The Bottom Line: ClimbSkin’s motto is, “Engineered for climbers, by climbers,” and the claim rings true. From its soothing and pleasant feel upon application to tender skin to the hydrated and regenerated skin it produces...without softening it!
What makes ClimbSkin different? It’s not wax-based like many similar products on the market. Wax sits on the skin for a long time, trapping moisture and slowing healing. ClimbSkin, however, is absorbed almost immediately and can actually be applied one to two hours before a climbing session to prevent splits and cracks and even reduce your hand sweat! That means less chalk, which also helps in preventing your hands from drying out as much. Apply it again after a climbing session on cracks, splits, flappers, blisters, punctures, and just general “thin skin" pads. It absorbs almost instantly, and by the next morning your skin will be noticeably rejuvenated and ready for sending. It’s small 1-ounce size makes it compact enough to fit in any crash pack or pocket, but it is powerful enough that a 1-ounce can last for months, even with daily use.
We climbers care a lot about our skin. Well, that is we do once we’ve thoroughly trashed it into a state of submission and realize we need it to heal before we can climb again. Nothing is worse than when your body and mind is stoked but your skin just isn’t. As a rock climber who tends to finds myself on granite more often than not, I’ve tried just about every skin salve and healing balm on the market. Most were too greasy and left my hands noticeably oily for hours. Long before I became a climber, I loathed using lotion because of how greasy it left my hands, and climbing balls were no exception. Worse, they actually seemed to ruin any hardened base I had built.
I happened across Climbskin purely by accident, picking up a tub from my local rock gym’s lost and found bin that they were finally giving away.
I loved it immediately. I loved that it absorbed quickly and didn’t leave my skin feeling oily. Soon after, I took it on a two-week climbing trip to the Buttermilk Boulders of Bishop, California. The crystalline quartz monzonite is notoriously brutal on the skin, but I truly noticed a different in how quickly my skin healed while using ClimbSkin. My skin was able to sustain many days of climbing in a row without any splits and cracks. Plus, it seemed to sooth the stoning at the end of each day.
I now use it all the time, from everyday life training in the gym to climbing trips where time constraints really make that expedited healing power apparent. My climbing pack isn’t complete without a little tub of Climbskin.