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How to Relieve and Repair Dry, Irritated Skin

How to Relieve and Repair Dry, Irritated Skin

In 2020, Strava athletes in the US cycled 1.2 billion miles and ran 387 million miles. There’s been a boom in global exercise. But with improved health and fitness comes an unwanted side effect for some exercisers: dry, irritated skin.

If you’re someone who likes to hit a hiking trail or rack up lengths in a swimming pool but suffers from dry skin as a result, this article is for you. There are many ways to manage skin health and repair flaky skin. Our handy guide is here to help.

Dry Skin Defined

First, a quick definition. Your skin is home to a moisture barrier comprised of natural lipids. These help keep moisture in and irritants out. If that protective barrier is damaged, minute cracks appear, and moisture escapes.

There are many causes of dry skin. These range from exercising--and the accompanying chafed skin that may occur--to aging. Other factors include using products that are too harsh and medical conditions.

Whatever the reason – and there may be multiple – there are a host of methods to relieve and repair dry and irritated skin. Read on to find out more.

Anti-Chafing Salve Is a Must

If endurance sports are your thing but you find yourself suffering from extremely dry skin, cut down on friction with an anti-chafe salve. Applying a chafing cream lubricates the skin and is particularly helpful in areas such as thighs, feet, and groin.

Use an all-natural anti-chafe stick to prevent blisters and protect your skin before hitting the sidewalk for a run. Or if you prefer heading out on two wheels, say no to saddle sores with cycling salve.

Bath and Shower Tips

Help heal dry skin and stop it from rearing its ugly head again by using warm water rather than hot. By doing that, you don’t wash away your skin’s natural oils.

What else? Limit your time in the bath or shower to less than 10 minutes. Staying within that time frame means your skin’s oily layer isn’t stripped away.

Wash with gentle and natural products, minimize soap usage, and buy a sulfate-free cleanser to remove dirt and oil.

Keep away from scratchy bath sponges and cloths to avoid damaging your skin. Or use a light touch if you don’t want to stop using them entirely. And after bathing or showering, blot your skin gently with a towel rather than rubbing vigorously.

Invest in a Humidifier

Humidifiers help raise air hydration. How? By forcing moisture into the environment. Keep moisture circulating with a humidifier and help your skin retain its natural moisture.

Control your skin by controlling your environment.

Linked to that point: don’t be tempted to sit right in front of a fireplace. In wintertime, that may be appealing. Pulling up a pew by a crackling fire sounds appealing, right? But your skin may suffer and dry out further.

Moisturize Skin

Restore your skin with an all-natural regenerative slave. Whichever specific skincare products you choose, apply immediately after you bathe or shower. Why? To trap as much moisture in as possible. Leaving your skin bare for even a minute means it will start to dehydrate.

Moisturize to repair cracked skin, say bye-bye to irritated skin, and improve skin health.

And remember: when you’re out and about exercising, be sure to apply a moisturizing lip salve or balm. It’s super important to wear sunscreen, too – whatever the time of year.

Say Yes To Night Creams

Choose one that suits your skin type and let the moisturizer perform its magic. People tend to bypass night creams to let their skin breathe, but nighttime is when your skin’s permeability is at its peak.

Absorption is at its best when you’re at rest.

The moisturizer you choose doesn’t have to be labeled as a night cream. Pick one that works for you and your skin type. Don’t forget to experiment with serums, too. For that extra hydration kick, use under your moisturizer.

Gloves Are the Way Forward

If you’re heading out for a run or a hike – especially in wintertime – don’t forget to protect your hands. Reduce dry skin by donning a pair of thick, waterproof gloves.

 

Avoid Irritating Clothing

Keep your skin protected and soft by steering clear of rough clothing. Opt for cotton, or even silk if budget permits. And use hypoallergenic detergents.

Home Remedies

To improve skin health further, think about using everyday products to moisturize. Dry, flaky skin can benefit from homemade treatments.

For example, use coconut oil to improve skin hydration and increase the number of fats on the skin’s surface. Coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids that moisturize by filling in gaps in dry skin.

Or how about an oatmeal bath? It’s said that adding oatmeal powder to water can be effective at relieving dry skin. How? Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Sunflower oil can also be applied to extremely dry skin to help hydrate it. And it’s been suggested that honey can relieve dry skin too.

Banish Dry, Irritated Skin

MapMyRun saw a 65% increase in runs logged in 2020. That’s great news for health and fitness, but what about the impact on the exerciser’s skin? Endurance sports such as hiking, ultrarunning, and mountain biking can leave you with flaky and irritated skin.

There are a number of simple ways to deal with extremely dry skin. These range from humidifiers and better bathing routines to anti-chafing creams and all-natural skin products.

Keen to restore your skin and be chafe-free? Head on over to our online store and get browsing.

11 Must-Have Hiking Gear for First Time Hikers

11 Must-Have Hiking Gear for First Time Hikers

Make sure you have these essentials before heading out for your next hike.

According to the National Parks, there are proven health benefits of hiking. These include improved physical health, enhanced mental health, and boosted mood. To avoid issues, you should remember to pack the necessities.

You can feel prepared while exploring nature. If you’re interested in learning more about hiking gear, keep reading. Here are eleven must-have essentials while you’re on a trail.

1. Hiking Backpack

You’ll need a backpack to carry other hiking gear and essentials. How long you intend on hiking will determine how big of a bag you need. No matter how long you hike, plan what you need and pack accordingly.

For a full day, you should get one that’s twenty liters. Half-day hikes only need a smaller size. An overnight hike will need a backpack that’s around thirty-five liters for extra water, snacks, hiking clothes, and other essentials.

2. Happie Toes Foot Salve

This foot salve restores damaged skin in between hikes. The ingredients include kokum butter, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. These ingredients fight bacteria, decrease inflammation, heal skin fissures, and regenerate skin cells.

You can use this salve on your feet, hands, and any other dry areas for relief. Purchase Happie Toes Foot Salve in our shop online.

3. An Up-To-Date Map and GPS Device

Before heading out on the trail, you’ll need an up-to-date map. Some trails split off in different directions, making it easy to get lost. You can download the latest version online for your specific trail.

If you’re not good at reading maps, you may want to consider carrying a GPS device. These are great for helping beginners navigate different trails.

4. Headlamp for Dark Hikes

A headlamp is perfect for hiking in the dark and exploring underground caves. Unlike when using a flashlight, your hands are free to navigate. It can protect you from falling, stepping on wildlife, or losing sight of the path.

Even if you’re not planning on exploring in the dark, you should consider carrying a headlamp and spare batteries. If you happen to get lost, you’ll feel safer with light overnight.

5. Lightweight Utility Knife        

Before you go on a hike, you should think about why you’d need a utility knife. You can use one to cut a rope, prepare fish, and more. Consider a lightweight option with a sharpened three-inch blade.

You never know when you might run into an emergency. Carrying a lightweight utility knife could save you from sticky situations.

6. SPF Lip Balm, Sunscreen, and Sunglasses

When you’re spending a great deal of time outdoors, you should always wear sunblock. For the best results, use SPF 30 to 50. You can protect your eyes with sunglasses.

Lip balm is sunscreen for your lips. Same as with sunblock, use one with SPF 30 or higher.

7. Bug Repellant

When you’re out on a hike, you can protect yourself from bug bites with repellant. You should apply sunscreen before insect repellent. It’s the most effective technique to prevent West Nile virus and mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes bite at night and during the day. In addition to wearing insect repellent, you should consider wearing long sleeves and pants.

8. Water and Snacks

During moderate activity, the general recommendation is to drink half a liter of water per hour. Depending on the temperature and intensity of your hike, you may need to increase the amount. Strenuous hikes in extreme heat will entail drinking one or more liters per hour.

During hikes, you should consume one to three pounds of food per day. Strenuous hikes burn more calories and require higher increments.

9. Hiking Poles

Hiking poles make hiking easier on your knees. Unlike walking sticks, the poles provide symmetrical support. Using two will offer more benefits than only one.

When choosing poles, you’ll need to consider your height. Your size will determine how big they need to be.

10. Hiking Boots and Attire

Hiking requires the right gear, clothes, and boots. Your pair will need to be comfortable for trails, have grip, and be meant for the outdoors. You can find hiking boots with ankle support for extra protection.

You should consider buying wool socks, a jacket, gloves, and a hat. It’s best to dress in layers and check the weather before and during the hike.

11. First Aid Kit

Nothing says showing up prepared like carrying a first aid kit. For hiking, you should pack the following items:

Antiseptic wipes

  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Bandages
  • Medical tape
  • Nonstick sterile pads
  • Pain reliever
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Allergy medicine
  • And more

You buy a prepackaged first-aid kit from a store or online. You can also use this list to create a DIY version.

Other Must-Have Hiking Gear

Before you hit the trail, you should consider the specific trail and weather conditions. You may need to include an emergency water filter, fire starter, prescription medications, and more. Explore the trails early on with virtual maps.

Leave No Trace

Whenever you explore nature, you should leave no trace. This term means more than cleaning up after yourself. The following are some other things you should and shouldn’t do:

  • Leave what you find
  • Make a fire small, or not one at all
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of others on the trail

The goal of leaving no trace is to minimize alterations. If you’re camping overnight, don’t dig a trench or cut branches. Remember to always clean up after yourself, and to leave the trail better than you found it.

Explore More

Going on a hike will help you feel happier and healthier. Now that you’ve read these eleven must-have essentials, you’ll feel prepared while exploring the great outdoors. Use what you read here today as a guide to finding the right hiking gear.

We feature more than the latest endurance sports topics and advice. Athletes use our products to avoid chafing and blisters. Purchase items on our website to improve your skin’s health!

How Anti-Chafing Cream Is Bringing Sexy Back

How Anti-Chafing Cream Is Bringing Sexy Back

Don't let chafing be the reason you don't finish your first marathon, longest trail ride to date, or hike through the Appalachian Trail. You've trained too hard to let a little raw skin get in your way!

Chafing is an unfortunate reality most endurance athletes can relate to. But constantly pulling down your shorts or running with a goofy wide-stance gate is not the answer.

Trust us on that. There is a finally a reliable, affordable way to say goodbye to chafing forever. Take a look at the list of products below and how they are changing the anti-chafing cream game.

You're welcome!

An Athletes Worst Enemy - Chafing

For those of you that are unfortunate enough to have experienced chafing, you know how annoying and painful it can be. Not only does it make the activity harder and more painful, but it can also leave marks, blisters, and even permanent scars.

And don't even get me started on the hot shower after a fresh chafing incident, eek! 

But what exactly causes chafing to happen, and why does it happen more often in certain areas?

Well, skin chafing is caused by friction when skin rubs against clothing or skin rubs against skin.

The most common locations for chafing are areas where skin and clothing are rubbing against each other like the thighs, nipples or feet. It can also happen in areas where the skin is rubbing against the skin such as the groin or underarms if you are wearing a sleeveless shirt. 

It happens more frequently to those that carry excess weight, but it can also happen to endurance athletes during long training sessions or competition.

Chafing first appears as redness and is tender to the touch or to hot water. If it is more severe, it can become slightly swollen, or it may bleed. It can blister while it is healing too.

Anti-Chafing Cream

The traditional anti-chafing cream or salve works by moisturizing the area. But only the top products can maintain this level of protection when exposed to sweat. Anti-chafing salve can be applied before or during physical activity to prevent friction that causes raw skin and blisters.

You can apply anti-chafing cream to areas of your body that are usually victims of chafing. Thighs, underarms, feet, nipples, or bra-line are good places to start. Apply generously and get going!

For relief after activity, you can use an anti-chafing salve for dry or cracked skin.

Remember that for those anti-chafing creams and salves made from natural materials you may notice the oil separate on top of the container (much like your organic peanut butter). This is normal, and you can use a spoon or your hand to mix the oil back in.

You can bring your favorite anti-chafing cream in your backpack, fanny pack, or sleeping bag sleeve. It's easy to transport and can handle warm temperatures. If using in cold temperatures, you may have to warm it up in your hands before applying to get the best results.

If you have sensitive skin or skin allergies, always check the ingredients on anti-chafing lotions, creams, and salves. Not every product works for every skin type, so always check the label before purchasing.

Anti-Chafe Sticks

Gone are the days of using your deodorant between your legs to avoid chafing. It may make you smell better, but it's not intended to be used as an anti-chafing solution.

Instead, try an anti-chafe stick. Much like a stick of deodorant, it is easy to apply and mess-free. Look for a product with natural ingredients to prevent skin irritation.

You can use the anti-chafe stick before, during or after exercise for chafing or blisters. It can also treat dry skin.

Anti-chafing sticks can also be useful if you will need to reapply the product during an extended training session such as a long run, hike, or bike ride. Bring it with you and re-apply if you are starting to feel that unpleasant friction. 

A Word on Proper Attire

The first line of defense against chafing is wearing the right clothing. Breathable, technical shirts, shorts, and leggings are much better suited for endurance activity and exercise than a traditional cotton t-shirt.

Look for sweat-wicking materials that will keep you dry and prevent skin chafing. Loose-fitting clothing can also cause more friction than spandex or similarly tight materials.

Consider wearing a layer of tighter fitting clothing underneath your looser clothes to prevent chafing, especially between the legs. For men or women, running tights will usually prevent chafing between the legs but you should still use an anti-chafing product for your groin area.

If you are exercising in hot weather, consider not wearing a shirt or just wearing a sports bra. The less clothing you have on, the less likely there will be chafing. 

And Another Word on Treating Chafing

If you use proper anti-chafing products you should be able to prevent chafing altogether. However, if you ever forget your anti-chafing cream and find yourself nursing the wounds of bad chafing it is essential to keep the area clean and dry.

Wash the area with soap and water (warning, this might sting!). Then, apply an anti-chafing product and try to avoid activity or exercise that might make it worse. 

If your chafing does not improve or you think it may be infected, contact a doctor.

Goodbye Chafing, We Will Not Miss You

No more blisters and no more chafing. Just smooth skin and epic training sessions. It can be hard as a new endurance athlete or a long time pro to deal with nuisances like skin chafing.

So, don't!

Find the right anti-chafing product for you and pick some up before your next workout. With affordable prices and adoring customers, why wouldn't you try it?

If you're interested in learning more about the awesome anti-chafing, recovery, and skincare products we have to offer, browse our online store or contact us for more information!