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?
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?
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!
Via Japan Trends