Sportique Warming Up Cream

Sportique is a European brand of skin care products. They specialize in all-natural creams, balms and oils. In addition to any number of products for ordinary folk, they offer some athlete and cyclist-targeted products. Frankly, in looking around their web site, I was a little overwhelmed at the sheer number of products they offer. These people really care about skin.

Last spring I got the opportunity to try some Sportique products. The first two I pressed into service were the Warming Up Cream and the Century Riding Cream (a review of which will follow shortly). As should be evident from the name, the Warming Up Cream is an embrocation.

One thing that immediately impressed me about Sportique was their, shall we say, New World approach to skin care. On their mission page there is a long paragraph devoted to all the ingredients they don’t use. From sulfate derivatives to parabens, the list is long and dominated by five- and six-syllable words.

Of course, the first thing you discover in any embro is the smell, and in this Sportique is pure Old World. It smells like what I imagine a Swedish massage therapist’s studio would. A wave of camphor, some spicier notes, it conveys comfort on a cold morning.

The cream is light and rather orange colored, and is as easily squeezed from the flip-top tube as toothpaste. This latter detail means you end up with no more on your hand or leg than is really necessary. And because it’s so light in consistency it goes a long way.

Capsicum is the coal that fires the furnace and this stuff is warms up reasonably quickly. How hot is it? On a 10 scale I give it a 5. By comparison, I give Mad Alchemy’s Russisch Thee a 6 and Record’s Pregara Forte a 3. And for those of you who need a nuclear option, there is the Get Going Cream which professes to be for “extreme conditions.” I’ve been dying to try it but just haven’t had any weather in the 90210 that could be called “extreme.”

This stuff has staying power. I’ve noticed it keeping me warm four to five hours into a ride, or after the ride, as the case may be. I don’t tend to use this stuff if I’m not going out at least three hours. I use Dawn to wash it off to the best of my ability, but on chilly days, I kinda like having personal leg warmers inside my jeans.

I took the Warming Up Cream with me to France this past summer because I knew there would be some days in the mountains that were both cold and wet. The fact that it came in a tube with a flip top made it ideal for traveling; I squeezed a little air out of the tube and shut it. There was no need to scoop it off the lid as with some brands.

I’ve yet to get through the 6 oz. tube, but then this wasn’t the only embro I used last season (and a few times this season). A tube goes for $19.95. You can find this and other Sportique products here.

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