When I ran out of hand cream a couple of months into my first year in Japan, I was stymied both by the selection and not being able to read much, other than コ. This katakana is “ko” and was very useful in figuring out shampoo versus conditioner! Katakana is often used for non-Japanese words.
When I finally found what I thought was the cream section in a local grocery store, I noticed how tiny the bottles were compared to the size large versions I was used to from Canada. I thought about how many I’d have to buy and how much plastic I would waste. This was before I figured out that hand cream is not always necessary with Japan’s humidity.
Back to peering at petite containers, I came across a small green and white tube that had a hand and “hand cream” in large, block letters under the brand name. Success! It was also inexpensive and I love a bargain. The only other English was on the bottom of the back, “Made in Japan”. Normally I fret about animal testing and ingredients but I was still on a high from correctly choosing conditioner that I let this go.
I could not have been happier with my find and this became the only cream I bought my whole time in Japan. In fact, I still stock up when I go back.
This cream is thick yet absorbs well and isn’t greasy. It’s got a delicate scent that doesn’t stick around. One 50 gram bottle lasts me at least a month in the drier seasons. I’ve used it on my face and even in my hair to fight frizz.
atrix can be found at most drug stores and grocery stores and is usually on a bottom shelf or in a bin, since it is so cheap. During my most recent trip in February/March 2014, I found the cream in the aisles of drug stores. The cheapest price was Y198 on sale (under $3 US/CDN). With the April 1st sales tax increase from 5% to 8%, the price will likely go up.
The version I like says しっとり on the bottom of the tube on the front in orange hiragana and this means “moist”. I picked up the gel version on our last trip and will try it to compare.
The only thing I would change is having a larger size. However, this product is made for the Japanese market so I understand why the container is small.
Have you tried this cream? Do you have a favorite cream or related product from Japan?
Note: I have received no benefit from the company that makes atrix or the other creams noted here. I simply love this cream.