If there’s anything that hinders your ability to perform sleight of hand more than dry skin – with the possible exception of wild squirrels mercilessly biting your ankles…trust me, it can happen – I don’t know what it is. Coins pop out of classic palm, cards slide uselessly through your fingers – any sort of fine digital action is complicated. To deal with the problem you can either apply a bit of saliva to the fingertips before a crucial move – which is unsanitary and a little off-putting for the next person asked to take a card – or you can use some kind of lotion. Finding the right kind of lotion can be as much of a pain as the dry skin.
Over the years I’ve tried just about every hand lotion on the market. None have worked for me, or at least worked for very long. I mean, I used Neutrogena for a long while, but it tends to wear off after fifteen minutes or so – not good if you’re doing a thirty minute program. I’ve seen any number of hand lotions touted on magic forums as the best, but usually you just end up with something that makes your hands too slick and greasy – which is probably worse than too dry. Some magic dealers sell concoctions for outrageous sums guaranteed to be specially formulated for the magician, but these usually turn out to be a waste of money. So what works?
A while back I heard that Larry Jennings favored Chamberlain Golden Touch lotion. Paul Wilson currently uses it, and I don’t know who all else. I ordered some online as I couldn’t find it locally. It was cheap – and I had serious doubts.
Turns out it’s the best stuff I’ve ever used. It’s not slick, not greasy, and gives the hands a subtle tackiness that makes handling cards and coins a dream come true. If you’re looking for a lotion that really works well for the sleight of hand guy, you might want to give it a try.