If you’re a regular climber, whether on bouldering, indoors or out up a mountain in all weather, you’ll know how much your hands can suffer after a session at the wall or on the rock.
In this article we take a look at what you can put on your hands to help them cope with the stress and strain of climbing.
Climbing chalk is essential to keep sweaty hands from slipping off the rock, but it can be very hard on skin. Many chalks contain drying agents, fillers and other impurities or additives, which can aggravate dry or damaged skin. Look for an ultra refined chalk without extras, to give your hands good grip without damaging your skin.
You might not think soap is part and parcel of climbing products, but think about how important it is to clean your hands! You need to wash chalk off thoroughly, and then clean any little rips, flaps or grazes that your skin has suffered during a climb, to reduce the risk of infection. Infected hands means no climbing until you’ve healed.
Pick a soap or wash that is Ph-neutral if possible, as that’ll be gentlest on damaged or sore skin. That means avoiding usual household soap in favour of soap-free washes, and preferably finding one that doesn’t contain sulphates or perfumes as well.
We suggest: extra-gentle Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
The most important product when you’re trying to keep the skin of your hands in the best possible condition! Use a good, rich, oil-based balm regularly, not just after climbing. You need to build up resilience and strength in your hands, protect skin from damage and keep it soft, supple and well-moisturised, so make sure you’re using moisturiser every day, even between climbs. Apply an hour or two before a session, and let the balm sink in. Apply immediately after washing and drying your hands after a climb as well.
We suggest: Balmonds Skin Salvation balm
Balmonds Skin Salvation contains natural ingredients which actively support skin regeneration and repair, as well as helping to prevent any tiny flaps, splits or cuts on your hands from getting infected. It’s made with naturally antimicrobial olive oil and minimally-refined beeswax, both of which can protect skin from bacterial or fungal infections. The beeswax is also effective at forming a fine semi-occlusive barrier over sore skin, protecting it from further damage and moisture-loss. All in all, it’s a great solution for climbers’ hands, both as preparation before you climb, and to help soothe hands after you finish your session.
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
with calendula & chamomile
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.