Monday 7 November 2011

Gear Review - PROBalm

Update 03/06/2012

A quick note to say that following my inadvertently crisping up my scalp, forehead, nose and ears in the Devonian sunshine yesterday, I have found yet another use for PROBalm. It works wonders for sunburn, I warmed the puck in my hand first to soften and then rubbed a good layer into my lobster-like cranium. Very soothing and continued pain relief after 6 hours. Good work chaps!

Update 18/11/2011

The finished product.
This morning I received the finished product and I'm NOT disappointed, the guys at PROBalm have toned the aroma down slightly making it fresher with more of a definite citrus note. Its also a tiny bit softer making it easier to absorb into your skin. Packaging wise, I can see why they are calling it a puck. Colours are black and yellow, presumably a nod in the direction of the bees and the label styling is quite retro-surfer. Certainly not something I'd be ashamed to have roll out of my kitbag in the changing room.
Importantly the container screws shut on a good, secure long thread so you won't end up with your puck of PROBalm rolling around loose in your bag gathering sock fluff and chalk.

About a month ago I was contacted via a friend on Twitter by a new start up company from Saltburn in the North East called PROBalm and asked if I would test their product. These guys have created a skin repair product aimed at those of us who like to batter our skin with every element we can find.
Being a bit of a kit whore I, of course, said yes. They duly sent me a prototype "puck" of their product. This review is therefore based on that prototype and except in photographs, I haven't seen the finished product.
Lets start by saying that apart from a bit of aftershave or moisturiser on my scalp after I've shaved what little hair I have left off, I don't have a daily skin care routine, I'm not that metrosexual. However I am, what is commonly termed as a "clumsy bastard" and cannot seem to take part in any activity without removing skin from some part of my body. I cannot cook without burning myself, I cannot climb without tearing great strips of skin from my hands, I can't even go for a run without encountering some sort of hostile, thorny plant. So over the last month I've used PROBalm quite a bit.
Initial impressions when it came out of the packet was of a hard yellow/brown substance with a strong but pleasant smell, a complaint I have had in the past with moisturising products is the lingering smell of sick they leave on my hands (I know, weird). PROBalm on the other hand smells good, I like the fact that its a hard substance and you can scrape lumps of it off to lather generously over a sore spot or just rub it in your hands to leave a thin easily absorbed coating. I'm hoping the final product retains this versatility.
PROBalm does seem to work on lots of different things, the night before it arrived I'd been climbing at Bowles Rocks near Tunbridge Wells and had scraped the skin off my shin when my foot popped off a hold (damn that Sandstone) so I took the plunge and applied a generous scraping of PROBalm to the injured area and it took the sting right out of the injury. I've also used it on burns and scalds from cooking (I do tend to get a bit Ramsey in the kitchen, and ingredients can fly) and not only does it protect and soothe the affected area but it does seem to accelerate the healing process. I've even used it to treat spots (yes, 35 years old and still getting zits) and it nicely reduces the inflammation. Obviously these effects may not work for everyone.
All in all the chaps at PROBalm have done a damn fine job on their stuff, they tell me its a natural product made from, amongst other things, Propolis wax, hence the PRO part of the name, which has long been held to have beneficial properties.
You can follow the PROBalm team here on twitter or visit their website by clicking the PROBalm logo on the right of this page.
I look forward to testing the finished product which is launched on the 8th November and will of course update this review when I do.

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