Chamois and anti-chafe products are a very personal thing – mainly down to the fact that they are designed to protect a very sensitive part of the body against saddle sores and irritation. Most riders who use it will have their ‘go-to’ brand and will swear by it’s effectiveness.
New York based and USFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) registered company Derma-Tect Inc. have been researching and producing skin care products since 2004. Chamois products are usually known for being creams, but Derma-Tect have produced something quite different – Crotch Guard Skin Care Oil. For the bold and direct name alone, we had to give this a try.
Due to the sensitive nature of the Crotch Guard Skin Care Oil, we did a lot of research on the ingredients and their use. Dermatect tell us they apply a controlled process to highly refine hydrogenated polymers. Polymers are commonly used in cosmetics and skin conditioning products. This process results in the purest form of the formula as a silky, non-sticky emollient that is It’s designed to spread easily and is what gives skin the soft feel. It is also. The Crotch Guard Skin is designed to protect skin by working with it. Derma-Tect give give the following example of how this works;
Imagine a brick wall… the bricks would represent the skin cells, the layers of bricks would represent the layers of skin and the cement mortar in between and surrounding the bricks would represent phospholipids, ultimately protecting and strengthening the entire structure.
It is because ultra pure Dermatect Skin Care Oils support the physiology of the skin, it is recognized by the human body, and accepted. It is absorbed into the surface of the skin, supporting the skin cells and ultimately protecting and strengthening the entire structure. Dermatect Skin Care Oils fortify the same physical anatomy as the powerful phospholipids.
They also state that Crotch Guard is:
- Does NOT contain Chemical Dyes
- Does NOT contain Fragrance
- Does NOT contain Water
Ok – I am going to be completely honest and say that when I first heard the name – Crotch Guard Skin Care Oil, I was somewhat apprehensive about testing it and wondered if it might be a bit of a placebo (the power of suggestion that a product has amazing qualities for the users benefit but really does little). But when I received the ‘1oz’ bottle (that around 28.5 ml if you’re in the UK), I set about testing it. First thing to say is that the 1oz bottle is a neat size for carrying with you for multi-day events or races or just very long rides. It’s expected to last up to 3-4 weeks, whilst the larger 4oz bottle is claimed to last up to 3 months. Both size bottles come with a handy finger spray pump. This means that application is very easy and when compared with chamois creams – there is no drips and no ‘double dipping’ (yes I said it) which make it much more hygienic.
The oil is sprayed directly onto the skin and if you leave it a short while, it does absorb well. I have to say that the spray pump I used produced more of a jet than the mist the Derma-Tect website suggests but it could just be down to the bottle we received. I did find it to be a little greasy when first applied but being an oil, I would come to expect this. However once it has soaked in, skin does feel soft. It has a subtle, unoffensive, clean scent but it certainly doesn’t have a strong fragrant smell like some skin care products. I tested Crotch Guard on a mixture of longer weekend rides of around 45 miles and also on shorter commutes of around 7 miles. Despite the shorter distance of commute, these rides felt very comfortable. But it was its effectiveness on the longer rides that I was more interested (concerned) about. On both 40 mile rides the oil performed very well. Not only did it easily last for the duration of my outings, but I didn’t suffer discomfort or irritation during or after the rides. Also, the oil left no marks or residue on the pad in my bib-tights like some creams which was good proof that it had full absorbed into the skin. Crotch Guards makers also recommend using it after a shower for post-ride anti-bacterial protection. I can’t say I have tried this though.
Crotch Guard Skin Care Oil review conclusion
Even as I am writing the conclusion to this review – I am trying to think of a reason not to be impressed by this product. This was always going to be a tricky product to review. Talking about such a sensitive area is a bit of a taboo subject and makes people uncomfortable. The fact is though, most cyclists will have found out at some point – saddle sores and irritation of the area is even more uncomfortable than the subject. So being able to say that for me, I found a product that isn’t my go-to brand and that works as well – if not better can only be a good thing. Crotch Guard Skin Care Oil is easy to apply thanks to it’s ‘useful’ spray bottle. After application it lasts for up to 8 hours (claimed) so there is no need to reapply unless riding longer than this. It is unscented but anti-bacterial, so helps with freshness and it doesn’t seem to mark you cycle clothing. Pricing is reasonable and we are a little surprised not to see it more widely available – a 4oz bottle cost $21.99 (about £15.60) and 1oz is $7.99 (about £5.60). Unfortunately the product is only available directly from the manufacturer – Derma-Tect Inc. in New York, USA but the shipping and service seems to be perfectly good.
A quite extraordinary product. It is unconventional, unorthodox - but is very clever and does its job very well. It will be interesting to test this over a longer ride or a sportive event but based on it's performance for the rides tested, I doubt there will be any issues.
Easy of Use