If you’re an athlete or outdoor enthusiast, you know how important it is to protect and replenish your skin, not only from the sun’s harmful rays but from the hours of sweat, salt, and dirt that can build up during epic adventures. Recently I had the opportunity to take part in a product testing for a company called Zealios. Their product line-up includes a Swim & Sport Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Lotion, Sun Barrier SPF 45 Sunscreen, and Betwixt Athletic Skin & Chamois Cream (not tested). Before I share my thoughts on these products, here’s a little background information on the company based in Berkeley, CA:
Zealios was founded in 2009 when a group of health-conscious endurance athletes realized that we simply could not find high quality skincare products that performed on race day. As outdoor-loving souls, we also understood the importance of protecting ourselves against the potentially harmful effects of direct sunlight, high altitudes, and salty swims. We set out to create performance-based personal care products formulated specifically with athletes in mind.
After years of testing and developing with endurance junkies across the world, we have now successfully created a line of products to serve an athletes’ every need–from training day, to race day, to recovery & prevention. We design our product formulas to enrich performance, cleansing, and restorative needs of athletes everywhere.
– Zealios Team
Zealios sent me 4 full-sized products to test over a 7-day period. Since I am in peak training for IM Canada and putting in several hours of training, I had the opportunity to really put these products through the ringer!
First up is the Sun Barrier SPF45:
- Micronized Zinc Oxide (8%)
- Broad spectrum UVA/UVB Protection
- Paba, paraben, and oil-free
- Very water resistant (highest FDA water resistance rating)
I’ll be honest. I’m extremely picky when it comes to sunscreens. While most people love the smell of sunscreens as it reminds them of tropical places and warm summer days on the beach, I for one, do not. For whatever reason, I actually become nauseated by the smell of sunscreens, especially when working out. I also hate sunscreens that leave a heavy film on your skin, making an already hot and humid training session feel that much more uncomfortable. Understandably, these things may seem trivial when you consider what sunscreen is really supposed to do…protect our skin, but not in my opinion. Luckily, Zealios nailed this one! Their formula has very little to no odor and has no weight or “heavy” feeling to it at all, yet my skin never felt dried out either. This sunscreen also rubs in easily. I found, too, that a little goes a long way, which is a good thing as this sunscreen is priced at $14.95 for 3 oz. That’s all good, but does it really protect? I can confidently answer this one — YES! Over the course of 7 days, I spent countless hours outside riding my bike and running and not once did I get burned or even appear to have gotten sun (I specifically wore a cycling jersey on my bike rides to help identify new tan lines on my arms — I typically wear tanks and racerback styles during the summer). I really put it to the test on my 100 mile bike ride that reached temperatures of almost 100 degrees. I was on the bike for several hot and humid hours, lots of sweat, but no burns or new tan lines. Another bonus is that my skin never broke out while using this sunscreen (daily), so no clogged pores!
Pros: light, airy feeling when applied; little to no odor, even when heavily sweating; doesn’t dry out skin; easily absorbed; awesome protection from the sun even after several hours, but especially when reapplied as directed; doesn’t clog pores
Cons: some may find it a little pricey at almost $15 a pop for 3 oz. (but it really is worth every dollar!)
Next up is the Swim & Sport Shampoo and Conditioner:
Shampoo – $14.95 for 16 fl oz. Conditioner – $14.95 for 16 fl oz.
- Sulfate Free Sulfate free
- Removes chlorine and sweat Restores moisture & shine
- Safe for color-treated hair Strengthens damaged hair
- gentle for everyday use
I have extremely processed hair, meaning that I have to go through several color-stripping hair appointments to have a bleach blond mohawk. I typically spend around $50 for salon grade shampoo and conditioners to keep my hair from looking like straw and to keep it moisturized, so naturally I was a little hesitant to really use these products every time I washed my hair over the course of the 7-day testing period (which was a LOT). However, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of these products.
Both the shampoo and conditioner have a very light scent (think citrus), which was really refreshing, making it perfect for both ladies and gents. The shampoo didn’t lather as much as I’d like, but my scalp and hair definitely felt super clean from sweat, salt, and chlorine after my workouts. What I really liked about the shampoo, though, was that really clean feeling, but yet my hair didn’t feel “stripped” of moisture like I’ve felt from other shampoo products that claim to remove chlorine, salt, and sweat. The conditioner felt like any other normal conditioner during application, but the quality of this one really showed up after the shower. My hair felt moisturized but not weighed down. This is important to me because I often like to style my hair in funky ways, but a heavy conditioner can easily ruin the ability to have fun hair. Over the course of the 7-day testing period (and even now) my hair never felt dry or damaged, only clean, moisturized, and revived. I guess that’s why Zealios refers to their shampoo/conditioner/body lotion as their Revival line!
Pros: lightly scented, sulfate free, gentle for everyday use – even on processed hair, leaves scalp and hair feeling super clean of chlorine and built up sweat and dirt without feeling stripped of moisture, conditioner moisturizes without weighing hair down, keeps hair looking and feeling healthy, vegan AND not tested on animals!
Cons: price may seem a little high to some if you’re used to using normal store-bought shampoos and conditioners
Finally, Zealios’ Swim & Sport Lotion:
- Soothes and conditions skin
- Maximum hydration
- Rich in vitamins and antioxidants
After hours in the sun or in the water, it’s easy for our skin to look and feel ravaged so a lotion that hydrates is a “must” in my book. Coming in at $14.95 for 16 fl oz., this lotion packs a powerful punch! Lightly scented, this lotion has a slight hint of mango (IMO) – not too much, not too little. It’s just right. I quickly found out that a little bit goes a long way, which is great if you feel like the price is a little high. The lotion rubs in easily and best of all, it actually moisturizes without leaving a left-over greasy feeling on the skin. I actually felt like my skin improved in texture and moisture over the 7-day test period, too, despite the fact that I was in the sun and pool for hours. Where I really noticed a difference was after my swims. The pools that I swim in tend to be a little extreme with the chemicals. I often leave swim sessions feeling like I had a chemical peel and with the annoying “stinging” itches. After showering and slathering some of this on, my skin felt revived. Honestly. Even my Kiss My Face lotion would still leave me a little itchy after swims.
Pros: lightly scented, easily absorbed, moisturizes and soothes skin, a little goes a long way, vegan AND not tested on animals!
Cons: may seem a little pricey to some
Overall, I was extremely impressed with Zealios’ product line. No false claims, in my opinion. I would, however, love to see travel or smaller sizes in the shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, which would make it easier to pack for the gym or race-cations. I’ll definitely be dropping some of my old products and replacing them with these – I’m a fan!
*Please note that the opinions in this review are based solely on my experiences with the products over the 7-day testing period. I am not being paid or encouraged to promote these products by Zealios.