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Gel vs Pepper Spray: Which Is the Best for Self Defense?

Gel vs Pepper Spray: Which Is Best for Self-Defense?


College girls, nursing students, and healthcare workers working night shifts have a right to defend themselves. This doesn’t mean that you need to take martial arts classes, but it does mean that you should have some knowledge of self-defense techniques and weapons.

Pepper spray and gel are two common non-lethal weapons that can help keep you safe in case of an attack or assault. However, they’re different from one another—each has its advantages and disadvantages when compared to the other.

What is Pepper Spray?


Pepper spray is a chemical can that irritates the eyes and respiratory system. Unlike tear gas, which causes temporary blindness, the spray is designed to cause extreme discomfort without serious damage to your eyes. 

The spray was originally developed as an animal repellent but has since been used by police officers worldwide to subdue criminals without seriously injuring them. 

Sprays come in different sizes and strengths. The size refers to how much irritant is sprayed out of the container when activated. The strength is measured by the concentration level or percentage of capsaicinoids (the chemical compound that makes peppers hot). 

Capsaicinoids are measured in Scoville heat units (SHU), which indicate how much heat a pepper will produce on your tongue when consumed orally (eaten).

How Does Pepper Spray Work?


Pepper spray is an inflammatory agent made from capsaicin—the chemical compound that gives cayenne peppers their heat. They cause the body to react as if it’s been burned. 

They do this by causing the eyes to close, the skin to heat up, and breathing to become difficult. They affect the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth – causing a burning sensation.

Spray can cause temporary blindness or permanent eye damage depending on how much is sprayed in your face (which is why you should always ensure you’re facing away from an attacker when using it).

Is Pepper Spray Legal?


Yes. Pepper spray is legal in all states, including California. Some states restrict the size of the canister and the strength of its contents (like Louisiana, which limits cans to 2 ounces).

Some states limit who can carry spray; for example, New York only allows police officers or court-licensed personnel to carry it. The same goes for Rhode Island.

And some places restrict where you can carry spray: Illinois bans carrying it on school grounds; Maryland doesn’t allow it in bars or restaurants that serve alcohol; and so on.

Pepper Spray Delivery Systems


There are several ways to deliver spray, and each delivery system has its pros and cons.

Keychain Sprays


Keychain pepper sprays are small, portable, and typically last up to 10 full seconds of spray. They’re great for everyday carry or hiking because they’re lightweight and easy to carry in a purse or backpack. 

However, they can be difficult if you need to use the spray immediately. You may have trouble finding the right angle without having it come out at an angle (which could hit your face). You could also accidentally shoot yourself in the eye with it when trying to aim at an assailant’s face. 

If you like quickly reaching for your defense device but don’t want something bulky on your keychain, try a mini keychain line instead!

Pen/Sticker/Cordless Sprays


Pen/sticker/cordless sprays offer all of the benefits of keychain models but have more range because there’s no restriction on how far away from yourself you can hold them. They’re portable enough that even people with limited mobility could use them effectively against attackers. 

These devices also tend not to require any battery charging beforehand; instead, they just need some shaking before pressing down lightly on both ends simultaneously until you hear two clicks near where those ends meet together again: viola! 

You’ve got ten full seconds worth of protection at hand should anyone try anything funny while walking through dark alleys late at night alone.”

Legal Considerations When Using Defensive Sprays


There are a few legal things to keep in mind. Check your local laws to see if it’s legal to spray or if there are restrictions on the type of spray you can use. When using the spray, please don’t point it at anyone’s face, and don’t use it on children or pets. 

Also, ensure that no one is pregnant, intoxicated, mentally ill, or otherwise impaired when spraying with your deterrent.

How to Treat Pepper Spray Effects in Case of Blow-Back?


A blowback can occur when you spray on a target very close to you. In this case, the spray may blow back into your eyes and face area.

The effects of the spray are temporary and usually last between 15-30 minutes. The most common treatments include:

  • Remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible and wash exposed skin with soap and water. The sooner you remove contaminated clothing, the better.
  • If you get spray in your mouth and throat, rinse your mouth with water or milk. Do not swallow the milk unless you are sure it is not contaminated with the spray.
  • If you can rinse your eyes with water immediately after exposure to the spray, this may help reduce the risk of eye injury. However, it is important not to rub your eyes or put anything in them at this stage, as this could cause more damage or injury.

You should see a doctor if:

  • You have trouble breathing or swallowing.
  • Your throat feels tight or has a lump (this could indicate swelling in your throat).
  • You have redness or pain in your eyes that lasts more than 24 hours after exposure to the spray.

What is Pepper Gel?


Pepper gel is a gel-like substance made from the same substance that makes pepper spray. The spray gel canister is more concentrated than the spray, which makes it more effective at stopping an attacker. 

It’s also more expensive than spray, and it’ll stop an attacker better than traditional aerosol cans of OC (Oleoresin Capsicum).

Pepper gel kits such as the Wildfire pepper gel and Mace pepper gel are packaged in a way that makes them very easy to carry around in your purse or pocket without leaking everything else you have in there!

How Does Wildfire Pepper Gel Work?


The pepper gel is made from OC (oleoresin capsicum), which comes from chili peppers. When sprayed or applied directly to an assailant’s face or body, it can burn the skin for up to 45 minutes after application through heat generation rather than irritant chemicals found in other forms of OC. 

This causes pain without leaving permanent damage, or scars like other forms of OC do when used improperly against innocent bystanders. 

Pepper Gel Delivery Systems


The main difference between the two is how they are delivered.  The gel comes in a canister you press down to release the fluid. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use self defense kit, then the gel is right up your alley!

Gel tends to be more effective than spray when used against humans because there are no propellants involved (so there is less chance of backfire).

Legal Considerations When Using Wildfire Defensive Gel


Pepper spray gel is an effective self defense for women tool. However, gels have legal considerations that users should be aware of before using them.

  • It is legal to carry gel in all 50 states.
  • You must be 18 years old to purchase and use gel in the U.S., but it can be shipped by mail if you are under 18 (e.g., if it’s a gift from a family member).
  • Pepper gel packages cannot be shipped via air within the United States due to federal postal regulations regarding flammable materials and pressure containers. 
  • Outside of the U.S., there are no age restrictions for purchasing or using pepper gels; however, shipping restrictions may vary depending on where exactly you live. 

Are There Differences Between Pepper Spray and Pepper Gel?


Spray and gels are both non-lethal forms of self-defense. They can stop an attacker by causing pain, irritation, and temporary blindness. However, there are some differences between the two that you should consider before deciding which product is right for your needs.

Blowback or cross-contamination


One major drawback of spray is cross-contamination or blowback. This happens when the spray blows back at you. It is quite unpleasant. Using spray in smaller, confined spaces can also result in this. 

 By contrast, gel users can increase their effective range to nearly 25 feet, improving their overall protection. When applied, gel oozes in a direct stream instead of sprays’ wider spray pattern. There is no blowback with gel because it does not produce fumes, so it is safe for use indoors.



Another key difference between the two forms of defense is the concentration of OC (oleoresin capsicum) in each product. Sprays have about 1% OC, whereas pepper gels contain 10% OC or higher! 

That’s an eightfold increase from one form to another! If you’re looking for more intense protection in your self-defense arsenal, then go with the higher concentration of OC—it will not let you down when the time comes!

Effect on Attacker


While the gel also has superior sticking power when sprayed on an assailant, meaning they will continue to feel its effects for as long as 45 minutes (the spray only lasts 15 minutes or so). This makes it much harder for your attacker to wipe away or ignore the effects. 

Which One is Best for Self Defense?


The answer to this question depends on you, your situation, and the type of self-defense that you’re looking for. If you’re at home with your family and want to protect your home from an intruder, gel is better than spray. 

However, suppose you are in the parking lot, parking garage, walking at night,  or running errands alone outside your college dorm and worrying about being attacked by an assailant in public. In that case, the spray might be the best option for keeping yourself safe.

In terms of effectiveness and legality, both gels and sprays can effectively be used by college students or college commuters as deterrents against campus attackers. 

In addition to using them as deterrents against would-be attackers, gels and sprays can also be used to stop someone from attacking or threatening someone with physical harm (i.e., during an assault).

Where Can I Get Some Spray and Gel to Use for Self Defense?


Many different kinds of spray are available on the market today, so it can be hard to choose which one is right for you or your college daughter (if you have one). Here are a few things to consider when shopping around:

Buy from a Reputable Company


Regarding self-defense products like spray and gel, you should always buy from a reputable company that is familiar with your local laws and has a good reputation in the community. 

Read Reviews


Before you buy any product, read reviews on the internet about it so that you know what other people have experienced with them. This will help you avoid surprises down the road when using the product, yourself!

Get a Good Return Policy for Your Protection


Most companies will offer some money-back guarantee if something doesn’t work properly. The same applies if there are any issues during the shipping/delivery of their products. 

This means that if something goes wrong, they’ll refund all money spent thus far on purchasing the said item(s). It also ensures peace-of-mind knowing someone out there cares enough about protecting fellow customers’ rights when buying online.”



In conclusion, it is important to remember that sprays and gels are great tools for self-defense. However, many factors will play into your decision regarding which one is right for you. These include whether or not you want to carry something around with you at all times or if you prefer using a specific type of delivery system (such as a keychain). No matter the type of product you choose, carry it always. We’ve included links throughout this post to some of Urban Safety Solutions other self-defense products.

If you’re still looking for a way to protect yourself, many options are available at If you have questions or comments about the article, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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