ActivBod offer a range of shower and exercise products designed for sports people looking to not only smell fresh, but also feel fresh so they can perform at the top of their game. The products have been developed by skin and sports experts and use a range of natural ingredients including menthol, arnica, peppermint, eucalyptus and sweet almond oil to deliver products that help to aid recovery, improve comfort during exercise and banish workout worries.
These are pretty large claims for such small products, so we at Trek and Run decided to put them through their paces during some of our winter training which included long-distance runs, cycle rides and obstacle course races. Hereâ€™s how we got on…
COOLING FINISH LOTION â€“ RRP Â£12
They Say – Finish off your exercise regime with our non-sticky body lotion containing menthol that delivers an enjoyable cooling sensation to the skin. Plus a naturally derived deodorising ingredient, vitamin E acetate and allantoin to moisture and repair dry skin. An energising pepper, eucalyptus and lemon fragrance reinvigorates the body and mind. Why cooling finish lotion? After exercise or swimming many people are hot and continue to sweat, applying normal moisturiser leaves skin feeling tacky, sticky and more sweaty. Our cooling finish lotion moisturises and cools the skin without the sticky feeling. 96%* of users felt skin was cooler after using cooling finish lotion. Features and benefits:- Menthol helps to cool and soothe the skin, whilst also aiding muscle recovery. Allantoin moisturises the skin, helping to replenish moisture lost during exercise. A unique deodorising ingredient helps to effectively control body odour. The stimulating and invigorating lemon, pepper and eucalyptus helps to restore body and mind. 95% natural. Made in England. No parabens, no SL(E)S and no MIT. *tested on 111 active men and women.
We Say – ActivBod describe the effect of this product as a cool, soothing feeling and they really are spot on. Used after a shower you really can feel the effects of the menthol (even more-so if youâ€™ve just had a shave too!) and as with most of the other ActivBod products, the smellâ€™s absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately however, I wasnâ€™t as impressed with the consistency of this lotion. Initially it went on well, but although the description highlights how itâ€™s â€˜non-stickyâ€™, once the cream was absorbed it left a sticky feeling on my hands and left my skin feeling really dry â€“ not the effect youâ€™d usually expect from a moisturiser!
FEEL GREAT SHOWER CONCENTRATE â€“ RRP Â£5
They Say – This winning concentrated shower gel is perfect for your gym kit. A travel friendly lightweight tube that delivers double the washes. An energising blend of sea minerals, green tea extract and almond oil work to cleanse and nourish the skin, whilst a stimulating fragrance of pepper, eucalyptus and lemon fragrance restores body and mind. Why feel great shower concentrate? Carry less toiletries with you in your gym bag. Restore and renew post exercise. Feature and benefits: Concentrated formulation – a small tube with double the washes that is easy to carry. Green tea extract and deep sea minerals cleanse and deodorise. Sweet almond oil nourishes the skin to leave it feeling soft and supple. The energising fragrance of lemon, pepper and eucalyptus reawakens body and mind. 98% natural. Made in England. No parabens, no MIT.
We Say – Out of all the ActivBod products we tested, this one was by far my favourite. Although the website describes this as a small tube, itâ€™s actually 100ml – the same size as most of the other products in the range â€“ and the claims of a concentrated formula definitely arenâ€™t exaggerated as it foams up nicely meaning youâ€™ll only need a small amount of product to cover your entire body. As with the other ActivBody range, this product smells really nice with a fresh aroma which definitely helps to wake you up, and my skin felt great after using it. Definitely one Iâ€™ll be buying again!
GAME CHANGER FACE SCRUB – Â£7
They Say – This dual action face scrub contains bio-available vitamin E to help reduce redness often experienced after exercise. Micro-scrubbing particles, salicylic acid and sweet almond oil cleanse pores, whilst menthol delivers a cooling soothing sensation to the skin. Why game changer face scrub? During exercise you sweat and pores can become clogged. Redness is a common issue for people when they exercise and can put people off exercising especially in their lunch-break. Our game changer face scrub helps banish those worries. Features and benefits:- Bio-available vitamin E helps reduce redness often experienced after exercise. Scrubbing particles gently exfoliate, helping to keep pores clean. Salicylic acid, guava extract and sweet almond oil help to cleanse. Allantoin helps to rehydrate skin leaving it smooth and nourished. Menthol helps to cool the skin after exercise, soothing it to leave you completely refreshed. Refreshing and stimulating fragrance to restore body and mind. Made in England. No parabens, no SL(E)S, no MIT.
We Say – As someone with pretty terrible skin, Iâ€™m always looking for a product which will keep my skin spot-free, while at the same time ensuring it doesnâ€™t cause damage to its protective layers. Because of this Iâ€™m very conscious about what I use on my face and although this particular product doesnâ€™t contain your typical ingredients for facial cleansing such as tea-tree oil or witch-hazel, it does contain a number of other natural ingredients such as Vitamin E, Sweet Almond Oil and Allantoin which are proven to maintain and improve skin condition, as well as menthol which not only provides a cooling effect as described but also helps me to feel slightly more alert when used after my morning shower! Itâ€™s worth noting that this product features â€˜scrubbing particlesâ€™ which raise concerns about the environmental effects of using itÂ *.
* The scrubbing particles are made from plastic and when you wash the scrub from your face they go straight down the plughole into the water system and eventually find their way into our rivers, lakes and seas where they contribute to the destruction of the environment. There’s lots of natural ingredients that can be used in place of this plastic, such as ground nut shells, so there’s really no excuse for this.
MIND OVER MATTER BALM â€“ RRP Â£7
They Say – We all need that kick start every now and again and this portable aroma balm offers just that. Focus the mind and get into the zone with a stimulating blend of rosemary, peppermint and bergamot essential oils. Peppermint also helps clear the respiratory tract for the perfect pre-exercise pick-me-up. Quick and easy to use, no spillages or product on your hands. Why mind over matter? A lot of us require a tool or an incentive to break an old habit or create a new one. Fragrance is an incredibly powerfully evocative tool Features and benefits:- Peppermint helps clear the respiratory tract, ideal for your pre exercise boost, whilst Rosemary and Clary Sage help focus and clear the mind. Unique application with the balm formula and no risk of broken or leaking aromatherapy in your bag. Designed to encourage you to do exercise, rather than the less healthy alternative and create a good habit. 100% natural Made in England. No parabens, no SL(E)S, no MIT.
We Say – This particular product was quite an interesting one to trial… Although Iâ€™ve heard of medicine sticks such as 4Head which you rub on your temples to relieve a headache and Iâ€™ve heard of people using VapoRub to ensure their airways are clear before a run, Iâ€™d never heard of one which can be used before sport so I was admittedly quite sceptical about just how effective this product would be. The first time I trialled it was before a short training run and after rubbing the stick on my temples, neck and wrist pulse points as instructed, I was initially surprised by just how pleasant and strong the Peppermint and Rosemary smell was â€“ even a few hours later after exercise and a shower I could still smell the distinctive scent around me! Admittedly Iâ€™m unsure just how much effect it had on my performance, but without a doubt it was a pleasant smell and may well have helped to calm my mind and help me to focus â€“ something quite difficult for someone as easily distracted as I am!
PICK ME UP SCRUB – Â£8
They Say – A deep cleansing body polish to scrub away dirt, cleanse pores and stimulate circulation. Salaclyic acid and green tea help to refresh, whilst micro-scrubbing particles work to cleanse pores that become clogged during exercise. An energising pepper, eucalyptus and lemon fragrance reinvigorates the body and mind. The perfect pick me up following an active day. Why pick me up scrub?
During exercise you sweat and pores can become clogged. Exercising outside also often results in mud and bike grease clogging up your skin. Features and benefits:- Salicylic acid and green tea extract help cleanse and refresh your skin Scrubbing particles help to clear pores for a deep clean even removing dirt, mud and bike oil. They also help to stimulate circulation aiding recovery and leaving skin feeling smooth and glowing. The energising fragrance of lemon, pepper and eucalyptus restores body and mind Made in England. No parabens, no SL(E)S, no MIT
We Say – Iâ€™ll admit that Iâ€™m often beyond groggy first thing in the morning, so any product which offers to â€œstimulate circulationâ€ and help evict me from my usual morning zombie-like state of mind sounds good to me! As with the other ActivBod products Iâ€™ve tested in this range, the Pick Me Up Scrub has a great scent to it, this time focussed around pepper, eucalyptus and lemon, however again the tube is only small (100ml) and so youâ€™re left with the choice to either use sparingly, or risk using up the entire tube within a few washes. Itâ€™s also worth highlighting that again, this product uses â€˜scrubbing particlesâ€™ and with their documented environmental effects it did leave me feeling that this product could be improved by opting not to use this potentially environmentally damaging ingredient.
TURN UP THE HEAT ROLLER GEL – Â£12
They Say – A hands free application (sort of!) and great smelling, camphor free, fragrance makes our muscle warming gel stand out from the crowd. Ginger, rosemary and vanillyl warm the muscles, whilst arnica and allantoin, an active ingredient work to soothe and ease your muscles. This product can be used pre-exercise to warm the muscles up or post-exercise to help relieve tension. Why turn up the heat? Most other warming products have a very distinct camphor smell which can be a real turn off from using these products. Our turn up heat doesn’t use any camphor and works just as well (if not better we think!) Application of warming products can often be a real nightmare leaving you with sticky, greasy hands which you certainly don’t want to put near your face, racket or ball. We have cracked this too!
Features and benefits; Our rosemary and ginger fragrance contains no camphor, so smells fantastic. Vanillyl, rosemary and ginger help to warm the muscles, stimulating circulation helping to aid recovery. Arnica soothes muscles with its anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used pre exercise to warm muscles up or post exercise to help soothe aching muscles. Unique rollerball packaging allows for hands free application, great for those wanting clean hands for exercise. 97% natural. Made in England. No parabens, no SL(E)S, no MIT.
We Say – As with the â€˜Mind Over Matter Balmâ€™, I was interested to see just how much effect a product in such a small tube could have compared to the runners staple of Deep Heat… When I first used the gel Iâ€™ll admit that the smell is much nicer with a subtle aroma of Rosemary and Ginger rather, however as I used the roller it didnâ€™t feel like the gel had much effect on my actual muscles. A quick glance at the instructions informed me that I should put some cold water on my legs to intensify the warming effect and while it wasnâ€™t as strong a sensation as Iâ€™m used to with other products, I could definitely feel an effect and itâ€™ll be great to see how genuine the promise of Arnicaâ€™s â€˜anti-inflammatoryâ€™ properties really are as I head into longer runs over the winter! Itâ€™s also worth highlighting how useful the rollerball packaging is compared to similar products, as most muscle warming products tend to come as tubes of gel or aerosol cans and although it didnâ€™t feel like a huge amount was dispensed during use, the roller ball (similar to what youâ€™d find in a roll-on deodorant) was much tidier compared to rubbing gel and much nicer than using sprays which Iâ€™ll usually accidentally inhale sending me into a pre-race coughing fit!