers who don’t want to mix their musk. The menthol helps differentiate it from a regular clean shaving cream, and it’s an easy purchase at $5.50 per bottle.
Can shaving cream with menthol have harmful effects?
Shaving cream with menthol can be harmful, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.
Menthol, in the correct quantities, is a soothing and harmless substance. However, shaving creams, especially foams and gels, are known to irritate the skin.
If you’re looking for shaving cream for sensitive skin, the menthol version might not be for you.
Who should not use shaving cream with menthol?
Menthol is used for so many things, including soothing otherwise irritated areas of the body.
You should not use shaving cream with menthol if you have any skin irritation or you are allergic to menthol.
On irritated skin, menthol should be used with caution. Studies show that menthol does not soothe itchy or painful skin, so it might be best to leave it in the bottle.
We also recommend staying away from shaving gels and foams if your skin is experiencing an uncommon skin itch, rash or pain.