The gel contains these ingredients:
Aqua, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Aroma, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide
Which of these should be the "active ingredient"?
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Your gel does not contain an active ingredient that causes arousal.
The antifreeze agent propylene glycol will be perceived as an increase in body temperature, where-ever applied, which is supposed to turn one on.
Most of the ingredients are about the aggregate state and lubricity of the gel. Any drugs that enhance sexual performances (thanks @CareyGregory for catching that) are not prescriptive-free.
They never say that the gel will cause sexual arousal, their only claim is that a "warming and cooling, pulsating sensation on the clitoris will be felt if applied".
To my knowledge, for men the PDE5 inhibitors
are the only known chemicals enhancing sexual performance.
Before 2015, no pharmaceutical drug has concluded its clinical trial as a substitute of viagra for women.
Today, only the 5-HT1A agonist
is mistakenly dubbed "female viagra" (the pharmacodynamics are totally different) as it is known to enhance the sexual performance of women.
The FDA has approved of the usage of flibanserin, while it is still denied in Europe due to dangerous side-effects (especially in combination with alcohol) and uncertainty about its effectiveness. (German Source Only).
Latin for water. That's what it is.
It is used to indicate purified water in packages labelled according to the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients.
This is a simple antifreeze agent which will increase the received body temperature when applied to the skin.
Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. Propylene glycol is also used to make polyester compounds, and as a base for deicing solutions. Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food.
This is another name for the sugar alcohol glycerol, commonly used
as a solvent, emollient, pharmaceutical agent, and sweetening agent.
Another name for the chemical commonly called hetastarch, which is a
derivative of starch used as a plasma expander when prepared in an isotonic solution.
PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil:
This oil is mostly used as a dissolving agent:
Functions: Fragrance Ingredient; Surfactant - Emulsifying Agent; Surfactant - Solubilizing Agent; PERFUMING
PEG Castor Oils and PEG Hydrogenated Castor Oils help to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. They also help other ingredients to dissolve in a solvent in which they would not normally dissolve. Source: cosmeticsinfo.org
This is not specific, so any types of additive that creates flavour falls under this category.
This is one of the most common food preservatives.
Benzoic acid is a fungistatic compound that is widely used as a food preservative.
A simple base (NaOH) used to
to neutralize acids and make sodium salts.
That product is marketed boldly as "Special formula designed to bring sensual waves of warming, cooling or tingling sensations. Increases sensitivity of her intimate areas for more intense pleasure. Up to 20 earth-shattering orgasms in 1 bottle." So it is intended to enhance not cause arousal.
That still sounds quite a bit like an overstatement. Looking through the consumer reviews1 on various sites gives mixed results, at best. Many negative experiences are reported (even on commercial sites selling it). Most seem concerned with bad smell, bad taste and, hm, "lack of action".
The "complete" list of ingredients amounts to only an almost meaningless account of substances. An "active ingredient" or "mechanism of action" is nowhere to be found. Not on the product, not with the manufacturer and not on review sites or testing agencies.
Most of the ingredients might account for anything:
Propylene Glycol: Declared as emulsifying agent. Is also an irritant and potential contact allergen. "Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful". Hormone-like substance used to increase milk production in turbo cows. Long list of concerns. Reduces barrier function of the skin. Thereby providing synergistic effects with other ingredients. Codecheck label: "slightly questionable".
Most likely candidate for the "active ingredient". Applied to genitals the most positive way to describe this substance is: it gives reportedly a slightly warming and at the same time cooling sensation before drying out in very short time.
PEG: Wholly classified as dangerous by proponents of the organic movement. But also 'Considered safe' by traditional standards, although it too is a penetration enhancer, i.e. weakening the barrier function of the skin, again possibly giving synergistic effects with other ingredients. Additionally this substance was often found to have concerning levels of very harmful impurities. Unsafe on damaged skin. Codecheck label: "questionable"
Aroma (Fragrance, Flavour): Under current law this may contain a mix of anything from essential oils to other highly active substances. This is a legal loophole: anything declared to be only for smell and flavour can fall under this label since only 26 substances have to be listed specifically. The list of ingredients is sorted by weight and Aroma features pretty high on it. Codecheck label: "not classifiable"
Summing this up: unless the manufacturer opens its playbook and explains what is there to do what, this is probably a moderately unhealthy, slightly irritating lube. Together with its advertising framing this seems to be mostly a mind thing if received as pleasurable (a concept not totally unheard of). Published data on the ingredients and consumer reports seem to indicate that a similar effect might be achieved by mixing equal parts of peppermint and stinging nettle in a water-oil emulsion with milk.
1 This link leads to another product but with very similar ingredients. Main point being propylene glycol is also included in that one and it is at least halfway 'independently' reviewed. Links to commercial sellers of this product are numerous and they do not advertising coming from this site.