What would make this warming?


This cleanser allegedly warms when applied to the skin, but I can't seem to identify which materials would create that thermal response. Anyone? Thank you!


Glycerin, Honey/Mel/Miel, Myristic Acid, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Papain, Polyglyceryl-10 Behenate/Eicosadioate, Royal Jelly, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Propolis Extract [Extrait de Propolis], Triethanolamine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Glycerin plus a lack of water
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    @Perrydo you mean applying glycerin without water makes skin warm? 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Abdullah - that depends on the moisture level present on the surface of the skin. The thing responsible for the heat is the rearrangement of hydrogen bonds.

    Water & glycerin both have the capacity to form hydrogen bonds. The H bonds with water are stronger (higher energy) than the H bonds with glycerin. So when you mix glycerin and water some of the stronger water-H bonds are transferred to glycerin-H bonds. This results in excess energy which is then converted to heat. Thus the warming. 

    If you have more glycerin than water, you’ll feel the heat. More water than glycerin you won’t feel it as much.
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    @Perry is there any ratio glycerin/water above which we can feel heat or when the heat is more than 50% we will feel heat? 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Abdullah - Yes. I just don't know what that would be.

  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    Perry said:
    @Abdullah - Yes. I just don't know what that would be.

  • @Perry fascinating. Makes sense. Thank you!
  • SpongeSponge Member

    This interested me because I remember this KY Warming ingredient list as follows:

    Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Honey (Miel), Methylparaben, Sucralose

    Interesting they both happen to have honey. Or could that be a factor?

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    It's simply hyperosmolarity which results in a warming perception on skin by 'shrinking' nerve cells.
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