What to Look For in Cooling Beauty Products

Sable Yong


Not everybody has or wants an ice bucket dumped on them in the oppressive heat of a summer’s day. There are less dramatic and way less shocking ways to cool down if you’re going to dive into a hot day. Other than storing all your liquid beauty products in the fridge for the next three months (though, not a bad idea), you can stock up on some products specifically made to give you a refreshing reprieve from your sweat-slicked skin. But what should you look for? Not all things that say they’re cooling will be that, especially not after sitting in a hot car or in your beach bag left in the sun for hours. Here are a few classic ingredient coolers to look for in your “cooling” beauty products.

MORE: 20 Summer Beauty Tips

Menthol. You’ll see this ingredient in probably any cooling product because the chemical compound of menthol triggers your skin’s cold receptors to send a message to your brain that you’ve touched something very cold. It doesn’t actually change the temperature of your skin, but since it makes your skin feel cold, blood flow to the skin’s surface decreases as your body thinks it needs to conserve body heat.

Cucumber. This botanical cooler is found in lots of cooling, calming, and de-puffing products. Since it contains so much water, cucumber is super hydrating—this means quenching thirsty (and sunburned) skin. It also has ascorbic acid, which works to brighten skin. This makes it a great ingredient to include in toners and under-eye de-puffers.

Mint. The refreshing feeling you get from chewing mint gum or popping a breath mint works the same way for your skin. It’s a temporary topical effect, but peppermint in skin products has a similar effect as menthol. Menthol is actually the cooling chemical component derived from mint. Mint has many anti-inflammatory properties as well as natural salicylic acid and vitamin A, making it a great natural ingredient for acne treatment. We tend to enjoy the refreshing tingly sensation that minty products give us.

Aloe. We’re sure you’ve seen so many aloe in summer-geared beauty products. Other than being super hydrating and soothing, it’s the go-to sunburn ointment because it naturally contains super anti-inflammatory and healing properties. You may not feel an especially chilly sensation when applying aloe (other than the natural cooling sensation of evaporation), but it naturally quells heat in the skin as well as other skin issues like eczema, rashes, dandruff, minor scrapes, and infection.

Yogurt. Maybe not the first thing you think to slather on your skin when you’re sweating, yogurt has cooling effects on not only food but also your skin. Its natural lactic acid content exfoliates your skin while the zinc cools your skin. Zinc has lots of skin benefits, too, like treating sunburn, acne, and any mild infections on your skin.

MORE: 10 Cooling Beauty Products To Get Through Summer