Test: Squirrel’s Nut Butter Anti-Chafe Salve
Squirrel’s Nut Butter sponsors some of the best-known names in US trail running including Jim Walmsley, Camille Herron, Michael Wardian, Magdalena Boulet, Sage Canaday, Kaci Lickteig, Karl Meltzer, and Ian Sharman. It’s little wonder they do – trail running is a sport where sweat, long distances, dust, and water from rain or river crossings can combine to cause chafing.
South African trail running ambassadors include Rory Scheffer, Naomi Brand, Nick Rupanga, Edson Kumwamba, Armand du Plessis, Bianca Tarboton, and Luke Powers.
Watch our overview of @squirrelsnutbut alongside an African river on #YouTube. A review of three Squirrel’s Nut Butter products will be posted to our website in the next month. https://t.co/fDjBeGM0Z1#antichafe #balm #vegan #review pic.twitter.com/zn9XcWQuhS
— TRAIL magazine (@TRAILza) September 27, 2018
Squirrel’s have used just four natural ingredients (coconut oil, cocoa butter, candelilla wax, and Vitamin E oil) in the vegan version. It applies easily, moisturises extremely well, and smells great! It has a subtle scent that faintly reminds me of toned-down dubbin. If you cycled in the Eighties or early Nineties, you’ll remember dubbin as the oily sheep’s wool extract that road cyclists would rub into the chamois leather sewn in their shorts. Thank goodness the cycling industry moved onto synthetics by the mid-Nineties.
The 2 ounce Anti-Chafe Salve tub version (pictured above) is a fraction under 60mm in external diameter. The screw top twists open to reveal a 50mm internal diameter with approximately 30mm depth of salve. External height of the tub is 51.5mm. The build quality of the polypropylene (PP, recycle code 05) container is solid, making it something you might want to reuse to stash small items.
My favourite thing about Squirrel’s Nut Butter is that it works, and my second favourite thing is the heavenly smell.
At White Mountain Festival, I did a short run in a skirt and forgot to apply the lubricant to my inner thighs. Big mistake. The resulting chafe was soothed by application of Squirrel’s Nut Butter Anti-Chafe Salve (using the 1.7oz stick version, pictured right) after the damage was done, so I could keep wearing dresses and skirts without pain.
A few weeks later, before heading up the steep Platberg mountain at the Harrismith Mountain Race, I applied Squirrel’s Nut Butter Anti-Chafe Salve to my ribs under my sports bra. I’ve had chafing there for every run over 10km in the last few months, but not this time!
It also works well as a lip balm when I have to venture out of Durban’s humidity cocoon.
Heloise Hunter, TRAIL magazine’s associate editor
I generally don’t chafe anywhere anymore (I guess over time the body adapts and we choose clothing more carefully) but I’m finding the Anti-Chafe Salve vegan version fantastic for skin protection and moisturising (face, elbows). I really enjoy the scent (and the flavour when I apply it around my mouth).
Smell and taste doesn’t sound like a big deal but it does make it more likely to be applied (which immediately increases its efficacy).
I like the fact that it contains just four healthy ingredients. Since it’s based mostly on coconut oil (which it doesn’t smell like at all), it does harden once temperatures drop below around 24 C (76 F). This makes application more of a challenge than at higher temps. The stick versions are your best better in a wider range of temperatures. You can use them from below feeezing to 35 degrees.
Back to the Salve, I use a finger nail to scrape off slivers to warm on skin where it’s being applied. In cold weather, it is better to warm the tub in a pocket close to your body so it’s softer.
Deon Braun, TRAIL magazine’s publisher
Why use Squirrel’s Nut Butter?
Squirrel’s Nut Butter call their product THE ATHLETE’S SOLUTION. SNB is an athlete-tested salve proven to prevent chafing and blisters. The 2.0 oz tub of SNB makes for waterproof and mess-free application so you can put all your energy into elevating your fitness level.
- VEGAN FRIENDLY SALVE: Child safe and never tested on animals – this special blend eliminates beeswax to create a vegan-friendly restorative salve – made from coconut oil, cocoa butter, candelilla wax, and vitamin E oil.
- REMARKABLE COMFORT: Whether you’re cycling trails, climbing cliffs, hiking canyons, or running coasts, avoid the preventable hang ups – apply the Anti-Chafe Salve on thighs, neck, arms, and where skin is rubbed for active prevention and relief.
- MULTI-PURPOSE SALVE FOR EVERYONE: Awarded ‘Best in Category’ by UltraRunning Magazine, our salve also works as skin restoration on eczema, dry or cracked hands, feet and face – convenient for diaper rash, tattoo recovery, razor burn.
- POST-RACE SOOTHING: Use Squirrel’s Nut Butter Anti-Chafe Salve before showering to avoid the yelps of excruciating pain that come with irritated skin and post-run showers. Heal quicker with the hydrating and restorative effects of the company’s Anti-Chafe salve.
Candelilla is Euphorbia antisyphilitica, a species of flowering plant in the spurge family Euphorbiaceae. It is native to the Trans-Pecos of Texas and southern New Mexico in the United States as well as Chihuahua, Coahuila, Hidalgo, and Querétaro in Mexico. It’s a vegan alternative to beeswax. It’s often used to replace other waxes to add texture or help make barrier products, such as lip balms.
- A big thank you for the Squirrel Nut butter samples you gave me for our 6-day Wild Coast run last month. It was a hit! From the outset I was amused at having to explain to other runners what it was for, and how to use it. Their ignorance was short lived when on day 3 they were begging me for more. I religiously rubbed it on my feet every morning. It lasted all day despite several shoes-off ocean dips en route! With all the sea and sand in my shoes I ended the 6 days blister-free.
I held onto my Nut Butter well into the evening to use on my lips. The others knew this and every night runners came asking to use it. Thankfully it didn’t empty until the last day. For such a small pot it lasted so well! To sum it up, your nut butter was magic and indispensable. Alison Ball
- “Love the texture and smell, and it works.” Naomi Brand
- “First time ever, no chafe!” Geoffrey Chisnall
- “It’s literally the best. Can’t wait to take it to Otter. It’s top of my packing list.” Jake Klass
Stay updated with new stockists.