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!

 

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March Goals

goals

Holy crap it’s March already.

Well, I mean, it’s almost March already.  It’s close enough that it’s time to take a minute and plan out my goals and decide exactly what I want to achieve for the month.

I’ve learned a lot of things along the way on this journey of mine, not just about weight loss but about overall success, and the most important thing is that I function better with goals and a plan.

Not having a traditional 9-5 job anymore means that I need to be especially motivated every day, and for me, the best way to do that is to have a clear idea of what I want to accomplish for the month.  From there I break it down into manageable chunks, and get it done!

March is going to be a big month for me from both a fitness and a professional standpoint.  I have my first official race of the season coming up on April 11th, so training will be particularly important, and I have a few professional ducks I want to get in a row to continue to advance my career as a health and wellness writer.

Here’s a break down of the big picture of what I’m going to accomplish next month.

March Wellness Goals:

  • Follow my half marathon training plan in preparation for the Iron Girl Clearwater 13.1 race on April 11th.  Generally speaking, this means 3 runs per week with my long run increasing in distance to 11 miles by the end of the month.
  • Maintain my strength training schedule.  Generally speaking this means 5x per week lifting weights.
  • Continue incorporating yoga a minimum of 1x per week with a stretch goal of 2x per week during the month.
  • On non-running days, ride my bike (2x per week).  The focus this month is continuing to build my base for the season, longest rides will be in the 40-50 mile range.  Continue to increase my strength, speed, and comfort riding with a group.
  • Continue to hone my nutritional efforts with a goal of a bit more fat/weight loss overall.  This means 5-6 meals per day to fuel my workouts, heavy on the veggies and protein, and no more than 1 “cheat meal” per week.  Booze no more than 1x per week.

March Professional Goals

  • Develop editorial calendar for my personal blog and post a minimum of 3x per week.  (Ya’ll may have noticed I’ve been slacking lately, and it’s because I have so much paid work coming in I get distracted).
  • Continue to work to develop my niche as a fitness/health/wellness/beauty blogger with a totally questionable sense of humor, and focus my personal writing in those areas.
  • Begin studying for and register for my personal trainer certification.  (As a fitness blogger, it would be awesome to have some creds to back it up, right?)
  • Explore other certification options that may be relevant to my professional development, and opportunities that might exist with these certifications (i.e., group exercise- are there opportunities to teach classes locally?  Yoga?  New OrangeTheory opening soon…)
  • Continue to grow my social followings with the goal of becoming a FitFluential Ambassador.  Goals- 50 more followers on Instagram for the month and 100 more on Twitter.  Do you follow me?  You totally should, I’m hilarious.  Check out the side bar to follow my pages!

While there’s a thousand more things I would love to accomplish, these are the goals I’ve set my sights on for March.

So now it’s your turn!  What are you going to accomplish this month?  Share your #1 goal with me, and upcoming race you have, or heck, anything else you want to chat about.

I want to know people!

I’m a Vanderkitten VIP for 2015!

Over a month ago I applied to be part of the Vanderkitten VIP team for 2015.

I’ll be honest with you kittens, I’m not sure what I was thinking.  Sure I’ve been having some awesome conversations with myself lately about getting back into racing, and my running and cycling is faster and more consistent than it’s ever been, but applying to be a sponsored athlete for 2015 might have been a *bit* of a stretch.

Until Sunday morning when I checked my email and saw this:

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.37.24 AM

Holy CRAP!  I’m in!!!

So check out just exactly how amazing this brand is:

Vanderkitten, “Clothing for women who kick ass”TM, was created to answer the demand for a compelling and empowering brand for women that goes against the “just add flowers” and the “shrink it and pink it” recipies that are so dominant in contemporary women’s active lifestyle apparel. In order to answer this call, we knew we had to be more than just people sitting in a cube penning your future. We had to become fully immersed in the culture of action sports and active lifestyle to develop the look and excitement that reflect what we see around us every day. This enables us to create a fantastic brand by directly creating a new path for women to live extraordinary lives; not settling for the ordinary.

Seriously?  Does it get any more “I am woman hear me roar” than that?  And I GET TO BE A PART OF IT FOR 2015!

I applied as a triathlete, but as I’m learning more about the program and how it works, it appears that there are many of us worldwide, and it’s really a support network for all different sports.

What this means for me from a training perspective is that I will need to work to shift my cardio in more a more specific swim/bike/run format.  I’ve already made the tweak this week to get my butt back in the pool, and will be doing 2x each discipline per week for the short term.  I’m going to continue with my weight training for the moment, but stay tuned as I’m sure there will be some fun changes and endless adventures as I plan my 2015 race season!

Also keep an eye out for some awesome race photos of me swimming, biking, and running with the kitteahs in 2015!

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.37.08 AM

*GASP* A Progress Picture

I’ve blogged about progress pics before.  If you’re too lazy to click the link (which I know most of you are because my analytics tell me so) the gist of it is, posting the “before” picture literally gives me a panic attack.  Like a palms sweating feel-like-I-might-burst-into-tears panic attack.

I don’t want to think about what I looked like before I started.  And like I posted this weekend, I really really really don’t want to consider the possibility that I will end up back there any time soon.

But ya’ll I’ve got to tell you, I am so so proud of myself here lately.  I posted a pic of me flexing at the gym yesterday to Facebook and got an overwhelmingly supportive response from my friends.  The best compliment was from a friend I haven’t seen in a long time who told me that I’m the fittest he’s ever seen me.  Since the last time he saw me was about two weeks before I raced a HALF IRONMAN, that’s saying something kittens.

So to keep with my mantra of overcoming my plethora of fears, I’m saying eff it.  Without further ado, here is my progress to date.

progress pic October 2014

The picture on the left was taken right after I completed a 62 mile charity bike ride back in March, and the pic on the right was taken on Sunday.  It was leg day, but I couldn’t resist taking a flexing selfie because dem guns doe.

I remember when the pic on the left was posted to Facebook I almost cried.  That was the start of a big turning point for me when I realized something had to give.  I was riding 4-5 days per week, doing Crossfit 5x per week, and was still busting out of my size 14 jeans.  The fact was, I was sabotaging all of my success with a shitty diet and bad drinking habits.

I started slow in March, and really ramped up my efforts after a work conference in June that I had to buy a new suit in a size 16 in order to attend.  I had never been that large, and didn’t want to be again.

Today, I am SO PROUD not only of the weight I’ve lost, but of the muscle I’ve put on.  Obviously, it’s a journey.  I’m not done yet, but I can’t hide behind my fear of failure to the point I don’t celebrate my successes either.

So there you have it readers.  Feel free to tell me I look fabulous.  My ego loves you all already, so you might as well stroke it some more.

And if you’re feeling up to it, share your pics too!  Feel free to link to your blog in the comments, I want to cheer you on too. 🙂

Death by Dragonfly

We’ve all had the wind knocked out of us at least once in our life.  But have you ever had the wind knocked out of you by a three inch long harbinger of death that not only hits you in the chest and paralyzes you, but leaves you splattered with wings and brain matter?

Yeah, up until today I hadn’t either.

It was a really REALLY eventful bike ride kittens.

It felt like this.  Only by a bug.  In the chest.

It felt like this. Only by a bug. In the chest.

I mean, dragonflies don’t look that big to an average human, but take one to the chest at nearly 20 mph and it’s a whole different story.

Anyone else had something disgusting happen lately?  Tell me all about it, stud.

5 Rut-Busting Workout Changes

We’ve all been there.  You start a new exercise program and you see amazing results.  Your pants are looser, the number on the scale is ticking down, you have lots of energy and you see consistent improvements week after week.  Eventually, those gains (or losses) slow down, and while you still love exercise and activity, you’re not seeing the results you once were.

All too often this lack of progress causes even the most die hard fitness fanatic to consider quitting all together.  Luckily, for every fitness plateau there is a quick and easy fix to help push you to the next level.  These are my top 5 favorite ways to change up a workout, and get back to seeing great results fast!

1.  Change up your cardio

We are all guilty of it.  If you’re a runner, when it comes to cardio, you run.  If you’re a cyclist, you bike.  When left to our own devices we will always do our favorite form of cardio at an intensity that is comfortable and rarely will we reach outside of our comfort zone to really challenge ourselves, and really see results.

If your fitness and progress has reached a plateau, try changing up your cardio.  Either change up the intensity or duration of your favorite form, or try something entirely new.  Are you a runner?  Try a hill interval workout.  Cyclist?  Try riding with a faster pace group, or joining a cycling class at the gym.

If you’re feeling adventurous jump into a different form of cardio all together.  The step mill, elliptical and rower are all great equipment choices to offer challenging cardio choices.

Incorporate new forms of cardio for four weeks and watch your results kick into high gear!

2.  Tinker with your strength training

By now we all know that every well rounded fitness program includes an element of strength training.  Lean muscle is the foundation of every physique, and scientific studies have proven that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.

It’s important to regularly change up your strength training to continue to build muscle, burn calories, and see improvements.  If you find yourself stuck in your progress, try tinkering with your strength routine.

This can be as simple as changing up your rep scheme and the weight you’re using for each exercise.  For example, if you typically do sets of 10, try doing sets of 6 but using 20-30% more weight.   Keep your form perfect, but push your muscles to move more.

Alternately try changing up your exercises to target the same muscles in a different way.  If you typically use the leg press machine, try doing a barbell squat instead.  If lunges are your jam, try doing them walking or back wards to activate different muscle fibers and increase the burn.

3.  Play with new equipment 

New equipment creates a new challenge

New equipment creates a new challenge

Fitness should never be boring.  With so many exercises to chose from, it’s easy to put together a routine that incorporates all of your major muscle groups and helps you reach your goals.

If you find yourself in a rut, try the simple change of using a different piece of equipment while going through your routine.

If you usually use dumbbells for an exercise, try switching to kettle bells instead.   Hanging leg raises?  Try doing them hanging from a pull up bar by your hands, rather than laying on the floor or from the Roman Chair.

By changing one little pice of your movement your body will be forced to recruit different muscles and burn even more calories during your workouts.

4.  Take a class

There’s no better way to get new ideas, make new friends, or push extra hard in a workout than in a group setting.  Sometimes everyone needs a little extra inspiration, and taking a class is a great way to get it.

Regardless of what aspect of your fitness you are hoping to improve, there is a class out there for you.

Flexibility?  Try Yoga or Pilates.  Need a good cardio burn?  Try Cycling or a Les Mills BODYATTACK class.  Want to throw around heavy weights?  Drop into a Crossfit box.  Check out your local area for specialty classes like Bikram Yoga, Barre Classes, Soul Cycle, Arial Yoga, Pole Dancing and more.

Sometimes all it takes is one class to give you new ideas and a push for your future workouts.  And you never know, you might love it so much that you end up incorporating the class into your regular routine.

5.  Talk to a trainer or coach

Having a professional resource take a look at your fitness goals, your progress, and your slump, can be the key to moving on successfully.  At many fitness facilities trainers will do an initial consultation for a minimal fee, and give you great feedback on ways you can improve.

Be sure to do some research on your trainer to ensure they are certified and have a background that appeals to you.  Sometimes, having a little expert advice is all you need to push you to the next level.

 

What easy tips do you have for pushing through a plateau?  What has worked for you?

Breaking the Thursday Cycle

Is anyone with me on this?

Monday I start out super motivated for the week.  I’m usually coming off a nice long ride on Sunday and a great relaxing day with the hubs, so I’m ready to eat healthy, train hard, be as active as possible and reach my goals baby!

I hit it hard and my nutrition is perfect.  No booze, great job at Paleo.  Monday is a great day.

Tuesday rolls around and I’m a bit sore.  But Tuesday is the day I weigh myself (spare me the lecture) and the number goes down.  Now I’m even MORE motivated.  YES!  I’m awesome!  I can do this.

So I have another strong day of training and nutrition.  I even avoid a glass of wine with dinner, even though I wannnntttt one.

Then we get to hump day, and I’m SORE.  I make sweet love to the foam roller, and embarrass myself with sex faces and grunts while I do it.  I still drag myself to the box, but I complain.  A lot.  The coaches threaten to flog me if I don’t show up, and because they’re all insanely attractive, I consider letting them.

My nutrition is pretty good, but I succumb to my wine craving with dinner.  What?  It makes the muscles not hurt so bad.

And then it’s Thursday.

I wake up and want a doughnut.  If I eat one, I spend the rest of the day in my sweatpants reading trashy vampire books and eating the rest of the dozen.  If I manage not to eat one, I still spend the rest of the day in my pajamas fantasizing about eating them.

I don’t make it to the gym.  I have grand plans for a nice easy recovery bike ride in the afternoon, and then hope and pray it rains.  And if it doesn’t, I hope it’s windy.  Or that something comes up.  Or give myself a million other reasons not to ride.

Then we go on date night.  Which usually involves sushi.  Or something fried.  And lots of wine.  Because my muscles still hurt of course.

By the time Friday rolls around, I feel like I’ve killed any chance at being healthy with thursday so I carry my sloth-ness through the weekend to finally snap out of it on Sunday.

Well today is Thursday and I had eggs for breakfast.  I cleaned my house and went to the gym with Blondie, who helped me kick my butt at some running intervals.  I ate a healthy lunch, worked a few hours for the hubs, and have a hot date planned with some burpees later.

Today I’m breaking the cycle.

Tell me I’m not the only one.  What have you overcome this week?