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Mission Product Skincare: Review

Back in September, I received a set of skincare products from Mission Product. I’ve had a chance to test every one of the products pretty extensively, and I wanted to share my thoughts about them.

The blurb from the Mission Product website states:

Teaming up with scientists and skincare industry veterans, we’ve established an entirely new category — high-performance, athlete-engineered skincare™. Engineered in MISSION Labs, the entire MISSION Product line is designed, and has been proven, to meet the specific needs of athletes and sports enthusiasts across all sports.

A couple of the great features of this product line is that all of their products are preservative and paraben-free and that the products are either unscented or have a very mild fragrance. I really like that — I’m not a huge fan of introducing weird chemicals to my skin and I don’t like smelling like a perfume factory. So far, so good…so how does this stuff work?

Anti-Friction Cream
anti-friction

Of all the samples Mission Product sent to test, I’ve probably used this the most. On my days off, I like to go for long bike rides, and some type of “chamois creme” is crucial for long-distance comfort. I’ve used a lot of products, from the expensive Assos chamois creme, Chamois Butt’r and even the classic Bag Balm (no snickering, folks!). The Mission Anti-Friction Cream stands at the head of the class — every bit as good as more established competitors. This stuff WORKS…no friction to speak of, and the cream is long-lasting. The cream doesn’t dissipate or absorb into my skin like some of the other products I’ve tried; in fact, this stuff can be pretty tenacious — it takes a bit of extra scrubbing to get it off while showering.

The cream has a very mild fragrance and goes on smoothly. A little bit goes a long way to providing real comfort for long bike rides. Commuters may or may not need this product (depending on your ride distance and the kinds of clothing you wear), but if you are a fan of chamois creams, this one’s worth a try.

Besides, there are few finer things in life than buttering up your crotch and heading out for a therapeutic bike ride!

junk

Revive Gel
revive gel

The Mission Revive Gel is intended to soothe wind- and sun-burned skin after exercise. I’ve used it as a moisturizer, but I find it especially nice after shaving my legs (yes, I DO shave my legs…say whatever you want but know that it makes my wife very happy). The Revive Gel cools my razor-irritated skin and it really locks in moisture.

smoothy

This gel really lasts, too — the moisture-sealing properties are evident hours after application. The gel’s magic ingredient is aloe vera, which has long been touted as the perfect remedy for burned skin. Like other aloe-based products, it leaves behind (in my opinion) a vaguely unpleasant stickiness. This isn’t a deal-breaker, of course, because this gel does what it is supposed to do with aplomb.

Foot Synergy Gel
foot synergy

Mission’s Foot Synergy Gel is intended for use on the feet before or after exercise — reviving and moisturizing your dry, tired feet after a grueling workout or event. Many such products on the market have a minty scent and a tingly effect after application, but the Mission gel is scent-free. I’ve used this on my feet but I’ve found that it is quite effective on my knees, which get achy after a long day on my bike.

I was expecting an “Icy Hot” sensation with this product — many such products for soothing feet and joints are on the market. The Revive Gel doesn’t tingle or heat up…but it seemed to do what it was intended to do just fine without that sensation. I wonder how much better it would be with a little added “tingle” — a soothing sensation I’ve come to enjoy after exercise — in the gel?

Lip Protector
lip protector

Now that the cold weather is here (even in Florida), lips can get chapped pretty quickly in the chilly, dry air. I work in a heavily-conditioned building, as well — humidity and heat are the enemies of a library’s collection. So, my lips get an environmental “beatdown” on a daily basis.

Mission’s Lip Protector to the rescue! The Lip Protector is packed with antioxidants, moisturizers and sun protection, and the stuff works great. My lips are as smooth and slippery as if I’ve just eaten a plate of ribs at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack in the ATL, and that’s a good thing!

The only thing I didn’t really like about this product is that it has a cloying, grapefruit flavor…not one of my favorites. I got a little bit on my tongue and the taste is pretty overwhelming to this grapefruit-hater. I noticed that Mission Product has a new line of flavored lip balms in more “Jack-friendly” flavors like mint and sweet vanilla…I’d sure love to try some of those, too.

Daily Offense Stick
daily offense

You want some sun? Florida’s got it in spades, and with our longitude, the sun’s angle of attack on our area is vicious for most of the year. It’s entirely possible to get a wicked sunburn deep into November here. If you value your skin, sunscreen is critical for protection.

All that being said, I’m not as careful as I should be. Sure, I’ll slather some on before going to the beach or if I know I’m going to be out in the sun all day. One gripe I have with a lot of sunscreens on the market is that they tend to clog pores and remain greasy on the skin. Not so with this Daily Offense SPF stick. Boasting of a sun protection factor of 30 and a host of skin-friendly features, the Daily Offense stick does quite nicely. I tend to use it on my face and ears, the areas that are exposed to the sun no matter what I’m doing. This product goes on and STAYS on without feeling greasy or migrating into my eyes, and it keeps the damaging rays of the sun away. Why, this stuff saved me from a wicked sunburn at this year’s Bicycle Bash! Despite our ample (and shady) tent, I spent most of the day out in the blinding sun, and the Daily Offense stick helped me survive out there. No irritation or clogged pores afterward, either! Thumbs up in my book…

If you value your skin and spend a lot of time in the outdoors, you owe it to yourself to try some of these products. They live up to the claims presented by the company, are wonderfully skin-friendly and are filled with many natural ingredients. Check out Mission Product’s website for even more information, and happy riding!

Product feature: Xtracycle’s Magic Carpet

My DiamondBack Xtracycle serves me for 2 purposes; the first one is to do errands and the other one is to ride around with my children. When we saw the Xtracycle’s Magic Carpet at Interbike, I had to take one home. The Magic Carpet is made out of high density, closed-cell foam with a high visibility reflective strip around it.

The Magic Carpet is simple to install, just wrap it over your SnapDeck and you are ready to cruise!

Is it comfortable? Well, I wouldn’t really know since I’m the pilot, so here’s a little video of my 7 yr old briefly describing the Magic Carpet:

The Magic Carpet’s MSRP is $39, for those who carry passengers and don’t have DIY skills like myself, the Magic Carpet is totally worth it.

Mission Product Skincare — First Look

A couple of weeks ago, we were contacted by the community manager for Mission Product. He wanted to know if we might be interested in testing and reviewing their line of athlete-oriented skincare products. Of course we said a resounding “yes” (who DOESN’T love free samples?), and a few days later, the products appeared at my door.

mission

Here’s a bit about the company in their own words:

“When ultra-endurance athlete Charlie Engle came to us to talk about running across the Sahara Desert, it was clear that he was the definition of an athlete on a MISSION.

After 111 consecutive days in the most grueling terrain on the planet his plea was simple: “In my 30 plus years of training and competing, there has never been a skin care product that has met my needs.” Charlie needed products that could keep up with him, and we quickly discovered that he wasn’t alone…

Teaming up with scientists and skincare industry veterans, we’ve established an entirely new category — high-performance, athlete-engineered skincare™. Engineered in MISSION Labs, the entire MISSION Product line is designed, and has been proven, to meet the specific needs of athletes and sports enthusiasts across all sports.

By agreeing to test and review these products, the staff here at Bikecommuters.com has joined the ranks of sports greats such as NBA’s Steve Nash, pro triathlete Hunter Kemper and gold-medal Olympians Mia Hamm and Amanda Beard.

Wait a minute…what do WE have in common with world-class athletes? Well, not that much. But, even if you ride a bicycle solely for transportion and not for fitness, you’re exposing yourself to wind, sun, cold and muscular stress. Do you ever come home from a long day of work feeling tired, chapped and sore? Wouldn’t it be nice to protect your skin, your “saddle area” and your lips from the ravages of the elements?

That’s where Mission products step in. The five items that came in the pack were “Daily Offense SPF 30 Stick” sunscreen for face, ears and anywhere else, “Lip Protector SPF 20” for the lips, “Revive Gel” to moisturize sun- and wind-burned skin, “Anti-Friction Cream” for the saddle area or anywhere else hotspots appear and “Foot Synergy Gel” to soothe tired, aching feet. All of the products are preservative-free and free of PABA and parabens…and are cruelty-free (always a plus in my book). Several of the products are scent-free, too, and those with scent have a mild, pleasant fragrance — you’re NOT going to smell like the perfume counter at Saks Fifth Avenue after applying these products (another plus)!

We’re excited to try these products, and we’ll be posting some first impressions as well as long-term reviews, so stay tuned for that.

more mission

Ostrich Panniers Review

Another video review from Epicurean Cyclist that I thought might fit here too:

PROS:
-Looks darn classy
-Nice heavy material
-Good closures
-Some “overstuffability”

CONS:
-A little too small for longer tours
-Not as quick to remove from the rack, like say with an Ortlieb pannier..but with practice you get pretty fast
-Wish that the lacing was more functional…unlacing would actually expand the bag

Minnehaha Bags — Retro Flavor and Serious Style!

Our friends from Banjo Brothers sent a little tidbit of information our way today. They’re announcing an offshoot company called The Minnehaha Bag Company which will specialize in classic (and classy!) canvas and leather bicycle bags.

These bags evoke many of the styling characteristics of classic bike bag makers such as Carradice, Gilles Berthoud and Ostrich…stout canvas and harness-leather strapping. Mmmm, it’s some good-looking stuff. Details are a bit sparse just now, but the Bikecommuters.com crew will get their dirty little hands on these bags when we meet with the Minnehaha crew at this year’s Interbike. Stay tuned for more details…and in the meantime, feast your eyes on these beauties:

Small Saddlebag:
small bag

Larger Saddlebag:
larger bag

Grocery pannier:
grocery

Traditional pannier:
pannier

Shoulder bag? (not sure what this one is…but that’s my guess; perhaps the folks from Minnehaha will chime in with some additional details):
shoulder

Also, keep your eyes on the Minnehaha Bag Company website for additional details and more photos of these gorgeous bags.