Rubs, sores, chafing, call it what you want, but every sports person will have suffered. The worst place for chafing for me is under my arms where my sports bra rubs my skin. In hot weather it can become a nightmare.
Many runners and walkers complain of thigh chafing, while swimmers end up with sore skin around their neck where wetsuit neoprene rubs. For cyclists, it’s the butt that can end up red and sore.
So what do you use in these situations? Petroleum based products such as Vaseline are popular. Tea tree oil is another good soother. But have you thought about manuka oil?
Manuka has long been used as a natural healing product and now it has been utilised in a new anti-chafing cream called GoodSport.
What is GoodSport anti-chafing sports cream?
The cream is made in New Zealand and is:
- 100% natural
- Naturally antiseptic (thanks to Manuka)
- Petroleum-free, so therefore environmentally friendly
What is Manuka?
Manuka is a plant native to New Zealand. You probably recognise the word because of Manuka honey. This has a reputation for its anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties and is widely available (although very expensive compared to normal honey!).
Yet Manuka oil (from the leaves) also has a long history of medicinal use. Traditionally, the Maori used Manuka leaves to cure ailments. For example, a tea from the leaves was used to treat stomach ailments, while the leaves themselves were used to treat joint pain, burns and skin disorders.
The benefits of Manuka
Manuka is recognised as one of nature’s oldest healing agents. It contains powerful enzymes that give it antimicrobial properties. Manuka is:
Why Use Manuka oil for chafing issues?
Anti-chafe products are usually simply lubricant-based. However, Manuka oil is a lubricant but also soothes and protects the skin. It is claimed to promote cellular regeneration and can help the skin recover from exposure to challenging environments.
GoodSport has a manuka “farm” with 13,500 Manuka plants. It is the first plantation in the world that grows Manuka for oil production (one of the key ingredients in GoodSport Anti-chafe).
They also have a few beehives, with the aim of producing a small amount of Manuka honey and bees wax.
On test: GoodSport Manuka Anti-Chafing Cream
My partner, the G-Force, is a keen climber and often has sore and chafed hands. To add to his woes he has been working on our house recently, removing old rendering and rebuilding a chimney. This has further dried out his skin.
He has been rubbing the GoodSport Cream on to his hands, and finger tips in particular, to great effect. He told me: “The ointment feels like exactly the right consistency and really does give my skin a good coating of lubricant. It sinks in nicely and soothes my hands almost immediately. They feel kind of tingly and much less sore and tight.
“When I put it on overnight, in the morning my hands feel a lot smoother and less sore. They seem to heal quicker, too.
“I am not so sure about he scent of the cream. It is kind of antiseptic but also has a whiff of Manuka, which isn’t the most pleasant of smells. But this shouldn’t be a negative because it works a treat on even my worn hands!”
I used the cream (it is actually more like an oily ointment) to my underarm area where my sport bra usually rubs. I used it while on a cycling trip to Switzerland where the heat would normally cause me to sweat, causing skin rubs.
The thick oil (it looks like a tub of wax polish!) rubs into the skin area pretty well, although I found it quite hard to get it off my hands afterwards. I think this is because it is a bit waterproof. The area in which I usually get the rubs felt immediately soothed and chilled (this is due to the “numbing” antiseptic ingredient). I didn’t suffer any of my normal rubs and sores so it clearly does a good job.
I was also unsure about the scent of the cream. At first it smells antiseptic but there is also a faint whiff of something less attractive; something “plant” or “natural”. The smell goes away after a while and is not overly pungent but it certainly wouldn’t be the sort of thing I would wear when going on a night out!
In terms of doing what it says on the label I think the cream is good. I also like the fact it is environmentally friendly.
A 100g tin costs £16.90 and is shipped for free from New Zealand by GoodSport.