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The Five Essentials of Climbing Skin Care

Five quick ways to maintain strong skin.

Splits and tears have kept the climbing tape business alive and well for decades. Whether you are screaming your way up razorblades, or simply trying to campus without tearing yourself a new one, skin maintenance is important. Bleeding tips may look sick on an Instagram story, but sending your proj definitely feels a heck of a lot sicker. Here are a few tips for your tips.


Your skin is an organ; care for it. Unfortunately, keeping your skin dry 100 percent of the time can create as many problems as it does solutions. If you are like many climbers, you wash your dishes with gloves and when your friends ask if you want to go swimming, you find an excuse quicker than a team-kid’s flash of the reset. Maintaining dry skin is helpful a lot of the time, but it can cause your skin to crack. Moisturizing with a non-wax-based moisturizer two-hours before you climb will give your skin the elasticity it requires to stay together when crimping your life away. No matter your skin type, moisturizing at night is a massive benefit. Utilizing skin salves as a vehicle for moisturizing is ideal.

Skin Salves:

When your skin is bruised and weeping, it is time to break out the climbing salve. Whether you are purchasing Joshua Tree or Bomber, climbing salves can mean the difference between no skin and a solid session. Generally, the skin that grows back is thinner, softer than what you would expect from normal skin. As such, it can be best to use when you really need new tips for the next day. Regardless, you can use it every evening if you wish and if you are climbing with a great frequency.

Sand Your Splits:

You may have seen this in a video. Danny Woods hanging out underneath the proj going to town with a block of sandpaper. Sanding tips is a great way to prevent splits. This is not to say that a person should perpetually sand their tips, however. The ideal time to sand is when your skin is made uneven by a burn on a boulder or after a session. The idea is to wear your skin down so that it grows back uniformly. If you have already split, this is ideal skin treatment.


Clean Skin:

An unsung hero of the skin maintenance world, keeping your skin clean with regular, non-wax-based bar soap degreases without softening. In this same vein, utilizing alcohol based products, such as Purel or simply rubbing alcohol as a method for cleaning skin is additionally useful. Be careful to not make your skin too dry, otherwise splits and tears may become more common. Always wash your skin directly after your climbing sessions. Scrub with warm water and rinse with cold.

Eat Well:

If you think about it, this makes sense. When you roll into KFC and chow down on a thick bunch of fried wings, things start to get sweaty. Of course there is grease on the food itself, its doused in oil to fry, but more importantly, as you digest your greasy food, your skin will sweat out that which it took in. If that’s grease then get ready to slide. Think of having good skin like you thought about keeping acne off of your face in high school. Oily and sugary foods lead to oily skin. This is not to say that you need to go Vegan to send hard, but it might be worth putting a little thought into what goes into your system.