Beauty and the bike: The perfect ride moisturiser

Don’t forget to treat your skin to some TLC with a good moisturiser, used correctly. Image by Katie Tegtmeyer.

Choosing the right moisturiser depends upon your skin type and your ride type.

Adele Mitchell sheds some light on how to get the right balance.

From a quick commute to slogging it out in the mountains, it’s important that your skin can function properly.

Sweat needs to evaporate in order to naturally cool the skin so the last thing you need is an overly greasy moisturiser that gets in the way. Then again, riding in all weather means your skin needs protection to stop it from drying out.

Which one to choose?

Moisturiser works by locking in the skin’s own moisture. Ointments and balms and creams are most beneficial for very dry areas or during exposure to harsh conditions – but they don’t feel good if you’re going to get hot and sweaty or have oily skin.

Creams have a more wearable consistency and feel comfortable on most skin types, while lotions are light textured but are therefore less moisturising so they may not be effective on a wind-whipped ride or dry skin.

Oil-free moisturisers use non-oil ingredients to protect the skin without a heavy or greasy feel.

To get the most out of your moisturiser, you need to use it properly:

1. It works best on clean skin: many beauty therapists recommend double cleansing (cleanse, then cleanse again), toner to remove any residue and regular exfoliation to allow it to be absorbed effectively. You should also cleanse as soon as possible post-ride to remove sweat and grime that can congest your skin then moisturise again.

2. Look for added extras: anti-oxidants help protect skin against environmental pollution and, as cyclists experience a higher than average exposure to harmful UV light, spf protection is essential either in your moisturiser or worn separately.

3. Apply the right amount: you need a 20p sized blob of moisturiser and rather than dotting it onto your face and rubbing it in, it’s best to warm the product between your hands then apply from the centre of your face towards your hairline using firm upward strokes.

Now you know how to use moisturiser properly, here are some product suggestions based on your style of riding:


Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (all skin types)
Price: £24.00

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

A light textured blend that offers up to 24 hours protection, leaving skin feeling comfortable and smooth. With ‘as used on an ice-peaks expedition to Greenland’ credentials to back it up.


Estee Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection (oily and combination skin)
Price: £39.00

Estee Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection

The texture of a cream, an oil-free formula that feels fresh on the skin, SPF 25 and high tech UVA protection, plus an anti-oxidant complex and deep, long-lasting hydration too. 


Philosophy Hope in a Jar Oil-free Mosituriser (oily and combination skin)
Price: £34.00

Philosophy Hope in a Jar Oil-free Mosituriser

Lightweight and formulated with anti-oxidants to hydrate and protect the skin. It also helps absorb surface oil, keeps pores clear and leaves a matte finish to help you arrive at work fresh faced.


Sarah Chapman Age-Repair Serum (anti-age and sensitive skin)
Price: £24.00

Sarah Chapman Age-Repair Serum

Serums deliver an intense dose of active skin care ingredients in a light textured formula worn beneath moisturiser. This one packs a cutting edge active blend including Vitamin A and C, anti-oxidant complex and peptides to boost collagen production.


Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm (dry skin)
Price: £37.00

Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm

This nourishing treatment balm contains high levels of Rosehip Oil, a potent anti-oxidant proven to help repair and smooth dry skin post-ride. Brilliant for travel: it also doubles as a cleanser and exfoliant.

Beauty and the bike:

  1. Looking after your hands
  2. Post-ride bath products
  3. Hard as nails
  4. How to banish helmet hair
  5. The make-up musette

Headline image by Katie Tegtmeyer via Flickr.


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