Chalk Dilemma

Is there any chalk out there that isn’t so bad for my dry hands?

By Gear Guy | February 12th, 2018



I suffer from really bad cracked skin on my hands and under my nails. Using climbing chalk makes my condition worse. Is there any chalk out there that isn’t so bad for my dry hands?

Photo: Nate Steiner / Creative Commons 2.0.

Chalk’s purpose is to dry your hands, so you won’t find a chalk that is kind to your skin. Some chalks do have an antiperspirant additive. Avoiding chalk with such additives is a start, but how you care for your hands off the rock is where you can make a real difference. For starters, wear belay gloves. Gloves will keep dirt and rope gack from getting on your hands and further drying them out. When the climbing day is over, wash your hands and apply moisturizer. Moisturize throughout the day, and slather up right before bed.

This Gear Guy question appeared in Rock and Ice issue 248 (February 2018).

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