How can skincare affect your performance? We asked Premax CEO Randall Cooper (Sports Physiotherapist B.Physio, M.Physio, FACP). Here's what he told us.
When it comes to taking a few seconds or minutes off your favourite loop most people look to log in more training miles, start a strength training program, spend an extra few thousand pounds on a new bike, or drop some weight. All those tactics can work, however, some of the smaller aspects of your regime such as the type of skin care that you use can make a difference to your cycling performance too.
Let me take you back to when I was working as a sports physiotherapist with the Australian Olympic Team and the Hawthorn AFL Football Club and rubbing all sorts of lotions and potions on athletes every day. Many of the products ‘worked’ – provided lubrication for massage, heated up aching muscles, sunscreen that prevented sunburn, or chamois creams that prevented saddle sores. They were functional and did an adequate job.
However, many of the athletes didn’t like the feeling of the creams on their skin and left them feeling greasy and uncomfortable. In the case of massage creams, some of my athletes would schedule their treatment early before a training, game or race so they could shower after treatment to get the cream off their skin.
For sunscreen, I met plenty of elite cyclists and triathletes who would knowingly get sunburnt during a race by not wearing sunscreen as they felt the greasy lotions didn’t allow their skin to breathe and it affected their performance. And cyclists would say that the chamois creams on the market were essentially just grease, with no skin-friendly ingredients. Ok. I listened and started Premax to address those concerns.
Good sports skincare products should provide you with three concurrent benefits; confidence, the ability to focus, and improvement of the condition of your skin.
Effective products will give you confidence, knowing that they won’t let you down when you need them most, and it applies to skincare too.
James Downing is an elite masters MTB and road cyclist from Australia. Here’s what he has to say about how the Premax Anti Friction Chamois Cream gives him confidence;
'As an elite cyclist, the requirements for me to be good on race day are the hours and kilometres that I do week in week out with my training. It is not uncommon for me to do 20,000km or more in a calendar year in all sorts of weather and as you could expect this puts a fair bit of stress on the body. I rely on the Premax Anti Friction Cream daily in order to ensure that the interaction between my body and the bike saddle is as comfortable as possible. Cycling is one of the hardest sports that you can do and knowing that you can rely on a product to protect your skin and allow you to perform as expected is a huge factor in the overall scheme of things.'
Cyclists need to focus, whether it be in a grand tour mountain stage, or dodging traffic in the city. Cycling & sports specific skincare that feels comfortable on your skin and allows it to breathe will help prevent psychological distraction by being uncomfortable in a layer of greasy cream.
George Pym is a professional cyclist for UK’s Madison Genesis. He says that the Premax Sport Sunscreen allows him to forget that he has sunscreen on allowing him to focus on his riding;
“It’s the best I’ve ever used. Just from a standpoint that once you’ve put it on and it sets in when you start sweating it doesn’t come off. So many get greasy and horrible, they get in your eyes and you can taste it. But not this.”
Maintain or Improve Your Skin
Cycling outdoors can be tough on your skin with areas of friction, and the skin can also sustain damage battling the elements such as the sun, cold and wind.
Jess Allen rides all year ‘round, in all sorts of weather conditions for World Tour Women’s Team Mitchelton Scott. Jess uses the Premax Weather Protection Facial Cream to keep her face in great condition;
'The Weather Protection Facial Cream is super great for our early spring races to protect our skin from the wind and the cold. It helps keep the skin healthy with breathable essential oils, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Shea Butter. It’s terrific at keeping our skin from drying out especially in the tough cold conditions we often race in.'
The right sports skincare can make a difference to your cycling experience and performance, whether you’re enjoying a ride on a Saturday morning with friends, or looking to podium at a World Tour race.
All the Premax products have been formulated by professionals, for athletes and the entire range is available at Wiggle.