It's Important
Before buying any spray for personal self-defense, make sure you check the laws in your country. In some countries, the use of pepper spray is illegal.

Carrying self-defense sprays has unfortunately become a necessity these days. Using a Mace or pepper spray will help you to feel protected and secure. But choosing the best option for your needs is also very important. Many a time, pepper sprays are referred to as Mace, which might confuse people, but they aren't the same. It's always good to check out the different aspects about each spray before you go out to purchase your own.

A variety of easy-to-carry products are available today, so you need not worry. A detailed analysis of mace vs. pepper spray done below could be of definite help.

Mace Spray
  • Mace is the generalized trademark of a self-defense spray invented by Allan Lee Litman in 1965. The original formula was 1% phenacyl chloride (CN) in a solvent of 2-butanol, propylene glycol, cyclohexene, and dipropylene glycol methyl ether. This formula was very effective in any environment. In fact, it became so popular that all the defense sprays were called Mace, irrespective of the chemical composition.
Pepper Spray
  • Use of pepper as a weapon goes back to ancient China. The Chinese used to put pepper powder in rice papers and throw it at their enemies' faces. Now, pepper sprays have become a very popular weapon for self-defense, crowd control, riot control, or policing.
  • Mace is composed of either CS (2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile) or CN (alphachloroacetophenone).
  • Pepper sprays are made from the chemical capsaicin, which is derived from the fruit of plants in the Capsicum genus, including chilies.
Physical Effects
  • Lachrymation, stinging pain and tearing in 5 to 30 seconds
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Coughing and tightness in the upper respiratory tract
  • Discharge and burning sensation in the nose
  • Saliva secretion is activated
  • Nerve endings of the skin are irritated
  • Tearing and involuntary closing of eyes due to dilation of capillaries
  • Eyes redden, and it affects even contact lens wearers
  • Inflammation of the throat lining, causing breathing trouble
  • Larynx is temporarily paralyzed
  • Loss of balance, especially when it affects one's sight
  • Mace may not be effective on people under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • It is possible to develop resistance against it.
  • Pepper spray is effective on all kinds of people in any environment. It is also used for defense against bears or dogs.
  • It is not possible to develop resistance against it.
Side Effects
  • Mace spray contains CN tear gas, which is very toxic and can cause permanent damage. In fact, its use has been restricted to police use now.
  • Pepper spray does not do any permanent damage.
Verdict: Go for Pepper Spray!
  • Mace Security International, which manufactures various defense products under the brand name Mace, has started manufacturing pepper spray, and only few of their products contain CN. They have also made a new product called "Triple Action" which combines CN, OC, and an ultraviolet marker dye. Well, obviously there's a reason for it.
  • Pepper sprays are the best option, no doubt. Not only are they more effective, but also come in a variety of styles like canisters, concealed in items like rings, pepper spray projectiles, etc. These sprays also contain either visible or UV-reactive dyes, which mark the attacker and help in police verification.
  • Capsaicin, from which pepper spray is made, is not soluble in water. This ensures that the attacker does not quickly wash off the spray.
  • We suggest that you go for pepper spray. It's much more effective, is manufactured by many companies, and is easily available everywhere.
Carrying a self-defense weapon is a huge responsibility. Hence, be very alert and cautious. Keep the spray away from children. Do not use it unnecessarily as you could land you in legal trouble. Just carrying a spray is not sufficient; learn how to use it properly, and follow all the instructions on the can. Stay safe and take care!