Don't Use Nivea Men's "Cool" Body Wash On Your Junk

Reader Keith wrote to us with a cautionary tale regarding Nivea men’s “cool” body wash. To Keith’s surprise, the product contains menthol which had an adverse effect when he used it on his body, specifically, his genitals. Much like the old Icy Hot in the the jock strap trick, it made his boys burn. To dispel any doubters, Keith says, “And no I do not have an STD, this is Nivea body wash related.” His letter, inside…

Im a big reader of the blog. And I get a lot of info off of your site. It’s fucking awesome to say the least. You tell the good and the bad. Well unfortunately, I am here to warn people about the new mens body wash line by Nivea. There is a cooling body wash and another one. I have experience with the cooling body wash as of 10 minutes ago. It has menthol in it for cooling you down so they say.

But they forgot that if you put a menthol like product on the most sensitive part of the male anatomy, then it creates immense irritation down there. Much like putting Ben Gay or Icy Hot down there. So yea I’m suffering now because Nivea decided to make a cooling body wash and I bought and tried it. Please post a warning for other males that read The Consumerist. This is a horrible product that obviously was not tested on actual people because they would have pulled it right off when the tester’s penises started to burn. And no I do not have an STD, this is Nivea body wash related. Thanks.

Ouch! We’re sorry to hear that Keith. We agree that a product that proclaims to be “body wash” should have some type of warning to help protect their customers’ packages. At least, you are now wide awake and don’t have to spend $4.50 on that Sturbuck’s Frappuccino.


Edit Your Comment

  1. haha, the Burning Man pic is priceless.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why is this guy washing his genitals in the first place? Just leave ’em be.

  3. LikwidFlux says:

    @MeSoHornsby: amen to that!

  4. What was the product designer thinking?!

  5. TWinter says:

    @MeSoHornsby: @LikwidFlux: I would assume that he was washing his genitals while taking a shower. That strikes me as a pretty normal thing to do.

  6. azgirl says:

    I once ran out of toilet paper and only had those kleenex with the menthol in them, ahem, available. I feel your pain. I know longer by anything with menthol in it…

  7. Meisterjager says:

    Some people might like that kinda thing

  8. Ben Clayton says:

    I wiped my mouth off with some of the lotion kleenex and it made my lips numb for a good 15 minutes.

  9. Watch out, don’t sprinkle any Bold Bond powder on your sensitive bits as well then!

  10. MikeB says:

    @rainmkr: Oh yeah. Stay away from that. And if you do it, don’t wash them with the cool body wash.

  11. hewhoroams says:

    I always thought the icy hot was slightly pleasant…

  12. PHX602 says:

    @Meisterjager: Does that also go for people who enjoy having cigarettes extinguished on their genitals? Would it make a difference if it were a menthol cigarette?

  13. Mr_D says:

    @PHX602: You don’t even want to know.

  14. PHX602 says:

    Hey, since the death of the late, great George Carlin, SOMEBODY needs to pick up the slack and think about this!

  15. juniper says:

    Not to steal anyone’s thunder here, but is there a “don’t use this product on your genitals” warning on the packaging? ‘Cause if there is, it’s too small – the OP didn’t see it. It should be right on the front:


  16. tc4b says:


    What is a person born without a sense of humor doing reading articles like this?

  17. Jabberkaty says:

    Oh, the giggle monster is here to stay! *giggle*

  18. chartrule says:

    i would think that “body wash” means it can be used on the entire body – the story and the pic is priceless though

  19. Skyoodpov says:

    Thats nothing. Now denorex on the nuts hurts…


    I will see your kleenex, and raise you an armor-all leather wipe.

    Don’t ask why armor-all leather wipes were in the bathroom…
    Beer is a hell of a drug…

  20. freshyill says:

    Guess what? Menthol burns your nuts. MOVE ALONG. NOTHING TO SEE HERE.

  21. Oddly enough the minty lubes out there create quite the pleasurable effect. Too bad it doesn’t apply in this situation.

  22. Lambasted says:

    I’m not a guy and I even feel his pain. Sorry guy.

    Even with a disclaimer how is a body wash product supposed to be used without it coming into contact with genitals? Soaping up and rinsing will wash the product to that area–it’s a gravity thing and all. Granted, flowing across the genitals is not the same as being rubbed in, but I doubt much pressure is exerted when washing that particular body part anyway. But again, I am not a guy so I really wouldn’t know.

    It seems to me if a body wash is too irritating to comfortably wash the genitals, it has no business being a marketed as a body wash at all. It’s like a shampoo with a disclaimer, “May cause irritation to skin upon contact.” It would be mighty difficult to use a shampoo that can only touch your hair not your skin.

  23. SacraBos says:

    @PHX602: Wow, I first hear about George Carlin here… Don’t wash your genitals for too long, or else you’ll just have to start over. I started washing mine, and after scrubbing for a while, I realized I need more soap than I previously thought. You’ll be missed, George.

  24. wring says:

    reporting in legendary post, i.e. everyone seems to agree that this time, for once, it’s not the consumer’s fault.

  25. Ben Popken says:

    Once I got Biofreeze on my nuts. It’s a topical analgesic like Icy Hot containing menthol and camphor. The moments immediately following were an electrifying experience.

  26. Bye says:

    Rubbing some Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap all over your package will make you forget you ever even heard about Nivea’s product.

  27. canuckistani says:

    this guy must have really sensitive junk..ive been using nivea for men bodywash (now called Cool bodywash) off and on for over 5 years and my boys feel just fine

  28. donkeyjote says:

    @wring: I disagree. Some people LIKE that menthol -> junk feeling. Like hewhoroams and Meisterjager. It’s really the OP’s fault for A) not reading the damn bottle and B) Not being open minded to new experiences…

  29. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I appreciate the extreme candor and honesty you fellows are showing about scrubbing the nads with mentholated goo.

    Be assured that the ladies also know whereof you speak. I wore pantyhose way too long on a hot day when I was in college, and my inner thighs looked like a bad sunburn. Thinking that mentholated aloe gel worked well on sunburn, I applied it liberally to the hurty spots. “OW OW OW OW OW OW,” I said (not without a certain amount of fervor and emphasis), shot straight up off the bed about two feet, and ran, not walked, to the shower. (Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for handheld shower heads.)

  30. hellinmyeyes says:

    I always watch out for menthol in any body products. I can’t stand this “cooling” anywhere on my body. That sucks, dude!

  31. cmcd14 says:

    The “Fresh” Pert Plus is the same stuff, makes my scalp burn.

  32. RandomHookup says:

    This thread is just chocked full of entirely TMI.

  33. dottat1 says:

    did it ever occur to any of you guys/gals that the OP just couldn’t “handle” it?

  34. Eels says:

    Maybe he “manscapes” down there. That could certainly be a bad combo.

  35. donkeyjote says:

    @Eels: EWW

  36. tinky XIII says:

    The only thing to ever cause me any kind of genital discomfort was when I used regular, no-frills shaving cream during deforestation. Nothing else bothers me.

    As for the product itself, you have to agree that’s not very well thought out, since it flows DOWN.

  37. Trai_Dep says:

    Geez, fellahs, MAN UP!

  38. Trai_Dep says:

    Tip: the letter-writer should avoid Nivea’s other product, Nivia Hot Dripping Candlewax Skin Conditioner.

  39. RockStarr says:

    Pics or it didn’t happen

  40. @canuckistani: I concur. No burning here.

    I hope Keith called Nivea and/or got a refund?

  41. synergy says:

    I don’t remember if it’s from Nivea, but there’s currently a bottle of body wash in our linen closet my husband ceased to use for that very reason. I’m going to have to go home and check if it has menthol…

  42. @RockStarr: You must be looking for fleshbot. It’s a few doors down on the left.

  43. WEGGLES90 says:


    Why AREN’T you washing your genitals… kinda part of the daily routine, like washing arms, legs, body, face etc.

    Also thanks for the heads up, really took one for the team.

  44. RandomHookup says:


    Why AREN’T you washing your genitals…

    Man, if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that…

  45. @juniper: Not to steal anyone’s thunder here, but is there a “don’t use this product on your genitals” warning on the packaging?

    No, but there is a warning that says in bold stop use if irritation develops.

    This brings me to another point: everyone is different. It’s really hard to formulate an effective product for millions of people and not have any adverse reactions. So if your mouthwash turns your teeth brown, then call Crest, get your free cleaning, and move on.

    Just don’t assume that everyone would have the same problems you do and that it points to an inherent product flaw.

  46. orielbean says:

    Tinky, might I suggest an electric razor first? That will reduce the drag on your shaving razor…

  47. themediatrix says:

    This thread is pretty entertaining, but on a serious note, I have to point out that all these “body wash” products and other personal care items like “lotion kleenex” are really unhealthy.

    The manufacturers use petro-chemical byproducts in them to save $$ and they pretend like it’s a “bonus.” There are also estrogenic chemicals such as parabens and soya in products like this.

    It’s much better for you to use castille soaps like Dr. Bronner’s, or vegetable derived products like those made by Aubrey. (Even a lot of the “organic” products contain these bad ingredients.)

  48. LikwidFlux says:

    @WEGGLES90: that’s what she said!

  49. His burning genitals were worth the pairing of the story and the photograph. Great work on that.

  50. tinky XIII says:

    @orielbean: Know what’s funny? Electric razors give me more trouble than a disposable one. Body wash and an Extreme 3 and I’m done in a minute or so. I nick myself maybe once or twice a year.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never used Nivea before. I might pick a little up and see if I get any irritation down there as someone who’s shaved for the better part of a decade.

    For SCIENCE!

  51. nycaviation says:

    I actually bought a bottle of this just a few days ago and my junk has not reported any dissatisfaction with the product. But maybe my junk is more resilient than reader Keith’s junk.

  52. Grant Beery says:

    I bought a bottle of conditioner (American Crew) that turned out to have peppermint oil in it. It made my scalp feel all burninated and I smelled like a candy cane all day.

  53. nadmonk says:

    For that “freshly scrubbed with steel-wool and dipped in rubbing alcohol” feel.

  54. donkeyjote says:

    @nycaviation: Reader Keith has bio-degradable junk while you have stainless steel? HA.

  55. donkeyjote says:

    @nadmonk: Why not add salt to the wound while your at it.

  56. mizmoose says:

    I’m going to hell for laughing my head off. But it’s ok, I’m sure I’ll be in good company.

  57. Here’s a fresh report on Nivea Cool with Menthol: still no burning. But I sure imagined some.

  58. ringo00 says:

    @MeSoHornsby: In the words of the late George Carlin: “You gotta wash the four key areas: armpits, asshole, crotch, and teeth. You can save time by using the same brush on all four areas!”

  59. Confuzius says:

    I’m thinking that this might have to do with the different sensitivities between kosher junk and natural junk…

  60. SacraBos says:

    @ringo00: Yes, but not necessarily in that order…

  61. Arthur says:

    Same thing happened to me a few years ago when I used Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Liquid Soap to shower with. The cool sensation was just painful below the border. My boy’s were fooled into thinking it was cold enough for them to make a retreat.

  62. oregongal says:

    As soon as I stop LMFAO I’ll try and think of something practical and sensitive to say!

  63. thelushie says:

    @RandomHookup: You like living a celibate lifestyle, don’t you?

    @oregongal: This thread is not even close to being sensitive to his, ummm, predicament. The Consumerist is not known for its sensitivity.

  64. Wubbytoes says:

    My wife bought some Clinique stuff that did this to me. It only took one shower to realize that I couldn’t use it to wash everything.

  65. thalia says:

    I don’t really get why some people are blaming the guy for washing his balls in the first place. I mean, it was body wash…and last I checked, a penis and balls are part of a man’s body. I’ve never seen a body wash that warned against using on your genitals, and if I did, I sure as hell wouldn’t buy it!

  66. Trai_Dep says:

    I think the Altoids people would beg to differ on this whole “don’t wash sensitive areas with tingly substances” malarky. Although, in this case, you’re not supposed to use a washcloth when applying it.

  67. billin says:

    If the OP enjoyed his initial experience, he should try washing with pop rocks and soda next.

    I am admittedly wondering what made his boys so sensitive. I suspect I don’t want to find out.

  68. HeartBurnKid says:

    Speaking as somebody who once absent-mindedly scratched his nuts after applying Ben Gay, I feel for Reader Keith (and I have never, ever made that mistake again. And I really can’t believe that they’d put menthol, of all things, in a body wash that is meant to be used all over the body (including sensitive areas).

  69. katylostherart says:

    that’s weird. you can get other peppermint/menthol castille or hemp soap and it gives a cooling sensation but doesn’t burn. maybe he just has sensitive skin.

  70. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @katylostherart: Or maybe there’s formulator’s alcohol in the product. You know, the stuff that says “SD Alcohol” followed by a number or code of some sort.

    It’s also true that all commercial soaps (not detergents) are made with some combination of a rendered fat or oil and caustic potash or lye. Yes, even in modern times. And in order to reduce the likelihood of the grease going rancid, they make the soap purposely caustic-heavy. Some wash products attempt to pH-balance their products with an acid.

    None of this sounds like something I want even close to Muffy.

  71. LUV2CattleCall says:

    Reminds me of the time I..”digitally manipulated” (digits = fingers in this case) a girl I was dating in college without taking into account the vicks vaporub residue left on my hands. I was celibate for a few weeks after that :(!

    If you really want to burn sensitive areas, try eye drops from Rhoto….oh man!

  72. nayR says:

    I must say that from my experience running track and field that icy hot on the Junk FUCKING HURTS!

  73. somecop says:

    From: Nivea
    To: Keith

    Dear Keith:
    Please stop using Nivea Men’s Cool Body Wash to masturbate with in the shower. This is not an intended use of our product and, while we did not put this warning directly on the label, we figured no one in their right mind would do such a thing considering the label said it contained menthol.

    • Anonymous says:

      He was definitely playing not washing.

      Any cool down body wash is good to use as a base when shaving if you have sensitive skin and have to shave daily. Use cold water to rinse the blades and afterwards to take the excess soap from your face.

  74. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @somecop: OK, lamebrain. If you can manage to wash yourself without touching yourself, you’ve achieved something unique in the history of bathing.

  75. Trai_Dep says:

    @somecop: hehe. I laughed. :P

  76. somecop says:

    @speedwell: Perhaps if you will re-read the comment I made you will notice it said nothing about “washing”.

    Also, while I appreciate the anonymous internet name calling if you research the word “lamebrain” you will find the definition to be that of a “fool”. I’m off to see if “fool” translates to someone who fails to read and comprehend what someone writes and then calls them a silly name without understanding what they are talking about. Tootles.

  77. bobfromboston says:

    @MeSoHornsby: “Why is this guy washing his genitals in the first place?” you ask.

    In case you were wondering why you’re not getting a lot of sex…I think we have an answer.

  78. wutzu says:

    You kidding? Gold Bond on the genitals is MARVELOUS. It’s like a cool breeze. The brave use the Medicated Gold Bond.

  79. arachnophilia says:

    @speedwell: “It’s also true that all commercial soaps (not detergents) are made with some combination of a rendered fat or oil and caustic potash or lye…”

    thanks for that, mr. durden.

  80. theglassrat says:

    The bodywash DOES say right on the front “with Menthol” in fairly large letters. I use it all the time, and it produces a slight cooling sensation, sometimes more intensely on my face than usual, but nothing too terrible. Perhaps he had an open cut or just extremely sensitive skin?

  81. failurate says:

    I wonder how many folk went out and bought this stuff after reading this testicular tingle story?

    I use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint… the stuff will give your armpits and junk the chills.