Cooling Down with Menthol Bath Items

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As the weather gets hotter, everyone has getting cool on their minds. With a quick visit to any drugstore, you’re sure to find cooling products, from cooling scarves and pillows to cooling bath powders. While cooling scarves might be easy to identify, the products in bottles are a little less obvious. This guide will help you identify cooling bath powders, shower gels, and sprays should you need something a little extra for cooling down.

What Makes These Products Cool?

Menthol is the main cooling agent in most of (but not all) these products. For this reason, if you have a sensitivity to menthol, you will want to avoid these types of cooling products. You can double check the ingredients on the back; the Japanese word for menthol is written in katakana: メントール.

On a related note, some products have several different cooling “strengths” in the series, so look on the packaging for hints (such as a star rating system, etc.) for just how cooling the item will be.

How to Identify Cooling Products

Probably the biggest tip-off that a product is “cooling” will be the blue, icy imagery and, of course, the word “COOL” emblazoned across the bottle in English. Below are a few more words to help you identify cooling products:

1. クール (sometimes written in katakana but often written in romaji: “cool”)
2. 冷感 (“reikan”; can mean “cool sensation”)
3. ひんやり (“hinyari”; means “cool”)
4. ミント (“mint”; many cooling products are mint scented)
5. 爽快 (“soukai”; means “refreshing”)
6. 涼 (a kanji used in a lot of “cool” words, such as 涼しい and 清涼感)

Examples of Cooling Products

A lot of cooling products come in similar-looking bottles. With a little bit of knowledge of the brands and words used for different items, you can easily identify what exactly a certain product is. Keep in mind that products may change year to year, so the examples given here may not be available in later years.

The examples given include the brand, product, and type of product. The words in parentheses indicate pronunciations and may not be displayed on the package.

1. Bath Powders

Winter brought plenty of warming bath powders, so it should be no surprise that summer has its own collection of cooling “nyuyokuzai” (入浴剤). Put an appropriate amount of this powder (sometimes in tablet form) in the bath, and you’ve got yourself a refreshing summer bath.

Brand / Product / Type:

Bath Roman / スーパークール (Super Cool) / Cooling bath powder
バブ (Babu) / COOL / Cooling bath tablet
バスキング (Bath King) / 炭酸ガスの薬用入浴剤 COOL / Cooling carbon dioxide gas bath tablet
バスクリン (Bathclin) / COOL / Cooling bath powder

2. Shower Gels

These shower gels, soaps and shower lotions will help you get clean and leave a refreshing tingly sensation even after you’ve washed it off.

Brand / Product:

Bathclin / クールシャワー (Cool Shower)
バブ (Babu) / 爽快シャワー (Kaisou Shower)
Men’s Biore / Body Wash + Deodorant Cool
SeaBreeze / Body Shampoo Super Cool

3a. Cooling Sprays

Cooling sprays help keep you feeling cool even without a shower. Some may also be a mild deodorizer.

Brand / Product / Type:

Kiribai / 熱中対策 でかけてクール (Necchutaisaku Dekakecool) / Clothes spray
Uno / クールボディーミスト (Cool Body Mist) / Body spray

3b. Cooling Bug Sprays

Cool bug sprays work double duty: they keep you cool while warding away insects. When you look at sprays, make sure you are getting your desired item; bug sprays will be labeled 虫よけ (mushi yoke).

Brand / Product / Type:

アース (Earth) / サラテクト クールミスト (Saratekuto Cool Mist) Super Cool / Anti-bug spray
マザーズ (Mothers) / 虫よけジェル・ミスト (Mushi Yoke Gel/Mist) Cool / Anti-bug gel & spray

4. Cooling Deodorant

Spray and liquid deodorants are the most widely available types of deodorants in Japan. Some of these deodorants offer a “cooling” version in summer. If you want one that also works as an antiperspirant, look for the word 制汗剤 (seikanzai) on the bottle.

Brand / Product / Type:

SeaBreeze / Deo&Water Ice Type / Liquid
Gatsby / Ice Type Deodorant Spray / Spray
Ag+ / Deodorant Cool Powder Spray / Spray
Ban / シャワーデオドラント クールタイプ (Shower Deodorant Cool Type) / Spray

Where to Buy

Your safest bet for finding these items is at a drug store. Stores such as Loft, Don Quijote, and Tokyu Hands also keep an impressive stock of bathroom goods. You may sometimes be able to find these items at your local supermarket or convenience store.

As might be expected, these items are typically only available in summer.

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