On the outside you can see that it causes coughing, chocking and swelling, but as you know it non lethal or too dangerous for the target's life. The temporary burning pain and the that fact the eyes will be forced to shut down is a really good strategy that the original makers of the first pepper spray used. The attacker is no longer capable of seeing and thus cannot really move too far from the location where he is standing. Some more powerful formulas can even bring attackers to the ground, screaming in pain.
The ultimate advantage of pepper spray over stun guns is that stun guns provide 5 minuets of safety on average and after that the attacker can once again stand up and be aggressive. Pepper spray and its effects can last for more than 30 minuets which is really something! You need to be aware of this advantage and when you are using the spray, aim straight for the face, especially the eyes.
The fact that pepper spray can be disguised in such small bottles that can even look like regular lipstick is a huge tactical advantage. A good shot of this into the face and you won't have to worry about the attacker chasing or attacking you. The reason this is so is the cayenne pepper which is found in the formula. Is is hot, it burns right on the skin and the gas form that lifts so painful to inhale. While you may not hit the attacker directly in the eyes, anywhere around the eyes, nose or mouth will probably do just fine.
The burning and irritating feeling will confuse the attacker who thought he found an easy victim to mug and leave him in agony in pain for quite some time. The eyes will not stay shut for as long, but their natural reaction will be to stay closed for as long as possible or until the pain goes away.
When it comes to pepper sprays, Mace is one of the most reputable brands in the industry. They use different formulas for different products and one of the most famous additional features they sport is the UV dye. Quite simply, the pepper spray will apply the UV dye which will last on the attackers body for quite a long time. This can late be used by the police to help identify the suspect and bring him to justice.