Doc’s Skincare Product Review- Sunscreen and Chamois Cream

It’s possible I have the most sensitive skin on the planet.

And living in Florida where it’s hot and sunny year round, that can be more than a bit of a challenge.  Sunscreen is absolutely crucial, but nearly every brand I’ve ever used causes my skin to break out in either adolescent acne, or a rash that can range from looking like bug bites all the way to chicken pox.

See?  This was the result of a bad sunscreen experience about a year back.

allergic reaction rash

Another “fun” side effect of having such sensitive skin is that products that are designed to prevent chaffage can also cause a rash or irritation that causes my bum to look more like a baboon’s than a normal human.

In fact, my husband has dubbed the effect “hyena ass.”  I’m not posting a picture of that, you’ll need to use your imagination.  It’s bad.

So when I interviewed Coner Mullervy for Trail and Tarmac and he mentioned Doc’s SkinCare chamois cream as being his absolute favorite, I decided to do a bit of research.

From Doc’s website:

At Doc’s Skincare, we’re committed to making the highest quality and longest lasting natural skincare products for serious athletes who demand the most from their bodies.

They just developed their latest product, a SPF 30 sunscreen, and are well known for their natural Chamois Cream,  that can also be used to prevent chaffage on other parts of your body.

Naturally, I had to try both.  Here’s what I thought.

Doc’s Natural Sunscreen

The Claim:  Broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection with safe minerals

Decrease your risk of sun damage, skin cancer and premature aging with the all natural minerals.  Doc’s Natural Sunscreen safely and effectively blocks damaging UVA & UVB using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Decrease your exposure to bizarre and harmful chemicals found in store brands.

Docs Sunscreen

What I Thought:

This stuff is absolutely incredible.  It’s a spreadable formula (rather than a lot of the sprayable ones on the market), that’s very liquid-y and absorbs easily.  The sunscreen is fragrance free, and the consistency makes it easy to apply, see where you’ve applied.  It blends quickly and doesn’t leave any sticky, oily, or crunchy residue.

I’ve used this nearly a dozen times now, on everything from short 30 minute runs to 3 hour rides.  Most recently I wore it this past weekend during a half marathon where I was outside for a total of 5 hours without applying (not recommended).

Not only have I not sunburned even once, but my skin has remained pimple free and not irritated in the least.

The best part?  This isn’t one of those sunscreens that makes sweat pour off of you into your eyes and then burns like hell.

I’m a sweaty girl no matter what, but this stuff stays put and definitely does the job.

Doc’s Natural Chamois Cream

The Claim:  Naturally formulated chamois cream with tea tree oil

Longer lasting, natural protection against chafing. No toxic chemicals that penetrate your skin. No petroleum-products to clog your pores and eat up your padded cycling shorts. Just safe, natural & proven ingredients to protect your butt and enhance your performance. Doc’s Natural Chamois Cream with tea tree oil is the chamois cream alternative with over 95% all-natural ingredients.  And this stuff is guaranteed!

Docs chamois cream

What I Thought:

I’ll admit, once I opened this bad boy up, I was skeptical.  One of the ingredients is natural tea tree oil, which smells a little medicinal and ever so slightly like a really mild Vick’s Vapo Rub, and I couldn’t really imagine rubbing that all over my lady bits.

But hey, I’ll try anything once, so on a particularly hot ride last weekend I slathered up and set out for 45 miles in the 90 degree heat.

The formula of this cream is just that, creamy.  It reminds me of a whipped shea butter type product, only not oily at all.  It was just slightly tingly, but not unpleasant, and the sensation went away almost immediately.

45 sweaty miles later I peeled off my favorite spandex tri shorts and inspected the goods.

First thing I noticed right off the bat, my bottom wasn’t nearly as red as it usually gets.  While I could still see where my saddle had been positioned, I wasn’t dealing with baboon butt right off the bat.

Where I REALLY noticed the difference though, was over the next few days.  Typically following a long ride I can expect some serious irritation on the nether bits that will sometimes even blossom into a bit of a rash complete with clogged pores.  After use Doc’s Chamois Cream, nothing.  My skin looked normal!

Not quite ready to shout their praises just yet, I’ve it three more times since, on rides both long and short with similar results.  The addition of this cream made for really comfortable riding conditions, and have kept my nether region in tip top shape from a chafing perspective.

My ONLY caution- if you are someone who saves your… ahem… bits, defiantly don’t apply it right after shaving.

That pleasant tingle?  Kind of a raging furnace if you happened to cut yourself and give yourself razor burn.

Otherwise, two thumbs up on this product!  I’ve also started using it on hot spots on the bottom of my feet, and under the strap for my heart rate monitor (typical areas that chafe a bit for me), and have had great results.

So moral of the story, if you’ve never tried Chamois Cream, TRY THIS ONE.  Chances are, you’ll love it!


So readers, now it’s your turn.  Do you suffer from hyena ass?  What sorts of products do you use to help with chafing?  Favorite brand of sunscreen?  Respond in the comments!

 

Gym Bag Beauty Essentials

boob sweat

I was really fortunate to “retire” over a year ago now, and spent a solid 6 months doing as little as possible.  But boy I had a clean house.

Mid-year last year I got bored, and during yoga class one day I had a total epiphany.  I realized, “I could get paid to write.”

I started picking up side jobs here and there, and before I knew it, I now have a full time job as a paid writer.  Which is awesome, but has totally put me back in a position of having to actually plan my days and be ready for anything to get in my workouts.

I feel like keeping up with my fitness can be as much about great planning as it is about motivation.  Having everything I need to fit in a workout handy and with me in my gym bag is how I get it done.

These are my five must have gym bag beauty essentials, and a few of my favorite products for every price range.

Make Up Removing Towelettes

I don’t usually wear a ton of make up, but if I do I don’t want it running down my face while I burpee.  These handy pre-moistened wipes get it off quick, and without irritating my sensitive skin.  That way I don’t end up looking like I have two black eyes, or with pimples all over my face.

Aveeno Ultra Calm Make Up Removing Towelettes– $8- Great for all skin types, and guaranteed not to irritate sensitive skin.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes -$15-  Infused with Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, you will remove make up and protect skin at the same time.

Hair ties/Headband

I can’t stand having my hair in my face.  It’s long, I use a lot of product in it, and I’m a sweater.  Like, a big time sweater.  I need it back, and I need all the little pieces to stay away too.  I usually use a hair tie and a headband to keep it out of the way.

Dye Ties -$5- I love these becasue they’re fun and colorful, and don’t cause my hair any damage.

Riviera No Slip Wide Active Headwrap– $12-  If I’m not sporting a nice thick Lululemon headband, this is my go to choice.

Deodorant

Like I said, I’m a sweater.  So if I’m hitting a yoga class on my way to a meeting with a client, I absolutely have to have deodorant in my bag to make sure I’m so fresh and so clean clean (and I don’t smell like a foot when I’m done.)

Secret Clinical Strength Clear Gel Antiperspirant and Deodorant– $8- This is my favorite drugstore brand with super smell  and sweat stopping power.

Dr. Hauschka Natural Deodorant– $23-  As an alternative, this one is little pricy, but totally natural without any controversial chemicals and smells great!

Dry Shampoo

Again sweater here.  My expert tip?  Blow-dry the sweat out of your hair (yeah, it sounds gross but this is reality folks) and then use dry shampoo to perk up your locks.  It smells great, will give you shine and volume, and cuts down on the number of times you need to wash your hair every week.

Batiste– $8 full size- Variety of scents for every hair type.

Macadamia Natural Oil Volumizing  Dry Shampoo– $25- Oil absorbing, adds volume and texture to every hair type.

Body Spray

I’m not a huge fragrance person, but I love something that smells fresh, clean, and a maybe a little fruity or citrusy.  These are two of my favorites that I use on the regular.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Mist– $12

Philosophy Pure Grace All Over Body Spritz-$26


Do you have any gym bag beauty must haves?  What one product do you swear by?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

October Birchbox Review

October Birchbox Getting stuff in the mail is about the coolest thing ever, and honestly, it’s one of the reasons I started subscribing to Birchbox a year ago.  Sorry I’ve been lazy so far and haven’t done any reviews, but starting with October I’ll be sharing my box with you, my readers.

If you’re not familiar with Birchbox, here’s the skinny.  It’s a monthly beauty subscription box that’s $10 for ladies and $25 for dudes that comes stocked with five samples based on your beauty profile.  The profile is pretty in depth, asking you about your skin type, skin care routine, make up preferences, hair type and style, as well as your style preferences.

In my case, every month I get at least one thing that I completely love.  Several times I’ve received full sized products valued at $20 or more in my box making it more than worth the money for me.

And this month, I totally discovered a new favorite thing.  So without further ado, here’s this month’s unboxing!

october_wb_46_385x385

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint
jouer_beautyblenderkit_value_900x900

The oil-free tint with an SPF 15 went on smooth and pretty, and was a great match to my skin tone.  I applied mine over my normal SPF 30 moisturizer, because I live in Florida and am outside all the darn time.  What I really liked about this product was the matte finish.  I actually opted against using any powder over top as it left my skin with just enough coverage and without any greasy shine.  Good stuff.  But, at $38 for the full size (or $49 for the set pictured above), it’s a bit pricey for my liking.

Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Mud

miracle skin

I’m really really picky about the way a product smells, especially if it’s going on my face.  This one, for me, was over before it started because it was stinky stuff.  There was no way I was going to be able to stand to have it on my face for 10 minutes.  $38 for a jar of poo? No thanks, I don’t care what it does to my skin.

ModelCo Power Lash Long Wear Mascara

modelco mascara

 

My eyelashes are pretty tiny, so I’m always looking for a great mascara.  While I loved the wand on this sample, I didn’t much like the formula.  It was super thick, and in the time it took me to apply one coat it began getting really clumpy.  After a second coat my lashes were thick, but to the point of looking more like tarantula legs and less like fat sexy bitches.  While the formula did last all night without any smudging and only a tiny bit of flaking, it was difficult enough to apply that I tossed this after one use.  At $20 for a full size, I’ll stick with my normal brand.

Essential Elements Wake Up Rosemary Shower Gel

essentialelements_wakeup_rosemaryshowergel900x900

 

Holy mother of God this stuff smelled strong enough to tranq a horse.  If you could get past the overwhelming herbal fragrance that smelled like a combo day spa/anapestic wash, the texture was super smooth and it worked into a decent lather.  Like I said, I’m really picky about scent so this was too overpowering for me, but if you’re into spa quality body care it’s a nice choice at $19 for the full size.

Sage + fasten Onward Eau de Parfum 

sage_fasten_onward_eaudeparfum_900x900

If you like light, fruity, fun fragrances this baby is for you.  The sample I received was in a nice sized roller ball applicator, and I pretty much instantly fell in love.  It made me feel like I was breathing in sunshine, and I would wear it all summer long.  As a Birchbox exclusive you can only get it from them, but at only $50 for the full size, I’ll be buying this to wear next summer.

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator 

vasanti_brightenup_new_900x900

I saved the best for last with this product.  I am seriously in LOVE!  I love a good face cleanser that exfoliates as it cleans, and my favorites leave my skin soft and bright.  This one fits every bill.  It has a mild scent and a really creamy texture.  The exfoliant in the product is microderm crystals, which give it a really amazingly fine gritty feeling that gives a deep clean while still being gentle on your skin.  After the first use I was hooked, and am swapping out my old cleanser for this one.  Even more impressive is the affordable $34 for a predicted four to six months of uses.  Love love love.  Winner winner chicken dinner.

Your turn readers!  Do you subscribe to Birchbox or another beauty box?  Do you love it?  Tell me about it or link me to your reviews below!

Product Review- Tide Sport with Febreeze

It’s no secret that I work out.  A lot.  I brag about that here all the time.  What I don’t usually throw out there is that I SWEAT.  And I’m not talking normal person at the gym sweat.  We’re talking I usually look like I went swimming by the time I’m done with my workout sweat.

About a month ago I realized that my usual laundry tricks just weren’t cutting it for getting the stank out of my gym clothes.  Especially my socks and any moisture-wicking fabric (like what all of my capris, sports bras and most of my tanks are made out of) were really holding odors.  I used to swear by white vinegar or Oxyclean, but they just weren’t touching it anymore.

I went in search of something that might help, and was thrilled to find an option at my local supermarket.  Tide Sport with Febreeze!

Genius in a bottle!

Genius in a bottle!

The verdict?  This is GOOD STUFF.  To begin, it costs the same as other versions of Tide, which is a nice difference from some of the specialty detergents I had seen online.  I didn’t want to have to spend twice as much to wash my gym socks.

Additionally, the product smells great.  It has a fresh scent without being florally or overwhelming.

And finally, it works great on the funk.  I’ll throw it out there that it doesn’t have any whitening properties, so on socks and whatnot you’ll want to use Oxyclean or bleach (whichever you prefer) for brightening.  But as far as odor elimination goes, I’ve found this product to be 100% effective.  Even on my super stinky workouts (say bike rides outside in 100 degree heat), or extra stinky circumstances (soaking wet gym clothes that sat in my bag in my 100+ degree car ALL DAY) the odors were eliminated.

So this former fat kid gives Tide Sport five stars.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

And feel free to recommend your fabric fixes as well!  I’m always looking for ways to de-funk!

**Please note- this is just my two cents.  It’s not a product endorsement.  I didn’t get paid to do this, I just know I have stinky friends who might benefit too!**

Where DO you get those workout clothes?!

It would seem I’m fashionable and shit.  At the gym anyway.  Outside of the gym there’s a good bet that I’m not wearing pants.  And if I did manage to put on pants, there’s definitely no bra, and my hair is totally not brushed.  It’s like one of those “you pick two” combos.  You don’t get it all at once.

But inside the gym, apparently I’m cute.  I’ve been asked pretty much every day this week where I got my top/capris/socks/shoes/headband/yoga mat/fill in any other random thing by fellow lady sweaters.

Since I frequently wonder the same thing about great gear I see at the gym, I thought it was time to throw my shortlist of places to shop out to the interwebz for your paycheck-spending pleasure.

Fabletics

I’ve done a few product reviews on their stuff here and here and am still really happy with my stuff.  I first ordered from them back in December and STILL wear my first pair of Lima Capris at least once a week.  The quality is decent, the price point is great, and lately they’ve been coming out with so many fun patterns I get nothing but compliments when I sport them at the gym.  I was wearing these earlier this week and got asked more than once where I got them from:

Fabletics Capris

Athleta

I basically love everything Athleta has ever made.  I’ve done a product review for them here, but can say without hesitation that their stuff is amazing.  They also are on the fun printed capri bandwagon, and while their stuff can be a bit pricy, they have a GREAT sale section on their site.  As an insider tip, sign up for their emails and you will frequently will receive offers for an extra 20% off of clearance.  I can’t say enough about the quality of their stuff.  In addition to a great product, their site boasts some really helpful product reviews, and they have free shipping on orders over $50.

Lululemon

Probably not surprisingly, I’m also a big fan of Lululemon.  While I will say, at the moment I am purchasing much more Athleta than Lulu, I have several pieces from them that make up the core of my fitness wear.  I get constant compliments on my Wonder Under Crops every time I wear them, and my favorite sports bras are from Lululemon.  They are pricy, and rarely have a great “sale” section on their site, but there ARE Lululemon outlet’s in the world, and I highly suggest checking them out for great deals on the most popular items.

Target C9 by Champion

There’s something to be said for stopping at the store for eggs and bananas and walking out with a cute new workout outfit while you’re at it.  Then again, it’s also physically impossible to go to Target without spending at least $100, and my affinity for their cute, cheap workout stuff is probably a big reason why.  If you haven’t checked them out lately, pop into their activewear department and be prepared to be greeted by bright colors, and a host of fashionable options that mimic the popular Lululemon and Athleta styles.  While the quality isn’t nearly as good, if you’re looking for something fun at a low price point, I always recommend Target for your fix.

Hope my short list gave you a fun new idea or a place to try to shop.  What about you?  What’s your favorite place for great athletic apparel?

Have you tried Fabletics yet?

I’m a sucker for great workout clothes.   Actually sucker is probably not a strong enough word, I’m a complete workout apparel whore.  Seeing as I’m at the box daily and doing workouts on top of those sessions, I go through a lot of spandex in a given week.  I’m always looking for brands that are both high quality and affordable, and as I’ve reviewed here before, Fabletics has some great stuff.

Almost as enticing as the great style, selection and quality of their products are the awesome price point AND rewards program they have.

For around $50 you can get a complete outfit, including 2-3 pieces.  First time buyers also get a 50% off discount, so really you can’t lose trying it out for just $25.

Additionally, you earn rewards points for every piece you purchase and review, and at 1000 points (which doesn’t take long if you love this stuff like I do!) you get a free outfit.

In fact, I JUST received this beauty today in the mail for FREEEEEEE (no shipping, no tax, nothing), because I had earned enough points!

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 9.55.41 AM

 

Ready to give it a try?  Check it out at Fabletics (my referral link, another great way to earn points), and let me know if you have any questions!  At this point I own 6 pairs of capris, pants and shorts, 4 sports bras and 6 different tops from them.  Generally they fit very true to the sizes on their size charts, are great quality, and exactly as described.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Product Review: Fabletics

I am always on the lookout for new, high quality, fashionable fitness gear.  That said, I also HATE to shop.  I would 100% rather order online and be done with it than brave the crowds at the stores, especially during the holidays.

Lately, the number of companies that offer a monthly subscription for around $50 that will ship you fabulous finds that have been matched to your personality profile based on a quiz is really growing.  I probably get an email a day from folks trying to sell me jewelry, shoes, lingerie or fitness apparel.

Admittedly, I’ve tried several of them.  Some with great results, some sub-par and were cancelled quickly.

Most recently, I decided to give Fabletics a try.  Once their promotions flooded my facebook newsfeed, advertising 50% off my first outfit giving me a complete, high-quality head to toe fitness look for only $25, I couldn’t resist.

At first glance, the website is pretty standard.  As a first time visitor you create a username and password, take a quick quiz indicating your activity, style and size preferences, and then are taken to a page with several outfits that the site feels fit your style.

From there though, they get fancy.  There are at least 50 outfit “packages” available.  Some with two pieces (top and bottom) and some with as many as four, including nice extras like sports bras, scarves, leg warmers and so on.  You can purchase the outfit for a flat price, and as a first time shopper take 50% off the entire order.

If you don’t like any of their endless outfit combinations, you can also choose individual pieces and will get 50% off your first piece.  To save the most money, I highly recommend the outfit option, as the bottoms typically run around the cost of an entire outfit when not pre-paired.

From there, each month you have a chance to purchase an outfit.  Your matches are sent to you on the 1st of the month, and you have until the 10th to decide whether to buy, or skip a month.

I’m on month three and waiting for my December shipment as we speak.  It should be here by the end of the week and I’m beyond excited!

At this point, I’ve received two full outfits, both of which I LOVE!  I will review the individual pieces below, but if you don’t want to read further, I’ll sum it up by saying I HIGHLY recommend this brand.  The quality is extremely good, and for the price you can’t beat it.

Remember, they are offering 50% off first outfits, and if you get there thru this link, I will get an incentive for having sent you.  “Members” get their own link, and every new person who signs up and takes advantage of the offer gets the referring member 200 points.  1000 points is a new outfit, so there’s all kinds of ways to get a great deal with this company.

Asaro Legging- Black

I don’t normally do a long pant, but I loved the top paired with these and the reviews online were really favorable.  I am SO glad I went with this purchase.  These are really really high quality.  They were marked as “moderate” compression, and I agree with that.  They are very soft, very stretchy, and fit more loosely in the lower leg than I anticipated.  They have what I would call a medium rise, coming just below my belly button.

I followed their size chart, and as I am pretty much a size 12 exactly I ordered the XL and they fit perfectly.  The wide waistband on the pants eliminates any muffin top effect.

They are a tiny bit long on me (I’m 5’6”), but because they are so narrow at the ankle it just creates a kind of fun bunched effect.

Love these pants.  The quality is similar too if not the same as what I’ve found with Lululemon and Athleta at a fraction of the price.

Lima Capri- Black

As I’m a capri girl at heart, in month two I went with this option and am even more impressed than I was with the leggings.  These are marked as maximum compression, and while I don’t consider them to be comparable with a true compression product, they are noticeably tighter and have less give than the legging (in a good way).

Like the legging, they fit to a tee, have a moderate rise, and are made a very high quality moisture-wicking fabric.  I was pleased with how “heavy” the capris felt, and yet how moisture wicking the material was in practice.  I can see these lasting for a very long time, and can say nothing but good things about them.

Utopia Tank- Heather Gray

utopia tank

I am in LOVE with this top.  I want it in every color.  Except maybe the pepto bismol pink… but to each their own.

This was one that looked cute online, but the photo’s can’t do the quality or fit of this piece justice.  The fabric is this great blend, that somehow manages to have a little meat on it, but also be extremely lightweight and wicking.  It is a super flattering cut, offering lots of support up top with the thick straps, built in bra, and criss cross back, and then flaring out nicely to be really fashionable at the same time.

I’m a D cup, and was able to remove the padded cups and wear this for a low impact workout without any additional bra.  When I wear it to Crossfit or for any sort of running or jumping however, I would wear a bra underneath for extra support.

The top had some nice extra touches as well, including a side pocket that was perfect iphone size, allowing for easy storage during a gym session.

Leon Tank- Mint/Cerulean

leon tank

Another winner from Fabletics, but for different reasons than the Utopia tank.  This tank is made from super soft, breathable, fitted material.  Usually, I wouldn’t like something this tight, but again the thickness and quality of the fabric did wonders to smooth out my tummy imperfections and fit perfectly.  I love this top both for working out, and for hanging out because it’s just so darn comfortable.  The wide tank style straps make it easy to pair any sports bra with it.

 

**Please note, this is not a paid review.  These opinions are all my own and I won’t be compensated in any way for them, outside of the “rewards points” should you purchase an outfit.**