Menthol is an organic compound that is typically derived from herb plants such as peppermint and eucalyptus. When topically applied, menthol is known to produce sensation that can be described as “cooling” or “fresh.” In skincare, menthol essential oil is highly regarded and often infused into creams, ointments and cosmetic products as a way of supplying the skin with a refreshed sensation. Although due to its weak water-solubility, menthol can be volatile and difficult to incorporate into skincare formulas.
In addition, menthol essential oil benefits may alleviate problematic skin. 1 However, use of menthol skin care products should be avoided around the eye area, as well as products with high concentrations of menthol, due to their potential to cause minor skin irritation. 2
- Watson, H. R. et al. Compounds with the menthol cooling effect. J. Soc. Cosmet. Chem 29, 185-200 (1978)
- Yosipovitch, Gil, et al. Effect of topically applied menthol on thermal, pain and itch sensations and biophysical properties of the skin. Archives of dermatological research 288.5-6, 245-248 (1996)