This is the first of blog series we’ll do breaking down how Goo stacks up against some of the biggest players in our space. Today: Icy Hot and BioFreeze.
First, let’s call out the elephant in the room. Muscle Goo DOES NOT have a reference to temperature and intense cold in its name. In retrospect, this is a huge oversight. Our extensive market research process simply did not indicate this was a critical element to making a great product.
“Dude, it’s pretty much goo. Let’s just call it ‘goo’.”
– Muscle Goo market research session, circa 2018
Today, we won’t judge a product by the frigidity of its vernacular. Instead we’re going to judge by what’s inside.
Ingredient Background Info
The FDA requires ingredients to be listed by predominance. That means the first ingredients in each list the most prominent, and the last ingredients are the least. Also something to keep in mind is wording. The FDA does not allow terms like “pain relieving” unless the ingredient/product is approved by them as a drug. If you’ve read anywhere about essential oils and other awesome things found in nature and not made in labs, you may have noticed wording like “may relieve pain” or “may reduce inflammation”.
Let’s dive in!
Icy Hot Ingredients
Licodain, aluminum glycinate, aluminum hyrdroxide, cellulose gum, methylparaben, sodium polyacrylate, Menthol, Methyl salicylate,ceresin, cyclomethicone, hydrogenated castor oil, microcrystalline wax, paraffin, PEG-150 distearate, propylene glycol, stearic acid, stearyl alcohol
Licodain – Licodain is used to block nerve signals going to your brain, numbing the area you apply it to. Side affects can include swelling, redness, purple dots constipation, nausea, and vomiting.
Aluminum Glycinate – Referred to by it’s friends as C2-H6-Al-N-O4, aluminum glycinate is commonly used as an antacid to treat for heartburn and indigestion. Also it’s metal.
Aluminum Hyrdroxide – More heartburn relief for your aching back. Also used to reduce phosphate levels in people with kidney conditions.
Cellulose Gum – A thickening agent often also used in food.
Methylparaben – A paraben often used to increase shelf life and prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Especially useful when your product will spend months and years of its life in sitting warehouses and on the back of the shelf at Walmart.
Sodium Polyacrylate – You know the stuff in diapers that absorbs all the pee? That’s this stuff. Hell yeah, rub it on me. As a bonus it’s also highly toxic when inhaled or ingested.
Menthol – An organic compound made synthetically that produces the cooling sensation.
Methyl salicylate – Used for pain relief and as a flavoring agent in chewing gum.
Ceresin – An alternative to beeswax that is derived from ozokerite, which is commonly known as earthwax. So like dirt, but wax. Dirtwax.
Cyclomethicone – Derived from silicon, it’s often used in skin care products for its conditioning properties for both hair and skin.
Hydrogenated castor oil – Oil made from beans that is good for your skin.
Microcrystalline wax – Derived from petroleum, also used for ski and snowboard waxes.
Paraffin – See above except it’s flammable too.
PEG-150 distearate – Considered a controversial ingredient because of its ability to penetrate skin. The Environmental Working Group considers PEG-150 a hazardous ingredient, but its high molecular weight makes it one of the less dangerous PEGs so its all good. A study by the International Journal of Toxicology found it to contain impurities including Ethylene Oxide, which has been known to increase incidents of cancer.
Propylene glycol – According to the FDA, propylene glycol is generally recognized as safe and is used as a solvent in paints and plastics, as well as for artificial fog and smoke.
Stearic acid and stearyl alcohol – Considered benign, stearic acid is used in a lot of stuff to create a smooth texture and finish. Stearyl alcohol is derived from it.
Summary of Icy Hot’s Ingredients
Consider Icy Hot if you are also suffering from heartburn and indigestion and just generally like putting weird stuff like the guts of a baby diaper on your skin.
Menthol, Camphor, carbomer, FD&C blue #1, FD&C yellow #5, Glycerine, Herbal Extract (ILEX Paraguariensis), Isopropyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Silicon Dioxide, Triethanolamine
Menthol – See above in Icy Hot. No wonder neither company could resist putting frosty words in their name. MuscleGoo contains organic menthol crystals, more on that later..
Camphor – Typically used to relieve pain and reduce itching. Here’s the kicker – it can be made from the bark of camphor tree, or chemically manufactured from turpentine oil.
Carbomer – White fluffy powder made from a series of polymers of acrylic acid. Used in lots of cosmetics to create a stable gel like consistency.
FD&C blue #1 – A bright blue synthetic die made from petroleum.
FD&C yellow #5 – A bright yellow synthetic die made from nitrous, yellow #5 has been shown to transform into aromatic amine sulfanilic acid in the digestive track, causing mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. I’m not a scientist but the folks who say those things aren’t good are.
Glycerine – A sugar alcohol that is used as a solvent, emollient, pharmaceutical agent, or sweetening agent.
Herbal Extract (ILEX Paraguariensis) – This is literally yerba mate. Not the drink, the plant. Touche.
Isopropyl Alcohol – Good ol fashion rubbing alcohol.
Methylparaben – See above.
Propylene Glycol – See above.
Silicon Dioxide – Found naturally in tons of the food we eat, seems like a good guy.
Triethanolamine – Used as a pH balancer in lots of cosmetics, in some ear(?) medications, and also in developing photos and ultrasounds.
Summary of BioFreeze Ingredients
I think I’m taking BioFreeze with it’s toxic food coloring over Icy Hot every day of the week…
Water, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Carbomer, Menthol Crystals, Witch Hazel Distillate, Glycerin, *Aloe Vera Powder, *Matcha Green Tea Powder, Triethanolamine, Sweet Basil Leaf Essential Oil, Black Pepper Essential Oil, Roman Chamomile Flower Essential Oil, German Chamomile Flower Essential Oil, Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil, Citronella Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Leaf Essential Oil, Helichrysum Flower Essential Oil, Ginger Root Essential Oil, Pink Grapefruit Peel Essential Oil, Juniper Berry Essential Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Scotch Pine Needle Essential Oil, Ravensara Essential Oil, Rosemary Leaf Essential Oil, Spearmint Essential Oil, Wild Oregano Essential Oil, White Camphor Essential Oil, Neem Extract, Ivy Gourd Extract, Eggplant Extract, Henna Extract, Basil Extract, Turmeric Extract, Amber, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Phenoxyethanol
Water – Several studies show, water is pretty great.
Hemp Seed Extract – Steam distilled with all cannabinoids removed, hemp is known to provide a lot of beneficial properties and is part of Goo’s secret sauce.
Meadowfoam Seed Oil – Oil from the North American Limnanthes alba flower is 98% long chain fatty acids which makes it super stable as part of Goo’s foundation.
Carbomer – See above Re: White fluffy powder for consistency.
Menthol Crystals – Menthol has cooling local anesthetic qualities, and our crystals are made by flash freezing cornmint essential oils. The crystals are then melted back down into Goo cuz science.
Witch Hazel Distillate – Distilled from witch hazel twigs for it’s cooling and refreshing properties.
Glycerin – Our friends above also have some glycerin, read above.
Aloe Vera Powder – The aloe vera plant has been applied to skin for centuries and is widely known to provide relief and moisturize.
Matcha Green Tea Powder – We like drinking Matcha, and it does great things when applied topically too. This is one of our secret ingredients, unfortunately the FDA says we can’t keep it a secret.
Triethanolamine – a pH balancing compound.
Sweet Basil Leaf Essential Oil, Citronella Essential Oil, Roman Chamomile Flower Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Leaf Essential Oil,Helichrysum Flower Essential Oil,Ginger Root Essential Oil, Scotch Pine Needle Essential Oil, Ravensara Essential Oil, Wild Oregano Essential Oil – This list would be pretty long and repetitive if we didn’t condense some of the 19 essential oils here. For predominance, see the listing above. All of these EO’s may relieve inflammation and pain, and that’s why they’re here.
Black Pepper Essential Oil – Creates a powerful warming sensation.
German Chamomile Flower Essential Oil – Especially high content of azulene which is known for calming effects.
Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil – Like black pepper, it promotes warmth.
Pink Grapefruit Peel Essential Oil – Known to stimulate circulation and contains limonene and citronellal.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil – May have relaxing properties. Also, Gin.
Lemongrass Essential Oil – A recent study showed a 30% reduction in pain in arthritis patients using lemongrass EO over a 30 day period. But still the official word is it may be good for pain relief.
Rosemary Leaf Essential Oil – May increase circulation, relieve pain, reduce inflammation.
Spearmint and Peppermint Essential Oil – While having very similar properties, peppermint is much stronger and generally contains more menthol. Both are known for cooling and relieving properties.
White Camphor Essential Oil – White Camphor EO is a prominent ingredient in many massage oils and may be effective for cramping and sour muscles.
Neem Extract – The whole damn Neem tree is folk medicine if you start doing some reading. The uses of it’s leaves, bark, wood, roots and fruits over the centuries are far ranging.
Ivy Gourd Extract – Extract from the tropical gourd is said to reduce inflammation
Eggplant Extract – There are a lot of doctor’s out there talking about how eggplant extract can cure skin cancer. Muscle Goo does not cure cancer, but this stuff contains a lot of Vitamin C and is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Henna Extract – Studies have shown it has anti-bacterial and anti microbial properties.
Basil Extract, Turmeric Extract – Frequently used for pain.
Amber – Extracted from fossilized resin from the bark of a tree you and I cannot pronounce. It is said to have anti inflammatory and regenerating properties.
Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate – Made-from-plant preservative booster.
Phenoxyethanol – Preservative.
Summary of MuscleGoo Ingredients
MuscleGoo gets the job done with 19 essential oils, hemp seed extract, and 97% organic ingredients. It is clean and plant powered. We’ve tweaked, tested, and improved Muscle Goo for months and the results and ingredients speak for themselves. It contains no artificial colorants, diaper stuff, or indigestion medications and doesn’t make you smell like a nursing home. MuscleGoo is for those of us who care what goes onto our skin.
MuscleGoo Soreness & Pain Relief Gel 2oz
Hemp Pain Relief Gel – The clean solution for pain & soreness
- Organic Hemp Extract
- 19 Essential Oils
- Aloe, menthol crystals, matcha, and more
- 87% organic ingredients
- 100% money back guarantee