Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul

The tingle in your face cleanser – is it really working?


Do you remember the cleansers you used when you were a teenager that made your skin tingle?  It was a sure sign that the product was meant for your exact skin and was doing a great job.

The tingle actually comes from a combination of chemicals such as camphor and menthol.  It has a cooling effect on your skin and makes your skin, well, tingle.

Both camphor and menthol are found in many different products.  You’ll find camphor in everything from medicinal cooling gels to bug repellent to ingredients in food.  It’s not to be ingesting in large quantities and use must be limited to avoid negative side effects.

Menthol is an organic compound that is found in lip balms, chest rubs, and in things like menthol cigarettes.

So, do you think the menthol and camphor are the active ingredients that are cleaning your skin?  Or, do you think that they simply add an extra effect that we’ve learned to associate with an effective cleanser?

4 thoughts on “The tingle in your face cleanser – is it really working?

  1. Great questions, Alia. My answer is: I don’t know. What the tingling effect does for me is heightens my awareness of my skin. I tend to “live in my head” a lot, going through daily rituals of various sorts with blinders on as I work away on some problem in my head. Like many people, I’ve been trained from a young age to go through any number of rituals on a regular basis. I don’t necessarily think about what I’m doing as I am doing it. I just go through the motions. If I use a cleanser that makes my face tingle, I suddenly realize, “Hey, my skin feels tingly!” It draws my awareness to my skin, pauses the non-stop buzz in my head and focusses my attention on what I am doing. The result, for me, is that it makes me just a little more present, a little more aware and a little more mindful about what are otherwise mostly mindless rituals.

    • Thanks for sharing your personal experience with the tingly soaps, Sarah. Being more present is something that challenges many of us. If making tingly soap helps some be in the moment, I’m all for it!

  2. This video explains why the tingling cool sensation isn’t good.

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