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Topic: Hand creams/lotions to grip cards better?
Message: Posted by: Jaime Pirnie (Jul 7, 2002 11:17AM)
I saw a product called "Skinner's Edge Card Cream" on http://www.themagicwarehouse.com and wondered if anyone here had used it before. Is this just like a standard cream that you would put on your hands to grip the cards better? I wouldn't think it would go on the cards, but who knows.

Someone recommended "Working Hands Cream" to me a number of weeks ago so I bought a tiny amount of it to try it out. It seems to work ok. I'm not sure if it leaves any residue on the cards though.

Has anyone used this "Skinner's Edge Card Cream"? If you have, how do you like it and do you have any gripes about it?

Do any of you have any secret lotions and/or creams that work well for you? Since I've only tried the Working Hands Cream I don't have anything to compare it against so I can't have an opinion at this point.

Thanks for any suggestions anyone might have..
Message: Posted by: kellser121 (Jul 7, 2002 02:48PM)
I think some talcum powder on the hands before a performance is nice, to dry them out and leave them quite soft and supple for card work.

Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Jul 7, 2002 09:01PM)
The skinner item is simply Quicksort (available at any office supply store for less than a buck) with a different label on the lid. It's the stuff bank tellers use to get their fingers tacky so that they can count bills quickly, easily and accurately, and it's pretty beneficial for getting breaks, thumb counts, pinky counts, pinky pulldowns, etc.
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Jul 7, 2002 10:16PM)
I use a mixture of glycerin & rose water, available at any Walgreens drug store or the like.

I put the mixture in a small, lipstick-size atomizer (also purchased at the drugstore). Makes for easy, and rather classy-looking, transport in my close-up briefcase.
Message: Posted by: Jaime Pirnie (Jul 7, 2002 10:21PM)
Hm, I'll have to hit Walgreens and try some of that stuff out. I went to Bartel's Drug Store (I think its a Northwest chain) and they didn't have anything like that. I'll check out Walgreens though. Thanks for the suggestion.

Now that I think about it, did you buy rosewater and the glycerin in separate bottles and mix it yourself or was this something that was already mixed together in its own product?
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Jul 7, 2002 11:29PM)
You can get it both ways. Try a Rite-Aid or Walgreen's. If you can't locate it, ask the pharmacist--he'll know where it is. As a former Seattlite and Tacoman, I know you can get it up there.
Message: Posted by: Jaime Pirnie (Jul 8, 2002 12:17AM)
Tacoman... heh :lol:
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jul 8, 2002 02:36PM)
I tried using Quick-Sort, but the stuff turns rancid after a few weeks. I prefer "Corn Husker's Lotion". It gives a good grip, doesn't affect the cards like an oil based lotion will and it doesn't turn rancid.
Message: Posted by: Mike Powers (Jul 8, 2002 02:50PM)
Ed Marlo always used a product called Chamberlain's Golden Touch Lotion. It's by far the best stuff I've ever used to solve dry hand problems. Also, it doesn't make the cards stick together.

It's not easy to find, however.

Mike Powers
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jul 8, 2002 02:57PM)

Tom Gagnon let me try some of the lotion that Marlo used. It works great on reducing the sweat on the palms. I'm reluctant to use it because it is alcohol-based and I already have a problem with cracking skin, during the colder months. However, it gave me a grip that nothing else did.
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Jul 8, 2002 11:21PM)
[quote]Mike Powers wrote:
Ed Marlo always used a product called Chamberlain's Golden Touch Lotion. It's by far the best stuff I've ever used to solve dry hand problems. Also, it doesn't make the cards stick together.

It's not easy to find, however.[/quote]
Dai Vernon and Frank Garcia are two other notable card men who made good use of Golden Touch. It's certainly the best solution I've found.

It [b]can[/b] be difficult to find, though those of us in California can generally get it at Long's, a major drugstore chain, where a 12-oz bottle (which will last for a [i]long[/i] time) sells for under $5.

You can also order directly from the company, at 1-800-449-1422.

... Doug
Message: Posted by: variable75 (Jul 8, 2002 11:23PM)
along with cornhuskers the great card expert Richard Turner recommended using Baby Lotion which I find works great for me. You can buy a little bottle at any supermarket for under 3 bucks. Give it a try!
Message: Posted by: Jaime Pirnie (Jul 9, 2002 12:37AM)
These are all great suggestions. I'll have to do some hunting and see what I can turn up!

Thanks again everyone!
Message: Posted by: Garrett Nelson (Jul 9, 2002 12:55AM)
Golden tears, anybody?

A lot depends on your hands, too.

Some people have very moist hands, so something to dry them out is needed.

If you are like me, on the other hand (horrible pun, I know), you have hands more like death valley than a rain forrest.

I used Kwik Sort for a while, but now I have been using Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand cream. I am a big fan of it. It keeps my second dealing crisp for a lot longer than kwik sort does.

I tried many different things, this one happened to work for me. YOu may have to try different things before finding the right one for you.
Message: Posted by: Reed McClintock (Jul 9, 2002 02:35AM)
I read throught all of the posts here on this subject, and I would like to add what I have found to be the best.
It is called
Zims Crack Creme, It is a clear lotion You can find it in most Rx locations. You only need between three and four drops. It feels greasy at first, but after about a minute it goes away, then you have the texture to handle cards so unbelievably well it is incredible.
I hope you try it I have tried all of the above with very little success, I have extremely dry hands however. thank you :goof:
Message: Posted by: ncognito (Jun 25, 2005 04:19PM)
About Skinner’s Edged Card Crème

I am one of two old friends of Michael’s who are responsible for bringing Skinner’s Edge Card Crème to market. I’ve read numerous posts about the product over time and thought it might be time to clear a few things up.

First of all, this product in not Sort-Kwik. It is made by the same company that makes Sort-Kwik, Lee Products in the Twin Cities. It is a different formulation that contains other ingredients that are better suited for skin care that Sort-Kwik. It was called Paper Crème and I don’t think the company markets it any longer as such.

Michael was religious about this stuff, always carrying a container in his sock so that, when called upon to perform, he would excuse himself to “wash-up” and then be ready to blow us all away.

He feared that the stuff might become unavailable, and since I live the Twin Cities, I would purchase cases of the stuff to send to him to allay his fears.

After his passing, John Deems and I decided to explore approaching the Lee Products company with the idea of repackaging the product under Michael’s name. This was an effort on our part to keep Mike’s name alive and as a tribute.

It turned out that the company had no problem with this idea, in that it was a regular practice of theirs. The same product was already repackaged and sold as both an aid for folks in the commercial lighting industry for a sure grip on light bulbs and, of all things imaginable, a solution for dog show people as a means to reduce paw slippage on indoor floors for their pets in the show.

We chose a slightly smaller container (the same package they use for Sort-Kwik) in an effort to make the item easier to carry and conceal. I think Michael would have really appreciated the lighter load.

The project was never intended to make much money, with no advertising budget beyond a simple web site (www.legerdomain.com). This has proved to be true with the sales thus far, doing little more than covering production and distribution costs. The product sells the best in England but all told it has only done well enough to keep out of pocket expenses for the project to a minimum. This is exactly what it was designed to do. Nobody’s making any money here, but Michael’s name (and photograph) is kept alive and circulating.

Sort-Kwik, a great product for fingertip moistening, is not the same product as Skinner’s Edge Card Crème and does not have all of the benefits and nor does it perform as well as this product. I am hoping to stop these rumors, not necessarily to stop folks from using it or to drive them to by our Card Crème, but rather to stem the tide of misinformation so the integrity of Mike’s preferred formula can be maintained. There is actually a Magic vendor in Canada who is re-labeling Sort-Kwik as a counterfeit product.

We are not asking you to buy or use Skinner’s Edge Card Crème, but please, don’t mistake it for other similar products. We know, because of the way we are having it produced, coupled with the normal margins in the Magic distribution and dealer community, that it sells for more than the office products discussed. It lasts a long time and we believe it is well worth the price charged. This is America and as a free market society you can buy it or not.

The main point is that there are no scams here; no one is trying to rip you off. We offer the product as a tribute to Michael Skinner’s memory. I am writing this all out in an effort to straighten out the misconceptions about the product. The whole project makes very little sense if it causes feelings of being bilked by the Magic Community.

It is what it is. If you use it you will see in it what Mike saw, a remarkably helpful tool for card and coin manipulation. I am aware that many magicians feel this sort of thing is unnecessary and I can also attest to the fact that one (including Mike Skinner himself) could become dependant on the product, lacking the confidence to perform without it. I use it and benefit from it whenever I perform, but there are no implied requirements here.

I welcome any questions or comments although I do hope this explanation puts this small controversy to sleep.

Have a great day,
Message: Posted by: flimnar (Jun 25, 2005 04:39PM)
I found the Chamberlain's Golden Touch lotion on line at:


It's not all that expensive, and it works great for me.

Message: Posted by: WazMeister (Nov 15, 2013 08:57AM)
NCO, I need this skinners creme.. No shops in uk can source it.

Is it still being produced? I can't do my love of cards without it, I've sent you a PM.

Many thanks, warren
Message: Posted by: Steve Hook (Nov 15, 2013 10:24PM)
Warren: It's apparently still sold through these folks:


At the same time, I'll throw in a vote for glycerin with about 10% alcohol to thin it out. The rosewater is used to lessen the odor of the glycerin. I quit using the rosewater after a couple of years. I thought the rosey smell was worse than the the plain glycerin. YMMV.

These 2 simple ingredients are dirt cheap and available virtually anywhere in the world with no shipping or tariffs. For a container, I used an plastic, empty eyedrops bottle which I marked over with a Sharpie. Anything water-tight will work, of course.

Note: Glycerin is the main ingredient in about every commercial product mentioned in this thread. Most, if not all of them, also contain alcohol as the thinner. The rest of the ingredients are mostly fragrances and preservatives.

The one thing mentioned above that makes no sense is "baby lotion". I raised three kids and the only baby lotion I know of is oil-based. I would never use anything oil-based for handling cards or coins!
Message: Posted by: mindmagic (Nov 16, 2013 03:23AM)
Some time ago, on another thread, someone recommended buying a small bottle of glycerin from the baking section of a supermarket. This works very well for coins, but I'm not sure about using it on cards; when I tried it, it left a sticky mark, but perhaps I should have let it dry for longer.

Message: Posted by: WazMeister (Nov 16, 2013 08:25AM)

tried that site, wont let me choose UK for shipping
Message: Posted by: Steve Hook (Nov 16, 2013 02:19PM)
On 2013-11-16 04:23, mindmagic wrote:
Some time ago, on another thread, someone recommended buying a small bottle of glycerin from the baking section of a supermarket. This works very well for coins, but I'm not sure about using it on cards; when I tried it, it left a sticky mark, but perhaps I should have let it dry for longer.


Hi, Barry:

I've been using this glycerin/alcohol solution for thirty years and never had an issue with it making the cards sticky.

It's true, as someone mentioned previously, that you need to keep rubbing your hands till it dries. I usually wind up pressing my hands on a Kleenex or the like. The idea is to leave a microlayer of dried glyceryin.

After using A FEW DROPS of the solution, don't try to get the benefit of the tackiness IF YOUR HANDS STILL FEEL WET. It's a practical, common sense thing. Wet = wet; dry = dry but minutely tacky.

Also, you need to dilute it with that small amount of alcohol. That's the formula and you can't just not use the alcohol. Glycerin by itself is too thick. And it won't dry without thinning it (with the alcohol).

Good luck! This should be really easy...keep it easy.

- Steve
Message: Posted by: Steve Hook (Nov 16, 2013 02:48PM)
On 2013-11-16 09:25, WazMeister wrote:

tried that site, wont let me choose UK for shipping



Sorry 'bout that.

But I'm tellin' ya, I have super-dry hands (most humans have this condition accelerate after age 50 or 60) and the glycerin/alcohol (and maybe a COUPLE OF DROPS of rosewater) mixture is the answer. A lifetime supply is $2 to $3 US, which, when converted to your local currency, is "dirt cheap" world-wide!

One detail about the glycerin/alcohol mixture: The glycerin you'll buy is a slick, very thick, syrupy liquid. It's too thick in that form for what you want to wind up with, which is that nearly-dry (not powder dry) microlayer on your skin.

Alcohol is used here (and in the commercial products) because it evaporates more quickly than water.

Use a small amount of alcohol. Try a little at a time. If it's still thick, add just a little bit more alcohol. It will always be a little slick when it's wet but it shouldn't be thick. I mean, expect to spend ten or twenty minutes experimenting.

And lastly, I just found this sometime-funny, typically-irreverent discussion about the ingredients in Cornhuskers Lotion. Corhuskers was recommended by a pro who just lectured in Raleigh a couple of weeks ago.

The additives, as I stated yesterday, are water and alcohol to dilute the glycerin (I don't use water) and then preservatives and fragrances, which we really don't need.


I guess the bottom line is, any homemade or commercial lotion made with glycerin will work, as long as it doesn't have some type of oil in it.

Good luck!

- Steve
Message: Posted by: WazMeister (Nov 16, 2013 04:44PM)

Is this the stuff I would need?

Struggle to find the Alchol stuff though, anyone able to find what product I would need (UK store or UK ebay)

Thanks for your time and help
Message: Posted by: Steve Hook (Nov 16, 2013 10:49PM)
That should work fine! If you go to a pharmacy, it's usually with the soaps and skin creams, as skin hydration is the most common use of the pure form.

Here's all you wanted to know about all forms and uses of glycerin, plus a couple you didn't want to know about probably.


Good bye and good luck!
Message: Posted by: mindmagic (Nov 17, 2013 04:43AM)
You can buy a glycerine and rosewater mixture from UK chemists, but it's very runny and you need to use it over a sink! I didn't find the smell a problem. Neutrogena is what I normally use if I have to handle cards (which I don't do often anyway).

Message: Posted by: WazMeister (Nov 17, 2013 01:12PM)
Can someone advise alchol product I can use to mix the Glycerrine?

Cant not find which product I need to mix with it, don't want to go with rose water product tbh

man so wish skinners edge was still avaiabl.e best product ever created in magic! :)
Message: Posted by: Steve Hook (Nov 17, 2013 08:20PM)
On 2013-11-17 14:12, WazMeister wrote:

Can someone advise alchol product I can use to mix the Glycerrine?



RUBBING ALCOHOL.....from any druggist in the UK! Just go buy it, for God's sake.

Message: Posted by: MentalistCreationLab (Nov 27, 2013 01:59PM)

Mark Stevens turned me on to this stuff a while back and it works great.
Message: Posted by: Doc Svengali (Oct 8, 2017 10:50PM)
This works well if you are having trouble spreading cards in a rough and smooth deck such as brainwave or invisible deck:

Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Apr 17, 2019 01:37PM)
[quote]On Jul 8, 2002, variable75 wrote:
along with cornhuskers the great card expert Richard Turner recommended using Baby Lotion which I find works great for me. You can buy a little bottle at any supermarket for under 3 bucks. Give it a try! [/quote]

A vegetarian friend of mine won’t use baby oil. She says it’s cruel to squeeze babies so hard that oil comes out.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 17, 2019 05:47PM)
Everyone's body chemistry is different! I've used Chamberlain's
"Golden Touch Lotion for EONS.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Apr 19, 2019 11:56AM)
[quote]On Apr 17, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
Everyone's body chemistry is different! I've used Chamberlain's
"Golden Touch Lotion for EONS. [/quote]

Well and good Dick .... but who is this Eon you speak of? Do I know him(or her) is it pronounced like Ian or a more European sound to it? If the latter we will need this thread extending until at least say June 2023 before we can even discuss how to pronounce it let alone start using his or her name.

Yup I’m in a silly silly mood!!!
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (May 16, 2019 03:24PM)
I agree that Chamberlain's golden touch lotion is the best, It has worked best for me 1 spray is all you need
Message: Posted by: HeronsHorse (Jul 7, 2019 10:28PM)
I had this troubling me for a while and I tried a lot of different products, including the glycerin and rosewater mentioned above. I wasn't able to try some of the most recommended offerings due to the phenomenal US to UK postal prices these days (what the hell is that about..!) such as Chamberlains or Skinners edge, however, one product I had recommendations for a few times was 'O'keefe's Working Hands Cream'.
If you haven't given this a try I absolutely recommend it. It was the end of my search! I have used it ever since and can't believe how good this stuff is.
Bearing in mind, as Dick says, we all have different chemistry and so I'm only recommending you try it, I'm not saying it's a whiz for everyone :D
Not greasy or oily at all, it seems to dissolve when you rub it in, into an almost water feel, but tacky. Not sticky. A very small amout is all that's required and it lasts pretty well. I've suffered very smooth and dry hands for years and doing cards or coins is annoying, especially palming. After using this I can classic palm either coin or card for an hour or two no problem.
O keefe's Working Hands. Amazon and ebay have the best price unfortunately. Next after that is boots in store, tesco in store too, but superdrug is the highest!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 16, 2019 03:16PM)
Golfer's Grip is sold at Golf Stores. It leaves a gritty film so you can handle cards, coins, balls, thimbles with confidence. A little dab will do ya.