Winter weather usually means contanstly exposing your skin to harsh conditions- low humidity, cold and wind when you head outside, then blasted with hot dry air when you come back inside. These extremes can do a number on your skin, leaving your hands and face chapped and irritated. Sports such as climbing, cycling, running, and hiking can also cause skin irritation and chafing if not prevented.
The supposed secret behind the effectiveness of healing balms is that they stay in place on your skin, deliver botanicals that absorb any fluid buildup, soften hardened tissue, promote blood flow, and suppress bacterial/fungal growth. Below are a few balms and lotions that I use regularly to keep my hands, face, and other irritation prone skin areas in working order throughout the year, especially during the winter months. Non-greasy and quick absorbing, the balms keep your skin soft, healthy, and elastic.
Strong Skin ($10): Made by Park City based Mountain Body, the healing balm uses all-natural ingredients, including sunflower seed oil, wheat germ oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, and aloe vera. I have been using it on my finger tips and the palms of my hands to soothe calluses from Crossfit-type exercises and clear up the dreaded climber peeling fingertips that seems to happen every once in awhile. The scent is a mix of floral with strong orange notes but not overpowering.
Badger Balm ($5.99): The Honey Badger of healing. I bring this with me ice climbing to soothe my dry, cracked hands resulting from the constant exposure to cold and dry air. I rub it all over my hands when I get out of the shower, then again before I go to bed at night. The balm is certified organic, containing extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, castor oil, and aloe extract. It has a wintergreen scent that is kind of appropriate for the season.
Climb On! Bar ($10.25): Created with climbers in mind, there is nothing better to help ease peeling fingertips as well as any flappers or cuts you get from scaling rock faces all summer long or pulling on plastic in the gym during winter. This lotion in bar form is made from 100% pure (chemical free), food grade, skin nourishing product. I have also been rubbing it on my road rash scars to help them heal quicker and hopefully cut down on scaring.
What are your tips for keeping your skin in good condition during winter or even irritation free all year from outdoor sports?