In the world of rock climbing, having tough skin on your hands and fingertips is crucial to success. You literally won’t get very far (or high as the case may be) if you have to deal with cuts, cracked skin, or even the dreaded flapper now and then. This is why having regular rock-climbing hand care and skincare regimen is important. It helps to keep the skin on your hand’s fingers sturdy but pliable so they don’t tear or rip under the strain. If you are just getting started with rock climbing and are looking for tips and advice regarding rock climbing skincare and hand care, then this list is for you.
8 Rock Climbing Hand Care and Skin Care Tips
Cuts and scrapes, cracked and torn skin, as well as other skin-related injuries on the hands, are preventable. Just make sure that you observe the different rock climbing skincare and hand care tips below and you’re bound to notice some improvement on the skin on your hands and fingers in a few days.
1. Moisturize Your Hands before Climbing
Experts recommend that you moisturize your hands one or two hours before your climbing session. This will help make sure that your skin has absorbed all the moisture it needs, keeping it well-hydrated and elastic, and ready for pulling down on those holds.
Along this line, you’ll want to steer clear of wax-based moisturizers since these will leave your hands feeling greasy and slippery, which is possibly the worst condition your hands can be in when rock climbing.
2. Consider Your Choice of Climbing Chalk
Choosing the right climbing chalk is an essential aspect of good rock climbing hand care. There are three main types of climbing chalks, namely: (1) liquid chalk, (2) chalk that contains a drying agent, and (3) chalk without a drying agent. The characteristics and features of the last two types of chalk can be derived from their names, with the drying agent in question most likely to be silicon-based. Chalks that don’t contain any drying agent are generally 100% magnesium carbonate.
Liquid climbing chalks are combinations of magnesium carbonate and alcohol and is considered to be the most drying type of climbing chalk. When applied to your hands, the alcohol evaporates very quickly and takes with it any moisture on the skin; hence, leaving only chalk behind.
Concerning use, some climbers use a combination of liquid chalk and chalk containing a drying agent, applying the former followed by the latter. Although this is an excellent way of removing excess moisture from your hands, it can leave your hands very dry and devoid of any oils and moisture it needs repair itself after the climb.
Regardless, you’ll want to stick to the brand and type of chalk that does not only keep your hands dry and effective when climbing but at the same time keeps them healthy and protects them from over-drying and cracking. Besides, avoid the habit of constantly chalking up or standing with your hands in your chalk bag while on the ground.
3. Wash Your Hands after Climbing
A very important part of any rock climbing skincare and hand care regimen is to wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap after climbing. This will help to remove germs, bacteria, and even viruses that you may have picked up while making your way through every climbing holds on the wall. It will also help remove excess chalk on your hands which will continue to dry up your skin even after climbing.
4. Moisturize after Washing or Bathing
Even bath soaps have harsh ingredients in them that can strip away moisture from our skin. This is why it is recommended that you moisturize your hands, face, and neck after showering after a climbing session.
5. Heal Your Injuries
Cuts, split tips, and even the dreaded flapper happens even after you’ve developed tough skin on your hands. When these happen, it is best to treat the injury right away. Clean the wound with clean, running water, apply some ointment, and then wrap it up with some bandages or climbing tape.
6. File Your Skin
Use a sandpaper file to flatten and smooth out your calluses. Otherwise, they can catch on climbing holds and fray or rip.
7. Moisturize before Sleeping
The importance of moisturizing cannot be stressed enough, so aside from moisturizing pre- and post-climb, you’ll also want to moisturize before hitting the sack. There are also climbing salves and balms which you can use. These have unique formulations that will not only moisturize your skin but will also soothe and relax tired muscles.
8. Drink and Eat Right
Make it a habit to eat right and drink plenty of fluids because this is an essential part of any rock climbing skincare regimen. The proper diet and nutrition for climbers are designed to help them climb stronger and longer, but it also helps to keep their skin well-hydrated so that it doesn’t easily dry up and crack.
Q: How do you take care of your hands after rock climbing?
It is important to wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap after rock climbing. Those different types of climbing holds may be harboring germs or even viruses left behind by other climbers. Post rock climbing hand care also necessitates the need to moisturize in order to help keep hands supple and aid in the repair of damaged skin tissues.
Q: Is rock climbing bad for your hands?
In terms of skin care, rock climbing indeed causes damages to skin and buildup of calluses on the hands. Cuts and bruises can also happen from time to time when you’re climbing in the outdoors where holds are sharp and unpolished. However, these are considered to be pretty normal and doesn’t even bother long-term climbers.
Q: Should I wear gloves while rock climbing?
Aside from helping improve your grip on climbing holds and climbing ropes, wearing a pair of climbing gloves helps to protect your hands from cuts, bruises, and other minor injuries you may incur from rock climbing. If these kinds of injuries don’t bother you at all, then wearing gloves while rock climbing isn’t necessary.
Globo Surf Overview
Rock climbing can take its toll on your hands and skin. This is why it’s very important to have a rock-climbing hand care routine to ensure that the skin on your hands stay supple so that they don’t easily crack or break. A regular rock climbing skincare regimen will not only ensure that your skin is protected from damage, but it also ensures that you will spend less time recovering from cuts and bruises so you can spend more time climbing.