There’s nothing quite like chafing to ruin a good cycle, training session or sports match. Caused by skin rubbing together or against fabric, or by sweat and dampness, this painful condition is compounded when muscles are well-developed and engaged in repetitive motions, so it is a particular bane of the lives of many sportspeople and athletes.
“Saddle sores have a huge impact on training and can play havoc with multiday stage racing, Friction Barrier Cream is an essential item for any cyclist”, says Robert Bateman, 3 times ABSA Cape Epic Finisher, and Ironman competitor.
Enter Wintergreen™ Friction Barrier Cream. It’s winning formula includes essential oils that calm, soothe and disinfect inflamed and irritated skin, while the barrier created by Shea butter prevents further chafing.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil and its many benefits were first discovered by sailors off the coast of South East Australia in the 18th Century, who made an infusion of leaves with a nutmeg aroma from a tree they named the Tea Tree. This tree was later classified as Melaleuca Alternifolia, and Australian businessman Arthur Penfold introduced the essential oil to the world.
Tea Tree oil is one of only two essential oils that can safely be applied undiluted to the skin. It has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is effective for treating a wide range of conditions including insect bites and stings, cuts, boils, abrasions, acne, lice, athletes foot, ringworm, urinary tract infections, asthma, and poor circulation.
The second essential oil in our Friction Barrier Cream is Eucalyptus oil. Also native to Australia, the early Aboriginals used the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree to heal wounds and burns, and prevent infections with its disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and immune-boosting properties. Unlike Tea Tree oil, it does need to be diluted in a carrier oil to prevent irritation to the skin. It is also widely used to treat colds, flu, coughs, sinusitis, bronchitis and laryngitis when rubbed on the chest or inhaled over a basin of steaming water, and eases body aches and muscle pain associated with the flu or exercise when massaged into the skin.
The final essential oil in Wintergreen™ Friction Barrier Cream is derived from our namesake – the Wintergreen plant. Wintergreen oil, with its strong minty scent, contains methyl salicylate, a compound in the same family as salicylate which is used to make Aspirin, and which shares the same pain-relieving properties. It has many healing properties, but we chose it for our Friction Barrier Cream specifically for its ability to effectively sooth and heal inflamed and irritated skin.
Because these three oils are made up of small molecules which are easily absorbed through the skin, they are blended with Shea Butter in Wintergreen™ Friction Barrier Cream. Shea Butter is produced from the oily kernels in the seeds of the Shea tree, native to East and West Africa. It’s large molecules mean it sits on top of the skin, creating a barrier which protects against skin damage, and softens, moisturises and tones the skin without clogging pores or causing breakouts.
Says Bateman, “When I am getting ready to go out on a ride I have a very simple check list - Helmet – check; Shoes – check; Wintergreen™ Friction Barrier Cream – check. I never leave home without it!”