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The Ultimate Guide to Skin Care for Athletes

The Ultimate Guide to Skin Care for Athletes

Taking regular exercise is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

However, exercising can have its downsides for your skin. And the more time you spend exercising, the greater the impact on your skin. In fact, of the top ten most common marathon injuries, three are skin related

But the last you want is for skin complaints to stop you from exercising or ruin your enjoyment of working out. So how do you maintain healthy skin and stay on top of your exercise regime?

Read these top skin care for athletes tips to find out more.

Stay Hydrated

A common complaint that everyone who exercises outside will have experienced is dry skin. Having dry skin is not the end of the world, it won't damage your health. However, it can cause irritation, itchiness and doesn't look great. 

So why are athletes more prone to dry skin? It's a combination of two factors:

  • Losing excess body moisture through sweat
  • Exposure to sun and wind outside

The skin is an organ made up of cells, and each cell needs water to function properly. When skin cells lose moisture they can die and flake off, or sag and lose tension.

In order to prevent excess drying of the skin, it is essential that athletes stay well hydrated at all times. This means drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise. 

Cold Weather Training

If you are an athlete then training is not a fairweather event. In order to maintain your fitness, you need to train all year round. Which means sometimes you are outside running or cycling in pretty dreadful conditions. 

Exercising outside in cold weather presents its own specific problems for your skin. Cold weather can be just as drying for your skin as hot weather.

Windy conditions are especially punishing on your skin, so always remember to cover up as much as possible. Wearing gloves, hats and neckwear will protect areas of your body that are usually exposed to the elements.

Applying lip balm and moisturising salve to exposed areas will also limit the drying effect and help to keep skin supple. And always remember to rehydrate after a cold weather run. Although you may not feel as hot, you will still have lost a lot of body moisture. 

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Most athletes are aware that the sun damages your skin. But the damage starts from the first exposure, not just when you start to feel the burn. 

Regular exposure to even low levels of UV can harm your skin and cause premature aging. Exercising outside often means protracted exposure to the sun with no shade.  So, it is not only in hot weather that you should apply sunscreen and cover up.

When you are exercising you may sweat out some of the sunscreen you have applied. So, it is important to keep reapplying sunblock when you are out running or cycling. 

Keep It Clean

Sweat is an inevitable part of exercising, and it's something to be proud of. It's a sign that you've worked hard and put the miles in. However, sweat can wreak havoc on your skin if it is left to dry.

When sweat evaporates it leaves behind salt and minerals. These can cause irritation and blocked pores. Therefore, it's important that you wash as soon as you can after exercising.

If you are prone to pimples or acne, it may be worth taking facial wipes with you to the gym. Cleansing your face regularly removes some of the deposits and will prevent blocked pores. 

Sunscreen and moisturizers also leave residue on your skin and can block pores. Which is why a proper cleansing regime is super important to maintain clear skin.

Combat Chafing

Chafing is every runner and cyclist's nemesis. You can be as fit and strong as an elite athlete, but when the rub happens it can stop you in your tracks. 

Chafing can also be a catastrophe for your skin. It causes irritation, burning, blisters and can even leave scars. So what is chafing, and how do you combat it?

Chafing is the friction burn you get when your skin rubs against clothing or other skin. The most common forms of chafing are between the thighs, around the bra area (for women), across the neck and under the arms. 

Chafing is more common in warmer weather as sweat causes more friction against your skin. Your body also swells slightly in hotter weather, so thighs are more likely to rub against each other. 

As with most complaints, prevention is better than cure when it comes to chafing. Wearing specialist sweat-wicking sportswear will keep you dry and less prone to chafing. Applying an anti-chafe salve on areas that are prone to rubbing will also help to prevent irritation and blisters. 

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Finally, one of the most important factors of skin care for athletes is to moisturize. 

As we've already mentioned, exercise seriously dries you out. Whether you're running in hot or cold weather, your skin will be affected by the elements and by sweat. 

Make sure you wash and cleanse your skin after exercise and then apply a layer of light moisturizer. Heavy creams can block pores, so if you are prone to acne it is best to avoid them. 

Many moisturizers now have an SPF factor and can block some of the damaging effects of UV. So you're killing two birds with one stone. 

Find out More About Skin Care for Athletes

So those are some of our top tips for skin care for athletes. 

You should treat your skin like any other part of your body when you are in training. Prep it before you go out, keep it supple with lots of fluids, and do what you can to prevent chafing and burning.

Our natural anti-chafing and skin restoration salves are great for protecting your skin against the punishment of your training regime. So take a look at our online shop today. 

Get To Know Us! Part III - By Sarah Cotton

Get To Know Us! Part III - By Sarah Cotton

Happy Monday, Squirrels! If you have been following along with our SNB origin stories, we’re here to wrap it up with the face behind the face of our company: Chris Cone. 

Let’s start with a riddle. Who has seen more wilderness than the average American, has travelled thousands upon thousands of miles of mountainous terrain, and lives in a 2D world? It’s not Chris Cone, if that’s what you’re thinking. It is, however, the child of Chris Cone. Not a real child, but a brain-child… otherwise known as, our logo! 

Our iconic logo is the first thing that catches the attention of our customers. We want our squirrel to be a beacon of hope that a runner might recognize in the middle of an ultra race, providing a glimmer of redemption for those chafe-ridden feet and thighs. 

Now, this logo didn’t just appear out of thin air. It was crafted and re-crafted, by our very own Chris Cone. “Thornley asked me to come up with something three years ago, which was the squirrel, and the overall look… I have a personal connection to where this story began, because I used to work for Chris Thornley when I first moved to Flagstaff, 10 or 11 years ago, so I know who Squirrel is, and I ride bikes with him and everything.” 

Anybody who knows Chris Thornley knows he has a sense of humor. Cone points out that anybody using Squirrel’s Nut Butter anti-chafe products also needs a bit of a sense of humor, so he is here to help connect the company to the customers. 

“Knowing Chris and his humor, kind of put things in perspective, and as I move through any concept, things just kind of pop out - colors, look, and I’m a huge typography person, so that’s a major design element that I bring to things.” 

While the brand itself has always remained the same, Cone is constantly tweaking things ever so slightly, honing things in and strengthening the connection between us and our customers. As we widen our shelves with new crops, Cone must also expand our branding to encompass a wider variety of products. 

"Sometimes coming up with the design for new products feels excruciatingly painful, but I think anything worthwhile is going to be like that. Since the initial branding has already been set, it's been challenging and fun to come up with the new product design. I think Saddle Butter was the first major redesign, and now we're working on a new product that's even more challenging." 

If you haven't already, check out our new Skin Restoration products that Cone is speaking of - Sariah Rose Body Butter, and The Naked Greek Body Butter.

When Cone isn't working on SNB design, he can probably be found riding his bike, or shoveling snow. 

Thanks for following along with our story. While we all wear many hats in the SNB office, we're all here for one reason - to keep you moving, comfortably & chafe-free! We'll see you out there!


Get To Know Us! Part II by Sarah Cotton

Get To Know Us! Part II by Sarah Cotton

Hello fellow Squirrels! Hopefully you read our last blog post, featuring our owner, Chris Thornley. If not, you should totally check it out on this blog page! We want you to know more about how we started, where we have come, and where we are headed. This week, our conversation is with Eric Senseman. Eric joined Squirrel’s about a year ago - in March of 2018. Roughly two and a half years into the birth of the company, Eric became the third employee. He chats with us about how he’s seen the company grow, and the role that it plays in the local community.

“Everyone here does a little bit of everything,” he tells me, “…which is fun. Chris started a company in a place where there aren’t a lot of great jobs, and he has created some great jobs, which is one of the very cool things about it. I think that’s what’s really cool about the way things are going for Squirrel’s Nut Butter, where Chris is able to support a local economy in Flagstaff, which is great.” 

Flagstaff, Arizona is the birthplace of Squirrel’s Nut Butter, and has witnessed and been the home to its growth over the last several years. While it’s not the birthplace of Eric, he does now reside in Flagstaff, and plays a large part in the community. A local elite trail runner and wearer of many hats at SNB, Eric’s contribution to the ultra-running community does not go unnoticed. If you don’t see Eric at an aid station of a local trail race wearing a massive Squirrel costume, you’ll likely see him crushing the race himself. 

Eric’s role at Squirrel’s involves acquiring and maintaining accounts, and, more broadly, to bring structure to the company. “Chris Thornley is very good with people, and with getting people excited, and a lot of important things when it comes to building a company, and my role has largely been making things a little more structured.” The ambassador program, for example, which many of you lovely people are a part of, is Eric’s baby. It’s things like these that help the company continue to grow. 

I ask Eric about how he has seen the company evolve since his involvement, which provides a comical sneak peek into the history of Squirrel’s. “My very first day was in Chris’ bedroom, which had been taken over for Squirrel’s Nut Butter purposes. So he moved his bedroom to the living room - so Stacy and Chris’ bed was in the living room, and then their bedroom was Squirrel’s Nut Butter - it took over. So I think my first two days were there, and where we are now is our 1500 square foot facility. His bedroom had the melters, it had everything.” To say the company has come a long way from these days is an understatement! 

Eric also makes note of the palpable increase in brand awareness in a short period of time. “I think the traction, in terms of awareness of the brand, there’s been a major increase in the last eight months, which is really cool to see.” From people recognising Squirrel’s at events, to athletes reaching out and wanting to support the company, the growth is exponential. 

“We’ve mostly been in the ultra-trail scene, and we have some exciting steps in that direction in the coming months. We’d like to start moving towards the marathon and road scene, and then longer term, move further into the triathlon world for example, endurance swimming events, cycling - mountain and road, endurance in particular.” (If you are a cyclist, or ever find yourself on a bike seat, our all-natural cycling salve is now out - Squirrel's Saddle Butter!) 

“Further ahead than that,” Eric continues, “the company was started for skin restoration purpose, so we’re getting back to that origin story, and expanding beyond just the sports world, where we currently have really exciting some projects going on!” 

“Further ahead than that,” Eric continues, “the company was started for skin restoration purpose, so we’re getting back to that origin story, and expanding beyond just the sports world, where we currently have really exciting some projects going on!”