Although not generally known as hygienic, climbers spend a disproportionate amount of time obsessing over the relatively small swatch of skin covering our hands. And, for good reason. Bad skin is a dealbreaker. A little flapper can ruin an otherwise perfectly strong climbing day.
I am cursed with dry skin. I easily form thick callouses that crack like dried salt flats. I keep files stashed in my car, desk, climbing pack, and nightstand as part of my effort to rasp away the rough spots. I also have about a dozen different salves and lotions that I used to keep in the rotation to try to hydrate my skin. Then tried Climbskin Hand Repair, a salve that you apply one or two hours before climbing in order to give your skin a bit of elasticity and stickiness that will prevent it from cracking but not make your tips greasy.
The first thing I noticed about Climbskin was that it absorbed into my hands really quickly and left them feeling dry and almost tight. The balm has a faint, earthy smell, that I don’t mind. The ingredients list is also pretty pure, with several natural oils and no parabens or sulfates. I used the cream in the morning, then again, post-climbing, after washing the chalk off my hands. I never noticed any greasiness from applying the Climbskin before climbing. It actually helped dry up my skin when I applied it after doing the breakfast dishes.
With regular use and some gentle filing, my skin started improving after about a week and got really nice after two weeks. The texture of my palms evened out as a new healthy skin replaced the thick calluses and my previously soft tips started to feel more resilient.
Overall, my skin felt stronger.
At $25 for a 1 oz jar, this stuff isn’t cheap. But a little goes a long way. I’ve been using a single jar multiple times a day for the past 3 months now and I’m only about halfway through. But if you’re climbing a lot, and your skin is trashed, I’d recommend checking this out. It has completely replaced my arsenal of salves and is my number one choice for keeping my skin in good shape.