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    What are sensates in moisturizers and what is their value?

    Sensates are substances that induce a certain sensation when applied to the skin. For example, menthol is the most commonly used sensate producing a cooling feeling when topically applied. Menthol is added to many therapeutic moisturizers to allow the consumer to “feel” the product working. It also can aid in alleviating itch by substituting the cooling feeling for itch. Menthol can also reduce pain, such as experienced after shaving. Many therapeutic after shave moisturizers contain menthol to reduce the burning following shaving barrier damage and replace the burn with a cooling sensation.

    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a consulting professor of dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. She is investigator, ...


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