Yes, men do it, too. They take care of their skin, and as climbers, we have to be especially careful about taking care of our skin or we won’t be climbing for long! Before you stop reading, I’m not peddling wares here. I’m serious about the skin issue. I went climbing with my buddy Ket yesterday. Ket doesn’t climb regularly, so she quickly developed sore, reddened skin on the palms of her hands. Her hands aren’t conditioned with calluses like mine are, but there was a major difference between her skin and my own that kept her from becoming blistered, scraped, scarred, and generally unhappy – the dryness factor. My hand are chonically dry and cracked because I don’t use any type of lotion on a regular basis. Ket’s hands were able to take the abuse without any bloodshed because she uses lotion all the time.
I know. Lotion isn’t the most exciting subject in the world, or so you might think. I thought it was a silly notion and no big deal, either, until yesterday. Normally, the only time I use any kind of skin cream at all is when I need some immediately after a hard outdoor bouldering or crag session. In those cases, I use ClimbSkin. I wouldn’t have to use nearly as much of it, though, if my hands were already regularly conditioned with some lotion.
The reasons I don’t like most lotions are varied and numerous. It stinks, it smells flowery, it’s strong, it’s greasy, it gets all over everything, it doesn’t soak in, and on and on I could go. Ket, however, worked as a manager at a drugstore and asked me to make a stop at Walmart before we ended our time together yesterday. She took me to the lotion aisle, where I thought she was going to buy some lotion for herself because I obviously don’t use it. She found a tiny section of lotions for men and immediately picked one out. “Here,” she said, “hold out your hand,” as she pumped the bottle to get some lotion out. I was very apprehensive. Once it was on my hand, I smelled it. It wasn’t flowery or stinky at all. As a matter of fact, it smelled great! It had a manly, fresh odor to it and so I humored her and began rubbing it all over my hands. Even though it smelled great, I was very skeptical that it would actually soak in and was already thinking of where I’d seen the last open container of those hand sanitizing wipes to get the grease off. They were at the front door of the store, as I recalled and kept rubbing the lotion around. Miraculously, the lotion actually soaked in immediately. Okay, now the real test… Was it greasy? NO! I rubbed my fingers together and they didn’t feel greasy. I rubbed my hand on Ket’s hand, and it didn’t feel greasy. I picked up the bottle of lotion and it didn’t feel greasy. I was amazed!
Ket and I walked out of the store arm-in-arm after Ket graciously bought me the bottle of lotion. I’m now addicted. I kept using it yesterday periodically, and have used it periodically today, if for nothing else but the smell. I love the smell! My hands are in much better shape already, too, but they have a long way to go. I went to Walmart and bought two more bottles of the lotion this morning so that I can have some in several places, including my truck. Yes, I’m going to have lotion in my truck. Trust me, it’s manly to take care of your skin. Try it. You’ll like it. You just have to find the right kind for your skin. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. People who have worked at drugstores are knowledgeable about what might work for you if you know what you want, or even if it’s just knowing what you don’t want in a lotion. Ket knew exactly what to get me based on what I don’t like about most lotions. I ended up with some Vaseline Men’s lotion. It’s awesome, and there are several “flavors”, so to speak. Look around and ask for help. You’ll be glad you did when your skin isn’t so dry that you get a flapper right away the next time you climb!