Derived from peppermint, menthol can have the same irritating effect as peppermint on skin. [1,2] Despite its documented ability to irritate skin, menthol is included in a surprisingly large number of products, particularly those claiming to help oily or acne-prone skin. Unfortunately, the cooling, refreshing sensation menthol causes is direct evidence that your skin is being irritated, not soothed.
- Yosipovitch G, Szolar C, Hui X, Maibach H. Effect of topically applied menthol on thermal,pain and itch sensations and biophysical properties of the skin. Arch Dermatol Res. 1996;288(5-6):245-8.
- Green B. The sensory effects of l-menthol on human skin. Somatosens Mot Res.1992;9(3):235-44.