What is it?
Menthol is an alcohol that can be isolated from peppermint or other mint oils. It is used in the formulation of a wide variety of cosmetics and personal care products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Menthol on its list of substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use in food. It is also an approved direct food additive. The FDA has also determined that Menthol is safe and effective in Over-The-Counter (OTC) cold drug products as a topical antitussive, and in OTC anorectal drug products as an analgesic, anestethic and antipruritic.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Menthol is obtained from peppermint oil or other mint oils or prepared synthetically. It has a peppermint taste and odor. Menthol has anesthetic properties and is widely used to relieve minor sore throat irritation. Mentha arvenis is the primary species of mint used to make natural menthol crystals and natural menthol flakes.