Donkey Label Skincare

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Donkey Label from Minneapolis, USA have created some interesting skincare products for the cyclist. But are they any good?

Donkey Label, like many other bicycle companies hail from Minneapolis, I’m not sure why or what but, they do produce some fine cycling brands, but Donkey Label is quickly becoming one of them. Donkey Label has a strong ethos in producing quality cycling products and in this review we will cover their skincare range (they call it body care). Their body care range has all the things a cyclist could need covered, on and off the bike. These products are never made using water, which means they don’t have to mix in additives to kill bacteria or mold that you will find in water based products. That is a good thing for any skincare product! Not just for cyclists.

Chamois Balm Premium ($35.00)

I must admit I was lucky enough to be sent my own laser etched tin, which is nice, but no indication of the product inside. Lets just talk about about the tins quickly, it’s a food grade stainless steel canister, with 5 laser etched designs to choose from and they’re lovely. These tins are great little things to keep (that is the idea). You can also have, at a small cost, your own laser etched version which would be great for gifts etc.

The balm itself, well first thing, it’s a balm and not a creme. This for me was a new thing, up to this point I had only ever used creme. I wasn’t sure how much to put on and just treated it like any other chamois creme and that seemed to be just fine. I really liked the smell and feel. The balm is made from *Olive oil, *jojoba oil, local beeswax, *avocado oil; flowers of *calendula, *lavender, and *chamomile; essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, myrrh, lavender, patchouli, peru balsam, and chamomile (*certified organic) – quality. On rides I didn’t notice any difference from other chamois cremes, but it lasted longer and as a balm seemed more water resistant. It’s versatile enough to serve as a chafe balm too. Simply put, a 5 star product and well worth the money (cheaper jar option is available).

Embro Premium ($35.00)

Embrocation is a strange thing, I have used it over the years and always enjoy it on cold rides. The downside to any embrocation is washing it off (don’t ever forget to wash your hands either!). Again, this embrocation is a thick balm like product, whereas in the past I always used oil. I wasn’t sure how it would apply, but it went on like a treat, in fact it’s easier to apply than oil embrocation.

I tested the medium strength and was unfortunate to get the weather conditions completely wrong! (then went for a sauna, it’s painful believe me!). The embro range starts from hot and goes all the way to a cooling version too. Like the chamois balm, it’s made from natural and organic ingredients. It also comes in the same premium tin and designs, but can be purchased in the cheaper jar too. Excellent product and again, 5 star product.

Hand Crafted Soap ($7.00 each)

Everyone needs soap, cyclists are no exception. Donkey Label decided not to make us cyclists one soap, but five! I tested their two best sellers, Herbal Pumice and the Shaving Soap. Whilst not wanting to admit to being bothered about soaps and appearing all metrosexual, these soaps smell amazing! It’s going to be hard to convince you of the smells but each soap, like all the skincare range, is made from natural, organic ingredients and those fragrances let you know everything is good.

The pumice soap is awesome, containing just enough pumice to gently scrub dirt and road grime from your limbs and have you smelling like a flower in no time (guys, it’s ok you will smell great). Next… The shaving soap, it’s designed to lather for obvious reasons. Again, it’s another great smeller, and while the lather will die-down pretty quick it leaves a nice residue to act as friction against a razor and smells bloody lovely (did I mention that already). Both soaps surprised me as every other soap I’ve used has left my skin feeling tight and dry – not these – these are the king of soaps. After using these soaps, I look at all other soaps as secondary choices – no joke. Awesome product 5 stars, just buy them now.


Donkey Label's Body Care range is world class and very impressive considering how new they are to this (skincare products). Overall from the products I tried, the chamois and pumice soap are my ultimate favourites, but all of it is impressive. It's also impressive that these are made in the US, by hand and with a lot of love in small batches. If you don't live in the US don't worry as our main man ilSoigneur is stocking them here in the UK. I can't fault the products, so on that basis they are 5 Headset Press stars products, meaning they're awesome and you should treat yourselves.


Review date: 6 May 2013

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  • Dutchie

    How was washing out the chamois balm? I’d be concerned about residue on my shorts with so many oils.

    • Steve

      Good question. Hand washing left a lot in, bit a 30ºC wash left nothing (in terms of smell!). I wouldn’t worry about the oils much, they’re natural and gentle to the skin. Even after hand washing my bibs they didn’t feel greasy.

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