Shunga massage cream, just not 'mint' for me.

Shunga's massage cream really threw me for a loop. I usually like their products. The massage cream was runny, absorbed quickly, and the taste was gone before it got on good. I see this massage cream working well for a rough-and-tumble type of guy who doesn't want to smell like a girl's lotion (just an anti-nausea med instead) or wants to avoid looking moisturized and soft.
Published:
Pros:
Left a pleasant taste (sort of)
Cons:
Really runny, not very moisturizing, didn't last long, several allergens in the ingredients
Rating by reviewer:
2
extremely useful review

Use

I chose Shunga's massage cream to use as a body butter that would leave me smelling and tasting yummy, what Shunga's cream is made for is giving your partner massages. Either way, this product turned out to leave us both disappointed. It isn't deeply moisturizing but rather a lightly slick cream that absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling slightly sticky. Just a note, this product contains glycerin, along with several other ingredients linked to allergic reactions, so if you are prone to yeast infections or tend to have allergic reactions, use caution when you apply this cream. Ingredients are listed in order of prominence within the product, and glycerin is the third ingredient, so there is a high concentration of it in this massage cream. If you were thinking that Shunga's massage cream could double as a sexual lubricant, please read on. I don't think you own an orifice that you want this stuff in.


A list of the ingredients and some information I found about them:

*Water* (covers 75% of the Earth's surface, composes 50-65% of an adult's body weight, and is self explanatory as an ingredient)

*Stearic acid* (an inexpensive thickener that has a long shelf life, derived from either animal or vegetable fat, but is more commonly found in animal fat)

*Glycerin* (used as a base in some lotions, absorbs water from the air: on a side note there is a debate about whether or not glycerin softens skin because it attracts water from the air or it has other properties that soften skin, and it can be an allergen or irritant to some people, can aggravate or cause a yeast infection if you are sensitive to it)

*Carthamus tinctorius* (also known as Safflower, since Shunga does not specify which part of the Safflower is used this could refer to the oil that comes from the seeds, or a part of the plant itself (usually the flower) which has been used to make dye and/or as a seasoning for food)

*Sorbitol* (the first information that I found when I looked up sorbitol was that it is a medicine taken by mouth as a laxative and that nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, gas or anal irritation may occur, it can also cause a rash/itching/swelling of the face, tongue, and throat to occur if you are allergic to it, when I read about sorbitol being used in cosmetics I found that it is used as a flavoring agent and to reduce moisture loss, overall if you consume 50 grams or more of sorbitol per day it could have a laxative effect. more info here In short, if you guzzle this stuff straight out the jar, you may or may not shit your pants; please drink responsibly)

*Cetyl alcohol* (white, waxy solid that is widely used in lotions, keeps oils and liquids from separating)

*Glyceryl stearate* (acts as a lubricant on the skin's surface and slows loss of water by forming a barrier over the skin's surface)

*Peg 100 stearate* (helps dirt and oil mix with water so you can rinse them away easier, usually produced from stearic acids)

*Petrolatum* (more commonly known as petroleum jelly, a soft paraffin (or wax) for use on skin, some side effects of petrolatum can include aggravated acne, suffocation of the skin and premature aging. This petroleum byproduct has also been found in breast tumors; yes, you read that right so save your ta-tas and just use some olive oil for massages)

read more here

*Triethanolamine* (pH adjusting chemical and fragrance ingredient, some online reading suggests strong evidence that this ingredient is a skin and respiratory system intoxicant, that it is a known immune system intoxicant and that it has been deemed safe for use in cosmetics with some qualifications, not something I want slathered on my lady bits)

*Aroma* (the definition of aroma is a distinct usually pleasant or savory smell, but Shunga is unclear on what exactly the aroma they use is, I read online, and I am so sorry but I can't find it now, that over 3,000 ingredients can be hidden in a cosmetic under the label 'fragrance' so take your pick but I'm sure that if they aren't listing it, you might not want it on you)

*Methylparaben* (wait, did that say paraben?, a paraben is a preservative that mimics estrogen and has the potential to disrupt the hormone (endocrine) system, this is one of the listed members of the paraben family, if you have any issues with endocrine system you may want to skip this product)

*Sodium saccharin* (artificial sweetener)

*Honey* (yeah, we all know what that is; produced by bees, tasty, has been suggested to be a super-food, great for your skin when used topically)

*Tocopherol acetate* (a form of vitamin E)

*Methylchloroisothiazolinone* (a widely used preservative that has been known to cause allergic reactions and whose use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics)

*Methylisothiazolinone* (also a preservative that is known to cause allergic reactions and in lab tests on the brain cells of mammals it has shown the potential to be neurotoxic, goody-goody)
    • Foreplay
    • Massage

Texture / Consistency / Thickness / Viscosity

The consistency of Shunga's massage cream is more runny than I expected it to be. Instead of the body butter consistency I thought it would be, it is more soupy, closer to the consistency of school glue. It doesn't have any lumps and goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly. 'High quality' is not what comes to mind when I feel it or look at it. Shunga's massage cream is so runny that you can pour it right out of the jar and onto your partner's body. Be careful, because if you put too much it will run off of your partner and onto the surface under them (maybe time to break out your Liberator throw?).

I've also found that Shunga's massage cream can leave my skin feeling greasy if I use a little or sticky when it is layered on.
    • Creamy
    • Thin
    • Greasy

Taste / Aroma

Let me share with you my unfiltered thought of the aroma that is Shunga's Sensual Mint massage cream (as I recoiled away, nearly slopping it on the carpet): "Holy fuck, this shit smells like Pepto-Bismol!" I almost gagged. And then I laughed hysterically for five minutes straight. I am now faced with my worst nightmare, a 7 ounce jar of Pepto-Bismol smelling, supposedly mint flavored, somewhat toxic massage goop. I die. I am a picky person when it comes to scents, and this made me want to run, screaming, in the other direction. I laugh every time I try to convince myself to give it just one more whiff, that maybe it will be better. Then I smell it and it all happens again. Because I love writing helpful reviews, I choked back the fear and vomit to try and taste this stuff (its all for you, readers) and to my infinite relief, it tastes nothing like it smells. There is only a very light artificial sweetener taste. As it happens, I am also a very picky person about the tastes that I want to lick off of another person, and while this didn't make my top ten it was a somewhat pleasant taste that I could easily handle. I won't be snacking on it or anything, but I would rather swallow it by the pound than smell it. Perhaps one of the other scents would have been a better choice for me. I had no idea the mint would smell like Peto-Bismol, and for me that is a smell worse than death. I hate that stuff, so maybe my reaction wouldn't have been SO harsh to another scent. This is my issue, and you may love the minty aroma, so please don't completely disregard it because of my review.
    • Light taste

Performance

To get a good, long massage with Shunga's massage cream, you are going to need heaps of it. Reapplying is essential and needed often for a silky massage. While it is being rubbed in, it can get sticky, but that will go away if you let it sit and absorb in. After it sits on the skin for a minimal amount of time the stickiness and taste completely go away.

I feel like this massage cream is just too runny and absorbs too quickly to get a decent massage unless you just pile it on, and then you can use it to stick yourself to the wall or something. Having to constantly add more just to keep my hands sliding over his skin got to be annoying for me.

To get the luscious aroma of Pepto-Bismol off of your skin, you will either have to wait a couple of hours, take a shower or wipe down with a wet cloth. I have a VERY sensitive sense of smell, and when I smell something I tend to hold on to that smell and can pick it out from a bouquet of smells. For example, after I gave my husband a massage with Shunga's massage cream, I washed my hands with a scented soap then put on a scented hand cream and I could still smell the Pepto-Bismol scent. This may not hold true for everyone, but it made me want to hang my head out of the window the rest of the night, or at least for a couple of hours. I couldn't smell it anymore in the morning, though (my husband point-blank refused to take a second shower since he got home from work, so I was stuck with the revolting smell until it went away on it's own).
    • Dries up too fast
    • Reapply often
    • Allergy concerns

Packaging

The jar of Shunga's massage cream comes tucked into a laminated card stock box that is bigger than the jar by far. Inside the box the jar sits on a raised bit of cardboard for no apparent reason other than to make the product look bigger than it actually is. There is also a little paper with a bit of history about Shunga and descriptions of other Shunga products, but no directions for using the cream.

The jar of massage cream is too big to use with just one hand, unless it is already open sitting nearby. Even then you have to worry about the cream running off your fingers and possibly dripping on something you don't want it on. I think the easiest way to use it is to pour it from the jar.

When the lid of the jar is closed securely there isn't any leaking, so if you wanted to toss it in with your toiletries and take it on a trip you should be pretty safe. The picture on the jar is only slightly sensual (in my opinion) and I don't think anyone would really guess it was a flavored massage cream unless they picked it up to read it. It does say "massage cream" on the jar and the name of the scent/flavor. The one we got is sensual mint, so that might give it away a little, but still, it isn't raunchy or anything, so even if someone saw it they probably wouldn't give it a second thought. Unless you are traveling with your parents/guardians and they think you and your partner are platonic you should be relatively safe traveling with this. In short, don't take it with you if you don't want your traveling buddies to know you are giving flavored massages to your partner.
    • Does not leak
    • Messy dispenser
    • Travel friendly

Special Features

For me, the mint in Shunga's massage cream left my skin feeling cool and slightly tingly. Neither feeling was strong or uncomfortable, and the extra sensitivity was a nice surprise. I think that most products with mint as the main scent/flavor will give your skin a cool tingle, just because that is one of the properties of mint. My husband didn't notice any tingling or coolness.
    • Cooling
    • Increases sensitivity
    • Tingling

Personal comments

Even though I found the smell of the mint in this cream to be abhorrent, don't let that dissuade you from trying it if you like mint. Like I said, that is a personal issue with me, although my husband agreed with me that it smells like Pepto-Bismol. I've found that I don't really like this product for either a moisturizer or a massage cream. I like those types of products to be thick, rich, and creamy. This didn't really leave my skin with a glow, or looking any different than the area that I didn't apply it to, so for me this was sort of a bust. The ingredient list is something else that makes me want to leave this product alone, with all of the allergens and a paraben, I think I would just rather use a little grape seed oil with honey mixed in. I'm one of those nature freaks though, and not everyone minds slathering up in chemical goo.

My husband made several remarks about how quickly the cream absorbed, and said he felt sticky for a while after the massage. He also agreed with me that we should just make our own oil instead of get this product again.

I would like to thank Eden Fantasys for giving me the opportunity to review this product, and in no way blame them for Shunga's lapse in judgement regarding the scent of their massage cream.
Follow-up commentary
Unlike wine, this stuff doesn't get better with age. I still hate the smell and I still don't want the ingredients within 10 miles of my body.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Comments
  • TransMarc
    TransMarc  
    Reading massaging creams reviews, I think the massaging lotions & creams industry is out to kill me. Thanks for reviewing.
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