Cycling is a fantastic way to keep fit and is an environmentally friendly way to travel but could it be taking its toll on your skin? Here we explore the skin complaints associated with cycling and reveal the skin care regimes that can put the brakes on common cyclist skin problems.
SKIN COMPLAINT: SADDLE SORE
Few cyclists will escape the pain of saddle sore, a condition which, according to the British Cyclist Association[i], causes areas of the body that come into contact with bike saddles to become irritated.
British Cycling says that skin sores associated with cycling often develop because of a combination of friction and working up a sweat on the bike.
They also warn that saddle sores can vary from small areas of general soreness to boils, which can affect your cycling performance and may even become infected.
SADDLE SORE SOLUTION: SALVE
If your skin becomes red and inflamed, using a non-aqueous salve will help calm away irritation.
Irritated skin can react to harsh chemical ingredients so be sure to check labels for natural, skin-soothing ingredients such as Calendula. Known for its moisturising benefits, Calendula has traditionally been used to assist wound healing and is a key ingredient in our organic baby salve.
Suitable for use on adult skin, keep this in your kit bag and apply sparingly to cuts, grazes and any areas of irritated skin.
SKIN COMPLAINT: SUNBURN
It’s not just your legs that can feel the burn after cycling. Without adequate sun care application, exposed skin on the face, neck, hands, arms and legs can all be at risk of skin damage from UV light.
SUNBURN SOLUTION: SPF30
The sting of sunburn is easily avoided by regularly applying a broad-spectrum, high factor sun cream. Always opt for a water-repellant formula as this will help safeguard your sunscreen against sweat.
Doing Time Trials and races? It can be tempting to apply a sun cream that claims to provide day -long sun protection with a single application but, whilst once-a-day sun blocks are convenient, research by Which? has questioned their effectiveness.
To stop your sun care sloping off, get yourself in gear and apply a generous amount of sun lotion to all areas of exposed skin before you set off. To maintain a high level of protection always reapply your sun lotion every 2 to 3 hours.
SKIN COMPLAINT: SWEAT & B.O
Deodorant not keeping up with your speed? It’s natural to sweat when exercising but applying a deodorant can help to keep the skin fresh. When choosing your skin care be sure to check the label for pore-clogging aluminium. Known to cause irritation to the underarm, it is also thought that applying aluminium to the underarm could make us sweat more by increasing our tolerance to antiperspirants.
SWEAT SOLUTION: PREBIOTIC DEODORANT
To keep your cool without pore-clogging antiperspirants consider opting for a deodorant made with prebiotics. When applied to the skin in a deodorant they will encourage the growth of ‘good’ bacteria that restricts the growth of ‘bad’ odour causing bacteria. This means that you can concentrate on beating your P.B. safe in the knowledge that body odour will be kept at bay.
SKIN COMPLAINT: CRACKED FEET
Peddling long distances can leave our feet vulnerable to blisters, cracks and soreness. According to British Cycling wearing appropriate footwear and socks can help reduce your risk of foot problems, as can caring for your feet and practising good hygiene[ii].
CRACKED FEET SOLUTION: FOOT MASSAGE
British Cycling claims that clean feet are less likely to encounter foot care problems from cycling and advises riders to routinely wash their feet and remove hard skin.
To keep your skin soft try massaging the feet with a sugar scrub. Always apply the scrub to clean, dry feet and work it into the feet using small circular motions. Rinse the feet and, once they are dry, apply a hydrating body butter to the feet and allow it to sink into the skin.
For extra soft feet, apply clean cotton socks over moisturised feet before going to sleep.
How do you care for your skin when cycling? Let us know by using #GreenYourRoutine on social, or leave us a comment below.