If you want to keep a good functioning skin and especially if your climbing routine is not limited to just rock climbing during the weekends and includes also, for example, a campus board or indoor training, taking care of your skin after climbing is as important as helping your muscle recover by stretching and drinking recovery drinks. Howsoever, the countless grips affects our finger skin, more or less, each time we climb. So what do we do about it and how we can prepare it for the next climbing session?
During our years of climbing and training indoor and outdoor, we’ve tested several hand care product and picked up some really good ones, without which now it would be very unpleasant for our skin. So we only speak from our experience and not a “medical” point of view 🙂
On top of our list of skin care products is Joshua Tree Climbing Salve. We discover it two years ago, when a friend recommend it as being “the best” skin balm and now we can’t agree more.
It’s organic, good for scrapes, and what we love most about it, is the fact that has a fast healing action and you can apply it directly on cuts, split tips, torn calluses, abrasions. Because it’s a bit greasy so it’s slowly absorbed into the skin, we recommend to put it on your hands before bed time. I even used it on dry lips 😉 Unfortunately, as far as we know, it can be bought only from U.S.A., but if you have a chance to get it, do that ! One jar of 50 ml is 18.00$ and you will have it for about one year 😀 WORTH IT !
Before applying any cream, salve or similar products to your skin, make sure your hands are clean and check if you have any big calluses to take care of first. Use some sandpaper to smooth them out. Attention! DO NOT cut them of, you still need some rough skin. If you got split tips, try thinning the skin around it, apply cream and put some tape or plasters while you climb or work, to prevent chalk/dust entering, but keep it uncovered overnight.
Next, check out the Hand Balm made by CHARKO. It’s a balm, with 100% natural ingredients, kind of similar to the climb On bar, same texture/ smell.
It works really well on split tips, having a thick consistency it sticks into the finger cut, healing it. 😉 Every time we double campus, or on dynamic moves on small edges, our fingernails keep pulling away from the skin….and tears begin to flow from our eyes x_x ….so we “hold” this balm for when that happens. 😀
If you are looking for a less oily hand cream, one option can be the Rock Technologies Revive 5, which moisturizes skin and can be used all day long.
They say it’s also good for sun burn and insect bites, so now that it’s summer and can have both mosquitoes and burning sun, we can test it:) We discover it by mistake, I think it was in one competition prize bag or something like that, but we didn’t use it for a long time. I had no idea that Rock Technologies make hand cream and we are impressed by how good it is. For us it’s perfect during winter, when the skin is drier than usual and it craves for deep moister. Knowing that if you use normal hand cream your skin will get to soft for climbing, Revive 5 comes just perfect, leaving your skin nourished with a much better feel. Most probably you can buy it in Romania, check at the climbing shops.
The last “best friend” product is Antihydral. This is not a hand care product or something that you can find in the shops as a product related to climbing, it’s a cream discovered and tested by climbers in need of a solution for sweaty fingers that inevitably led to thin pink skin and one step back from a climbing day.
Antihydral is a skin drying agent that seems to be kept secret and only be found by climbers interested in their progress regarding climbing. We’re saying this because, if you make a little research and follow the “work” of pro climbers, you discover little tips that can improve and ease your climbing life.So if, after a climbing session/day, you often found yourself with thinned out pink skin that stings, but your muscles are not fatigued and you still want to keep on climbing the next days, Antihydral is the key.
The way to apply it is easy. After doing your “good night” routine, just before going to bed, put one drop of cream on each finger tip and spread it, in order to cover the full grip surface of your finger tips and leave it overnight to do its magic. Some say it’s good to do this two nights in a row, but we think it’s not a rule, just do as you feel it’s good for your skin and climbing activity. Try not to overuse Antihydral. If used excessively, the skin can get to dry and torn just like a callus but more painful. So use it wise 🙂 We got it online from Germany, for approx. 7 euro.
Well, this is our “basket” of skin care products for climbing. If you have one too, share it in a comment bellow 😉
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