For all the positives of running, there are the inevitable downsides and ‘side effects’ of the sport. One of which is chafing (a runners’ rub!) – it’s not pleasant, can be painful and it’s something that most of us has experienced at one time.
It’s not an unusual sight to see runners liberally applying a certain petroleum jelly to their hot spots at the start of races. But this isn’t necessary the most skin-friendly of solutions.
Seeing a gap in the market for a natural skin balm for runners, Leaping Fish devised Runners Rub, a blend of natural plant waxes and oils, designed to reduce chafing and blisters.
About Runners Rub
Runners Rub is a natural, environmentally friendly skin balm for runners who suffer from chafing and blisters when training and competing. Produced in Dorset by Leaping Fish Ltd, the company specialises in producing solutions to the problems of friction and abrasion in sports and other activities, with an ethos of keeping the balms as simple and natural as possible.
Made from quality plant oils and waxes, the essential oils of bergamot, sweet marjoram and star anise provide benefits, such as antibacterial and antiseptic qualities, to keep the skin clean and healthy. The balm works by forming a light layer on the skin allowing it to breathe while reducing chafing. It prevents salts and the by-products of sweat and perspiration from making skin soreness worse. It can also be used to help other consequences of sports activities, including soothing chapped and cracked hands, as well as easing dry skin, and has the added benefit of a great fresh smell from the essential oils.
Runners Rub can be used under and over socks in shoes to reduce the shear effect on the skin, which results in blisters; under clothing such as sports underwear; or to prevent rubbing from backpacks and hydration packs during endurance events. It be used post-event to protect abraded skin from further rubbing by clothing.
All Leaping Fish’s balms are chemical-, phthalate- and paraben-free to minimise the impact on the environment and the user. Some other brands include Teflon, which is virtually indestructible in nature, and containing no water, these balms don’t require the addition of chemicals to prevent deterioration.
Leaping Fish’s products also benefit from low transport miles compared to other products, many of which are imported from the USA. The company has changed to recyclable metal containers to reduce its use of plastics. Runners Rub is made from rapeseed oil, soya wax, beeswax, cocoa butter, Zea mays and vitamin E plus essential oils. Leaping Fish will be producing a vegan version without beeswax shortly.
If you’ve developed any sores from skin-on-skin or fabric-on-skin rubbing, Runners Rub can be applied to help protect the area from further harm, and helps avoid the painful experience in the shower afterwards. As a natural product, it should be used within six months, and always test on a small area before general use.
The team at Run Deep was sent a tin of Runners Rub so that we could try it out for ourselves. It’s a generous-sized tin and, as you don’t need to use huge amounts to protect the skin, it could easily last the 6-month shelf life (obviously depending on just how much you chafe!).
On opening, the first thing that hits you is the smell. It is fresh and citrusy, unlike other skin balms we’ve tried in the past to solve this common runners’ problem. It’s a solid but soft wax that spreads easily on the fingers. You really don’t need a lot to cover even a large area, so start with a little bit and build up.
Even with really sensitive skin, there were no adverse effects or irritation, which is always a worry with new products. This is testament to the natural nature of this product. It doesn’t feel greasy on the skin, though you can tell it’s there with a slightly reassuring sheen to visually assure you that there is a barrier against your skin.
We tried this out in all conditions – thank you British weather – including both rain and warm sunshine. Quite simply, it does the job. Areas that normally rub showed no signs of chafing, and it easily lasted through long training runs without wearing off.
It would be great to see a mini portable version to carry on long ultra runs. Not because we particularly felt the need to top up, but because it’s such a useful balm! You could easily apply to any new hot spots that appear on the move, but we found it worked great as a lip balm and on any dry skin areas too!
We have definitely converted to this over our usual anti-chafing solution, so it’s a thumbs-up from us!
Runners Rub is now available from the White Star Clothing online shop for £12: BUY NOW