Category Archives: Climbing Accessories

Climber Skin Repair – A Balm

Right I don’t know what they put in this stuff but it’s bloody magic.

A-Balm

I would just leave it there but it wouldn’t make a good review so here is the rest of it. Skip on over to the A-Balm website and you will find that the creators of A-Balm have taken inspiration from the Asian monks of old and filled the stuff with a variety of healing herbs.

Having had a martial arts history I know of the ointments and rubs you get from china town and various MA websites. They do tend to work, but mostly they sting. A-Balm on the other hand is just unbelievable, I say this as I am still amazed at how well it works. Even today, as I write this I have it on a tear in my skin.

I was working on a tough problem and I ripped a previous tear on my middle finger. It was bleeding and fairly bad so I taped it, but this didn’t help. I applied the A-Balm and taped it 2 hours later no more blood and the nasty tear is little more than a rough bit of skin. And that’s pretty much how it goes with A-Balm, it’s just weird I rip of pretty significant calluses and pack them with A-Balm, keep climbing and I have a new patch of skin in the morning. This new “Skin” can be easily ripped, but I keep patching with A-Balm and all is well.  I don’t have any explanation for this but it happens and I’m more that happy with the results.

So what is in A-Balm? Organic sesame oil, beeswax, Bing Pian, Tian San Qi, Mo Yao, Ru Xiang, Rou Gui Zhi,Tao Ren, Dang Gui, Hong Hua, Chuan Hua Juao And Huo Ma Ren. I won’t pretend to know what these herbs are, saying their names is probably as hard as it was typing them. If you really want to know I’m sure Ander & Ted from A-Balm will be happy to answer your questions. All I know is that it works and works really well. Herbs

Moisturising – I’m not sure A-Balm moisturises per say, it definitely takes the burn off although it can be difficult to spread due its thick gummy texture when kneaded between the thumb and fingers, this comes in handy in other ways though, 3 stars.

Texture – Almost white and initially solid like a wax, A-Balm is quite sticky similar to hair putty. When you scrape a bit off you can pack all sorts of gaps and gouges with it. I pack and smooth the stuff into big chunks of missing skin, and then if I’m still climbing, I’ll tape up and carry on. The business, 5 stars.

Repair – It works, I think it hardens the skin instead of moisturising it. I can see the gouges in my hands where the A-Balm has hardened it, careful on finger joint area as your skin will crack or tear here, 5 stars.

Fresher, stronger, longer, that’s the A-Balm motto it’s on the tin and the t-shirts and this product definitely does what it says on the tin. To get your hands on this wonder stuff check out the A-Balm website.

 

Climber Skin Repair – Black Eagle Rock Climbers Balm

I contacted Miona Janeke about this balm sourced from South Africa, I discovered it on my searches and Miona was more than happy to send some over for our trials.

I was a bit worried about the time it would take to get here but it arrived very quickly a week or so at most. And arrive it did, I thought it was one of my ebay bargain buys (ebay addict) due to the size of the tin and its package. Black Eagle Balm comes in a massive 100ml/3.3oz tin, that’s nearly four times as much as you get with other balms and it costs the same.

 

I asked Miona what gave her the idea for Black Eagle Balm.

“It all started with my own flapper I got doing a dyno move in a climbing gym. It took the skin off the size of a 10 pence on my palm. I was devastated because the next weekend we were all going to go trad climbing and with a hand like that, I was going nowhere.”

Torn skin and desperate Miona tried a beeswax hand cream, which did a good enough job of patching up her hand. Later Miona researched the various healing properties of beeswax and raw honey and began work on developing and perfecting her own blend of hand balm.

Black Eagle Balm 100ml Tin

So Black Eagle Balm arrives quickly, it’s inexpensive and comes in a massive tin, is it any good?

Actually, it’s really good Black Eagle Balm is a fairly simple blend of natural ingredients in comparison to other balms, however Black Eagle is the only balm I’ve found with built in SPF 15 protection, something we Scott’s and Britain’s as a whole tend to ignore. Black Eagle Balm contains bees wax non-irradiated raw honey, avocado oil and sunflower oil. I don’t know what the beneficial difference is between irradiated and non-irradiated honey is but I do know that avocado oil is the business when it comes to keeping skin healthy. Many people use avocado as a face mask, and also just eat it for its vitamin A, D and E content.

Moisturinsing – This stuff feels nice on the skin and you can feel it soaking in, put too much on and it can get a bit slick, using a little and often is the key, 4 stars.

Texture – This balm has a pale colour and a waxy smell but is not as solid as other wax based balms, it melts in your hand and becomes liquid quick. This results in a fast acting soothing balm which spreads easily. You wouldn’t be able to patch holes too easily as it softens quickly but skin tags can be stuck back down with it taped down when dry, 4 stars.

Repair – I’ve rubbed my finger tips over the surface of the Black Eagle Balm mid-session and found it cool the burn quick. I can’t stress the importance of the built in SPF, more products should have it. As a result the Black Eagle Balm can be used as an after sun cream, perfect for summer! 4 stars.

As a side note it might interest you to know that where Miona does her regular trad. climbing Black Eagles call home. Living in Johannesburg Zoo (how cool is that!) and having an interest and understanding of wildlife conservation. Miona donates some of the proceeds from sales of the balm to the Black Eagle conservation project.

Natural and good for the environment, bonus! To place orders and more info on the Black Eagle Balm and the conservation project contact Miona at the Black Eagle Balm Website.