Sunday, 1 May 2016

Crotch Guard Skin Oil - Review

It was after a pretty tough 3 day MTB bikepack trip last year that I wound up with a bad case of saddle sores, taking several weeks to shift but more importantly several weeks off the bike. I started to search online for a solution when I came across Crotch Guard Skin Care Oil and I just had to find out more.

Crotch Guard 4 oz bottle

 Crotch Guard Skin Oil is a skin care product made by Derma-Tect,Inc based in the state of New York, USA where they develop, manufacture and distribute anti-microbial skin care oils, including products for burns from laser and radiation treatments and also a product for amputees. As the name suggests it is an oil and is designed to be absorbed by the skin, which has a number of benefits over conventional creams, with the less obvious but more important health benefits being explained in the next paragraph.

The science

Riding long hours in the saddle can build up pressure on your nether regions and can restrict blood flow. This, coupled with the constant friction from the act of pedaling, can lead to rashes,broken skin, boils, sores and bacterial infections. Crotch Guard Skin Oil aims to mimic the molecular structure of natural phospholipids (lipids) compounds in human skin.

Composed of cholesterol,waxes,fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K, the lipid bilayer surround skin cells and permeate the layers of skin to strengthen and reinforce the skin's entire structure in the same way as cement mortar fixes the structure of a brick wall. Because Crotch Guard Skin Oil is able to mimic the lipids, it is absorbed into the skin enabling the support and restoration of the skins natural barrier and protective function.

It's this function that makes Crotch Guard skin Oil completely different to conventional petroleum based lubes that just basically provide a barrier to friction and eventually break down and will need reapplying. Water is also an ingredient in conventional lubes and, when it evaporates, draws moisture from the skin in a process known as Trans Epidermal Water Loss, which coupled with chemicals found in some traditional creams damages the skins natural barrier function. Maintaining the skins moisture balance is critical in facilitating cellular growth, cultivating the wound matrix and key in the skin's defence against environmental influences and irritant dermatitis.

In Use

Along with the health benefits explained above, I have found Crotch Guard Skin Care Oil to have a number of other benefits over conventional lubes & creams and the first one is how it's applied. You just give the bottle a couple of squirts, aimed a few inches away from your nether regions and just let it soak in, and enjoy having NO MESS on your hands and as it absorbs into the skin, it leaves NO MESS and NO STAINING in your shorts either. It is recommended that you apply twice daily, once before riding and again after showering, to maintain healthy skin condition. If like me, you hate the horrible slimy, cold, wet and clammy feeling you get when you sit down in your bibs with traditional chamois cream applied, then this is going to totally change/improve your riding experience. There is also a small portable 1 oz bottle that easily fits in a rear jersey pocket, just in case you need to reapply some on longer all day rides.

Crotch Guard Skin Oil 1 oz Bottle

I have done several 4-5hr rides and have only needed to reapply it once about 3hrs into the ride, but that was when I was wearing a new pair of bibshorts with a particularly big pad that caused some irritation. That being said, I doubt I would of even got that far had I been using ordinary chamois cream. I can honestly say Crotch Guard Skin Oil has been nothing short of a revelation It really does seem to work how it's supposed too. 

It will be on multi-day bikepacking, cycle touring, and self supported Ultra races like the 2700 mile Tour Divide, where you're travelling light & fast, and where it's difficult to keep on top of your hygiene and ride in a fresh pair of clean shorts every day that I think the anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and clean application of Crotch Guard Skin Oil will have even greater benefits over your standard creams. I'm looking forward to putting this to the test with some bikepacking trips I have planned for later this summer. I will report back on this.

It has been really difficult to say something negative about this product. The only negative I could say was that it was only available direct from the states.However, due to the rising popularity on this side of the pond, the new UK website went live last week so now there's only just a small UK shipping charge to pay. Winner!

So in short,  it's goodbye to gammy shorts & hello to healthy shorts!!

Although I have happily bought and used Crotch Guard Skin Oil with my own money for the interest of the article I received this bottle of Crotch Guard Skin Oil for free from Derma-Tect.Inc as coordinated by Outdoor PR Deep Creek Outdoor Retailer in consideration for review publication.

I would like to thank Deepcreek for the opportunity .

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Last Snowfall of Winter

Buxton - Hollinsclough -Three Shires Route

The winter of 2015/16 was meant to rival the Baltic winters of the early 60's and late 1940's due to it being an El Nino year, where high sea temps in the Pacific has a global impact on weather systems around the world resulting in record freezing temperatures and snowfalls in the UK. I'm one of those weird types who's favourite season is winter so to me this was great news and as such had me looking forward with anticipation of epic rides battling through 6ft snow drifts and icicles on my beard. Well just like every year it turned out to be a load of cobblers. I did manage to get out when it snowed the first weekend in March though as I was determined to make the most of what was probably the last snowfall of winter and managed to get a few pics on my phone.

The push out of Buxton
Heading south towards Longnor
Staffordshire Moorlands with it's winter coat on

The crossing of the river Dove not far from it's head
This crossing lies at the bottom of some of the best decent's in the Peak District
More Staffordshire Moorlands
The byway to the Three Shires crossing
more snow on the way
The Three Shires crossing over the river Dane
Turn Edge bridleway
Three Shires bridge