On a follow up to my last blog about a Heath Robinson-style mechanical hack I thought I’d share my “recipe” for homemade chamois cream.

Why did I decide to try making my own chamois cream? You could suggest that I’m Scottish and miserly by nature but such stereotyping would be in poor taste. Or perhaps not. I was in my LBS one day, picked up a small pot of Swiss-branded chamois cream and was shocked to discover that I wouldn’t get change from a tenner – I’d barely get a bawbee back for a twenty. (What’s the Swiss for daylight robbery?)

As with all modern-day problem solving I headed straight to Google. The interwebs contained a bunch of folk (of all nationalities) who’d similarly balked at the cost of a branded chamois cream and decided to concoct their own.


Let’s get cooking

The recipe I eventually settled on (and stuck to) is a combination/distillation of those I found online:

– emollient cream (one part this to one part aqueous cream)
– aqueous cream (see above)
– witch hazel (about 2 tablespoons)
– tea tree oil (a few drops)
– lemon essential oil (how much do you like the smell of lemons?)

Mix it all together, and be careful adding the witch hazel, as you want chamois cream and not chamois lotion.

Emollient moisturises and protects the skin. Aqueous cream, er, pretty much does what emollient does. Witch hazel is an astringent which, apparently, among other things, cleanses and soothes skin, stops itching and reduces puffiness by shrinking blood vessels (and none of us want a puffy undercarriage when we’re out cycling). Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic, and the lemon is there to give a nice lemony (funny that) fragrance. All of it can be picked up at your local pharmacist or supermarket.

As you can tell, my concoction isn’t in any way scientific but it does the job as well as any of the branded creams I used before and for at least half the cost. Total for the above list of ingredients? About £15 and that’s to make twice as much as you’d get in a regular-sized pot of branded cream. Plus, you don’t have to buy the witch hazel, tea tree or lemon oil each time (in fact, you could probably do without the lemon oil altogether).

Tempted? Go on, give it a try. All that money you save can be spent on more useful things like beer and Kettle Chips.

All I need now is a recipe for homemade EPO and I’m sorted. Hang on, I might just Google that…

Got your own money-saving concoction, chamois-related or otherwise? Leave it in the comments below.

Enjoyed this nonsense? Then you might like this:

Zen & the Art of Bicycle Maintenance
 Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance