An unfortunate reality of climbing is that it can beat up our skin.  We’ve all been there hoping our skin will get less greasy, willing our skin to grow faster, or praying a split will heal over night all so we can give one more go on our project.  While climbers are definitely never going to stop obsessing over their skin, it turns out a lot of our habits are actually superstitious and can either be tweaked or avoided all together by simply being proactive about our skin care.

By being proactive about our skin care, we can make a huge difference in the quality of skin we grow and how long our skin can stand up to the abuse of climbing.  This was Justin Brown’s goal in founding Rhino Skin Solutions, and today we have an excerpt from Justin’s TrainingBeta Podcast episode in which he talks about one of the most common climber skin obsessions: keeping our skin dry.  Justin sheds some light on exactly what goes on when we get our skin wet or wash our hands and what we should actually be doing to keep our skin in good condition.

Give it a read yourself and if you like what you see be sure to check out the full episode and transcript by clicking through below.  Then, after you’ve learned all about how to care for you skin be sure to follow Justin’s advice and get yourself some Rhino Skin Solutions products!

Justin Brown of Rhino Skin on Keeping Your Skin Dry

Neely Quinn: Yeah, that’s a good idea! But speaking of dishes, that’s an interesting topic. I use dish soap from Whole Foods. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know if it actually cleans my stuff, but when I go to my brother’s or some other place where they have Dawn or a normal dish soap, my hands actually hurt because they get so dry. I’m wondering if you have any advice or thoughts on that?

Justin Brown: Yeah sure. So, I am a chef as well. Well, I now just do Rhino, but I used to run some restaurants. One of the things that you get to do as a chef is wash dishes. At restaurants we have really caustic degreasers, and I would get home from a hard night in the restaurant and my hands would be so dry, because I was just using these commercial degreasers to wash dishes, wash the floors, wash the skins, wash everything. It was kind of cool because I’m a super sweaty hand person, and they would be really dry the next day when I went rock climbing. But in retrospect, that’s not always that good, because your skin is overly dry and it’s more apt to tear or get abraded or just slip off holds. I would say the dish soap, like Dr. Bronner’s, or more natural dish soap- if you are worried about your hands getting too dry, it’s probably the better option. Dawn, and that type of dish soap, they all have “Super concentrated, use 1/3 of the amount!”, so it is going to dry your hands out.

The better thing to do, would be- I mean, getting a nice natural dish soap is great. It’s probably going to treat your hands better. But a different way you can go is wash dishes and then put on a skin conditioner like Rhino, because that will add all the nutrients back into your skin that you need. Just rinse your hands really well so there is no more soap on your hands, and then if you put on the Repair Cream, you are going to put oil back onto your hands, which you need, you’re going to put moisture in there, and then you’re going to get some good nutrients in there as well.

Neely Quinn: Right- it’s counterintuitive because we think our hands should be as dry as can be, but the moisture, the oil on our hands actually protects them, right?

Justin Brown: Exactly. It protects it and it helps your hands heal. If your hands don’t have any moisture and don’t have any oil, they’re not going to heal. They’re basically just dead.

Neely Quinn: So obviously you can wear dish gloves while you are watching dishes, but the same can be said about all the soaps and shampoos that we use in the shower. I don’t think that most of us are going to wear dish gloves in the shower. So I think the same can be said about not using super harsh soaps or shampoos on your body, right?

Justin Brown: Yeah, for sure. I think that’s pretty valid. If you read directions for like, I guess people use body butters and body lotions and stuff, they all say as soon as you get out of the shower, towel dry, and then apply the lotion. What that’s doing is those thicker creams and stuff are basically, we’re back to the occlusive thing. They’re trapping that moisture inside your body from the shower. So you just want to work on that, and you know, as soon as you’re done washing dishes, as soon as you’re done taking a shower, if you put lotion on your hands, you’re going to get a clean layer of oil and it’s going to trap moisture in your hands and kind of get your skin right back to that optimal environment.

Full Episode/Transcript: TBP 081 :: Skin Care for Climbers with Justin Brown of Rhino Skin Solutions

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(photo courtesy of Nathan Gerhardt)

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TrainingBeta is a site dedicated to training for rock climbing. We provide resources and information about training for routes, bouldering, finger strength, mental training, nutrition for climbers, and everything in between. We offer climbing training programs, a blog, interviews on the TrainingBeta Podcast, personal training for climbing, and nutrition for climbers.

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