Veloskin's range of classy cyclist-focused skincare products includes chamois cream, shaving cream, moisturiser and this – a Soothing Recovery Gel for use on post-ride skin. Smartly packaged and smelling really nice, it can provide relief to sore skin after a day in the saddle, though it's not ideal for post-ride massages, and it's a bit on the expensive side.
Veloskin describes its Soothing Recovery Gel as being for helping skin recover from the demands of cycling. No matter how good your shorts and chamois creams, if you ride far enough you're going to get some sort of discomfort, and so anything that might help with this is worth investigating. I therefore was keen to give this stuff a try and see how it performed.
Like the rest of Veloskin's range, the Soothing Recovery Gel comes packaged in a very smart black tin with great visual design. Once the lid is off, I noted that gel is exactly the right word for the contents: it has a gloopy consistency a lot like hair gel, and as such you probably don't want to try to handle too much at once, as it's liable to fall off your fingers onto the floor or your clothes. It's not thick and sticky like a chamois cream, for example.
Smearing the gel onto my undercarriage after a hard ride, I found it was quite quickly absorbed into the skin which meant that I could get dressed almost immediately after application without my underwear getting sticky.
Now, at this point, I have to pass on a warning, so you're not surprised like I was. The gel has a substantial menthol content, which produces a quite pleasantly cool, tingling sensation on the skin. However, this sensation only kicks in about five minutes after you've applied the gel and forgotten about it. As such, it was only when I was dressed and wandering around my kitchen that I suddenly found my eyebrows shooting up as an icy tingle crawled along my perineum.
At least now you'll be ready for this and might make a slightly less surprised face when you experience it! Veloskin specifically warns female users to be careful where they put this gel, as you really wouldn't want that tingly menthol sensation anywhere too intimate.
Luckily (for me) I didn't suffer any truly serious saddle sores when testing this product, so I can't say how it would aid skin that was literally broken. I suspect, given the warnings to female users, I wouldn't want to put this gel onto saddle sores that were proper wounds. But it did seem to offer some comfort to my aching red skin after a century ride and, the following morning, I felt 100 per cent again. Exactly how much of this was the gel and how much was the passing hours is difficult to say, but given the list of moisturising and soothing ingredients, I'm prepared to believe the gel played a useful role.
The disappointment I had with the Soothing Recovery Gel was that, although Veloskin says it is "great for self massaging your legs after a long ride", I found it didn't work so well for this. As noted above, the gel's tendency to be absorbed quickly is really useful for not getting sticky clothes after applying it, but this tendency also works against using the gel as a massage lubricant. When I tried to massage my calves and quads after a hard ride, the gel was absorbed into my skin so quickly that I had to keep reapplying more every 30 seconds or so to keep the massage going, and got through an awful lot of gel. I'll stick to using an oil for this.
That one gripe aside, I did find the Soothing Recovery Gel a pleasant product to use. It smells nice and is absorbed quickly. It's quite expensive compared with other options like Crotch Guard, which I've used in the past for post-ride skin repair, but it's also really pleasant and feels like a premium product. If you do find you suffer from chafing then you might want to give this a try and see if it helps you recover faster.
Smells good, absorbs quickly, with a pleasant tingle, and soothes and cools the skin effectively
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Veloskin Soothing Gel
Size tested: 150ml
Tell us what the product is for
Veloskin describes the product's use as follows: "The unique formula contained in VeloSkin's soothing gel works to soothe and cool soreness and skin damage caused by saddle friction. Natural ingredients including menthol, combine to offer anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to speed up the healing process and provide blessed relief in the interim"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The list of ingredients from Veloskin is:
Menthol - increases blood flow to the skin to speed up healing
Aloe vera - Used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory
Coconut oil - The fatty acids from coconut oil work to condition the skin
Jojoba oil - Boosts collagen to help hold the skin together
Raspberry seed oil - Delivers antioxidants to protect and repair
Argan oil - Quickly absorbed, this oil is bursting with Vitamin E to act as a great moisturiser
Cucumber oil - An essential oil included for its ability to cool and soothe
Wheat protein - Gently works to increase skin strength
Kelimillet - An essential amino acid offering protection against irritation
Shea butter - Nourishing, luxurious, healing. Perfect for tired skin.
It's a gloopy semi-solid liquid that smells nice and absorbs into the skin well.
It tingles after you put it on, especially in more intimate areas, and can provide some soothing to chafed areas. Although Veloskin suggests it can also be used for massage, I found it gets absorbed too quickly by the skin for this.
I got through a lot quite quickly by trying to use it to massage leg muscles.
There's a tingle after a few minutes; it's not unpleasant, but not sure I'd want to put it on broken skin.
It's one of Veloskin's more expensive products, costing more than its very nice chamois cream, for example.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does seem to calm chafed skin, and has a not unpleasant tingle after you put it on. I found it absorbed into the skin too quickly to be much use for massage, though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It didn't work as a massage lubricant as well as I'd have liked.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Perhaps
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Perhaps
Use this box to explain your overall score
It smells good and seems to help chafed skin somewhat, but absorbs too fast to allow for good massage of the muscles. It's good, but doesn't quite make an 8 for my liking.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Synapse My best bike is: Whyte Wessex One
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, audax and long-distance riding
A research psychologist by day, Ian spends quite a lot of time on bikes, particularly commuting between Bristol and Bath or doing audax rides. For years he was an ultradistance runner, but this came to an end when he realised getting back onto a bicycle offered the chance to race over much more preposterous distances. In recent years he has ridden in the Transcontinental Race, the TransWales and the North Cape 4000. He has even finished first in some of these.