atrix hand gel – dry yet smooth, sticky yet cool

Atrix hand cream was one of the best finds the first year I lived in Japan. As I mentioned in a previous post, it works for me, it’s easy to find and is inexpensive.

While atrix in Japan sells more than one product in their very small line, I’ve always stuck to the hand cream. On our most recent trip back, I felt a little wild and bought two tubes of atrix hand gel. Without reading (ahem, getting hubby to read it for me) any information/advertising on the tube, I used it like the hand cream. Over the last two weeks of informal testing, here is what I found.

atrix hand gel

atrix hand gel

Update: I did read “sara sara” at the bottom in white on pink. This means dry, as in dry to the touch. This doesn’t mean that the gel will dry your hands out, which would be funny. If I think really hard, this description makes sense for how the gel feels.

Setting the stage

The only gel I have ever used on my skin has been aloe for sunburns. Thankfully that’s a once a year event or less. In other words, I have little to compare with the atrix gel.

I wash my hands a LOT with a baby at home. While I’m not close to reaching the intensity of washing by a nurse or doctor in the OR, I sometimes feel that I am creeping in that direction (minus the horrible antibacterial soap).

The local climate verges on desert (or so I think) and we have air conditioning. It’s a recipe for lizard skin!

gecko in Hawaii

How about a gecko instead of a lizard? This fine creature hung out with us on our first day driving part of the Big Island in Hawaii. A gecko fell on my head in Thailand. I don’t remember if it had dry skin. (Credit: Hitoshi)

Results, please.

The first time I used the gel on my hands, it felt… weird. Despite more tries, it still feels odd. Initially, my skin gets a slightly cool smack, which is unexpected and blissful. Then the gel verges on tacky yet feels dry but slippery. It’s a bizarre series of contrasts. To top it off, my skin is not moisturized even though it feels soft.

The gel has not been a complete failure, though. I ran out of body cream and thought the gel might be a good replacement. It was! On my arms and legs after showering, it seals in moisture and my skin still feels very soft in the morning. This is how I continue to use the gel.

In a more humid climate, say Japan, the gel might work differently. I gave up on cream living in Japan. In the summer, it would slide off my arms within minutes of putting it on. I had no idea my arms could sweat like that. Maybe gel would do the same thing but I won’t know unless I move back.

a carnival creature

One reason not to move back to Japan: traffic is really bad in Tokyo.

Have you tried hand gels in Japan or somewhere else humid? How did they work? Have you tried the atrix hand gel or cream? Add your thoughts below!

4 thoughts on “atrix hand gel – dry yet smooth, sticky yet cool

  1. Maybe the gel is meant to give a cooling feeling during Japan’s summer heat? When I imagine hot, clammy hands, the cooling effect you describe could be a welcome feeling.

      • I don’t know Coolish. What is it? For skin care products, I used products from Belgium. Since we were only there for a year, it was possible to get by with stuff that I brought from Belgium. Because I don’t read Japanese, it was difficult to buy Japanese skin care products. I do really miss Japanese deodorant. Most Belgian deodorants smell so chemical that they give me a headache. Japanese deodorants seemed more natural and were still really effective.

        • Coolish is a delicious ice treat. It comes in a flexible package. You have to squish and work it with your hands a bit to start it melting, especially if it’s directly from the freezer. Then unscrew the little lid and suck out the contents! So refreshing!

          That makes sense about bringing products from Belgium. And yes, not being able to read makes things more challenging. That’s interesting! In all the time I’ve spent in Japan, I’ve never bought deodorant. I’ll have to pick some up the next time and try it/them out! This reminds me of when I was living in Finland years ago. I really liked the antiperspirant. Same thing at you… not as many ingredients, no weird smell after I started sweating and it still worked.

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