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What is Mace®?

Mace® is a brand name of a non-lethal self-defense spray, manufactured by Mace Security International, headquartered in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Although this term is a registered trademark, it’s often used to refer to any personal defense pepper spray. Mace Inc. makes several formulas of self-defense spray, all of which are meant to be directed into the face of an assailant.

Pepper spray is made from hot cayenne peppers, the active ingredient being oleoresin capsicum (OC). It is an inflammatory agent that causes temporary blindness and difficulty breathing, which can last up to 90 minutes. Depending on the formula, Mace® may contain up to 1.4% of the concentrated capsicum, and it comes in spray, foam, and gel forms.



The company makes a Double Action product that includes tear gas, which can help disorient an attacker, and an ultraviolet (UV) dye to mark him, allowing him to be identified by the police. Triple Action formulas include both of these as well capsicum. Gel and foam pepper spray products may also include the UV dye.


Aside from human attack, pepper spray is useful against animal attacks and can be carried in small leather holsters that are widely available. These are often seen dangling from the belts of mail carriers, and some cans are small enough to hang from a key chain. Mace® is also effective against bear or mountain lion attacks and can be a life-saving tool when camping, hiking, or even jogging through rural areas. Specific formulas and dispensers are also available for use against animals.

Some jurisdictions have restrictions pertaining to self-defense sprays, and for this reason Mace Inc. also makes specialty sprays that can be used in these locations. Consumers should check with their local police department for any restrictions that may apply in their area.

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