It’s hot. Maybe it’s not that hot in your area, but in central Ohio at least, it’s pushing 90 degrees. Not exactly comfortable. But we all know that Japan is more than happy to come up with interesting solutions and inventions for everyday issues such as this. So what did Japan come up with for beating the summer heat? Freezing foam. And it’s been all the rage in Japan since last summer.

What are These Things?

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These foams have been around in Japan for years, which comes as a surprise to me, since I hadn’t even heard of them until just recently, but they’ve become pretty popular in Japan lately. Since last summer, Japan has been making an effort being to conserve more electricity during the summer months. Tokyo summers are brutal, and the Japanese make good use of their air conditioners.

In an effort to use less electricity and not abuse their air-con units so much, Japanese convenience store shelves have become packed with these cooling foams and gels along with a slew of other products including cooling body wipes. They’ve been available in Japan for a while now, but just recently started to become popular.

Some of these foams can be rubbed onto the skin to make the area cool, while other foams harden and can be molded into wearable shapes and accessories. They look pretty crazy to me, but they’re definitely more fashionable than carrying around a spray bottle with a fan attached to it, that’s for sure.

So How Do They Work?

There are many different varieties of these cooling foams, but most of them work in a similar manner. Some of them don’t last very long, and others can keep you feeling cool for a good long while. Some work similarly to ice packs, while others create expanding air pockets within the foam that release cool air against your skin when they pop. I just wish I could get my hands on some of these to see (and feel) them in action.

Some are designed to be sprayed directly on the skin, while others are made to be sprayed on towels or articles of clothing to cool them down before they are applied to your body. I really wish that I’d known about these things when I was in Japan because I’ve the feeling they’d be a fun way to beat the heat.

A few of them don’t seem all that effective to me, though. The hard foam that you can mold into shapes says that the cooling sensation only lasts for about five minutes. That seems pretty short to me. I can’t say for sure since I’ve not been able to use these products myself, but it would seem that most of them are designed only for temporary relief. Either that or very frequent applications.

But Which One is Best?

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With so many cooling foams on the market, how do you know which one is best? Thankfully Megwin (you may remember them from an earlier post) has taken all the guesswork out of the equation. Well, kind of. Okay, not really. I wouldn’t say his method is the most scientific, but it is probably the most entertaining.

And like I said, these products have been available in Japan for a while now, but they don’t seem to have caught on anywhere else outside of Japan just yet. It’s too bad, really. They sure would be nice to have on hot summer days like these.

But if you’re going to Japan this summer (or if you’re already there) be sure to give these products a try. Some of them might not last as long as you’d like them to, but they look to be a lot more fun to use than boring old fans and junk.

So tell me, have you ever seen these cooling foams before? Ever used them yourself? Wish you could buy them in your home country? Let us know down in the comments!

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Via Japan Trends

  • grotesk_faery

    I would kill for something like this. I live in the Southern US and I work outside at a stable, and every twenty minutes or so I’m putting my head under the pump or in the freezer to cool off -_- This would probably work better, and save me a lot of time, even if it is only temporary. 

  • Ryoji Otani

    why would i buy anything that megwin uses on his youtube channel? I love megwin he is so funny

  • ジョサイア

    I live in south eastern US…100 degrees and humid D:
    I think I can handle what japan can throw at me! :D

  • Foozlesprite

    Oh gosh yes, I’m in the same boat as you guys.  I live in Arkansas and it’s 98 degrees w/ heat index of 100, tons of humidity.  I’ve had friends visit from parts of Arizona that regularly reach 105+, and tell me it’s much worse here because of the humidity.  I’m pretty certain we could all handle Japan too, lol.

  • Sukibeam

    Never heard of them but I would certainly try one! Anything to beat the heat down here in Texas :D 102F today *dies*

  • narcolepticltd

    Megwin is the most scientificalist on the internets!

  • narcolepticltd

    same here… I’m betting it’s very similar to Atlanta.

  • Neumaus

    I’d be afraid of what chemicals they put in that.
    Haha, I’m so fortunate to live in Florida, it’s beautiful today! It’s been raining on and off since yesterday, and there’s a killer breeze. 

  • John

    For totally!

  • Gentlementleman

    yep kids and thats how you get skin cancer…

  • simplyshiny

    this would be perfect now that I’m a transplant southerner….it’s been hot as balls lately

  • zoomingjapan

    *LOL* I hate summer here in Japan and I’m always looking for new ways to stay cool, but I definitely won’t touch those!!

  • John

    Don’t trust ’em, eh?

  • zoomingjapan

     That and it just seems toooo weird to me! *g*

  • ジョサイア

    Haha, I live about two hours south of Atlanta.

  • ジョサイア

    The humidity will make it feel 20/30 degrees hotter…(‘q-p)

  • ジョサイア

    It’s raining here now(There is a hurricane from the gulf) ToT

  • Kamizushi Akinari

    You can greatly increase a fan’s effectiveness by taking your short off and by spraying water on your chest every time it dries up.

  • Justinpskeen

     I lived in atlanta and now live in Japan. gotta say not so impressed yet by all the hype I got from people saying how hot it was. Of course this is only my first summer here, and the end of june…maybe it’ll get hotter? idk.

  • Julien Klein

    I use “Gatsby Body Deodorant Paper” & recently started using their “Ice Type.” Tis the only line of deodorant in Japan that actually works for me. They are more of a body wipe than actual deodorant, but hey, tis all good. Not so sure that I appreciate the cooling formula though. It’s activated by heat/perspiration, so whenever I’m nervous, my deodorant let’s me know by freezing my pits!

    Not sure I want to try any of the others though. Sounds like a great way to absorb way to many chemicals into your body.

  • Guest

    Cool its only like 55 degrees here.

  • Holly Muehleisen

     It’s still rainy season, and this year everything’s been cooler than usual.  It doesn’t usually heat up until July and then it’s pretty miserable in August.

  • Shollum

     Suck it up. Nothing can help you now. Especially since some patent junkie patented all the parts to my personal cooling system before I even had a chance to make it. Now I won’t be able to distribute it… (not like anyone would’ve used a human radiator).

    And don’t worry, even the locals that have lived here their whole lives (like me) think it’s too hot. We just gotta deal with it.

  • ジョサイア

    One of my Japanese mates was telling me about 梅雨 the other day.

  • ジョサイア

    …Also deepens an where you are in japan…I head northern japan was cooler that southern japan{And also doesn’t have 梅雨(Rainy season) }?

  • Geoff

    I got sucked in by an advert two weeks ago in Osaka to buy some cooling wipes for men, but they’re totally awesome. 
    You get to smell like eucalyptus for a few seconds but they really do cool you down, I’m going to get more!

  • Nicole Jones

    i live in texas and today it was 111 degrees, i think they should start selling that here

  • John

    Sounds like you need it more than they do!

  • Dunstnoes

    Mmmm… Biofreeze… Though it’s mainly a pain reliever for sports related injuries, it sure beats using the fan!

  • John

    Do whatcha gotta do!

  • coldcaption

    Seems pretty cool!

  • coldcaption

    (Though I wonder how they affect your health)

  • Diego Zavala

    Oh, Megwin

    ( =ω=)

  • Random JT

    looks awesome
    but its 12 degrees where i am at the moment so i don’t think i need it