New Findings: Aerodynamics and Cyclists’ Legs

Bicycle race

Is no hair on your legs a matter of fashion or function for cyclists? Oregon-based triathlete Jesse Thomas forgot to shave before a wind-tunnel testing session earlier this year and decided it would be the perfect time to test this hypothesis. He found out the reduction in aerodynamic drag was so significant that even researchers running the test didn’t initially believe it.

Leg shaving in cycling dates back more than a century by some accounts. The original reasons are murky, but conventional wisdom holds that bare legs recover more quickly from road rash after crashes and hurt less during massage. As former Tour de France stage-winner Davis Phinney said in a recent interview, “Real bike riders shave their legs.”

Before wind tunnel testing, the aerodynamic benefits were generally considered a minor side-effect. Thomas was lucky to have access to a brand-new wind tunnel in California and tests showed that having hairless legs reduced Thomas’s drag by about 7 percent. Other fancy cycling components seemed relatively minor in comparison. A new helmet saved him 2 or 3 watts, and a new long-sleeved racing suit saved another 8 watts.

Five more cyclists were tested before they would let Thomas publicly reveal the findings. The results were consistent: All of them saved between 50 and 82 seconds over 40 kilometers.

The evidence concludes that legs free of hair improve aerodynamics substantially. The benefits of waxing your legs is that is (something) longer and over time hair becomes thinner and not as coarse. You also don’t have to do it as often. Either way if you are a cyclist, it pays to have hairless legs.


Source: The Curious Case of the Cyclist’s Unshaven Legs, The Globe and Mail, 9/7/14
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How Do I Hide My Problem Skin?


While there’s no fast fix for acne, eczema, or a bad sunburn, try these fixes to help skin look its best.


Try using an over the counter benzyl peroxide cream or tea tree oil.  Wait a few minutes for them to penetrate and then mix an oil free moisturizer with your foundation. Use your index finger to pat mixture into the skin. Let sit for 30 seconds, then gently remove any dry skin flakes with tweezers. Never use powder to set foundation.  Try to buy products that have sunscreen already added.


Squeeze a moisturizing cream cleanser onto a makeup-removing wipe, rub it over your face in a circular motion, then rinse with cold water. Blend moisturizer into skin with your fingertip. Next, combine a dollop of foundation with a pea-size amount of moisturizer. Rub your hands together to blend, and then pat on skin.


Rub fresh aloe vera, chamomile or hydrocortisone cream  over the burn, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  Apply a creamy moisturizer on top.  Select a foundation two tones darker than your normal skin tone to cover the redness.  It is never a good idea to burn your skin.   

Source: INSTYLE Magazine September 2014
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Pollution And Our Skin

Closeup of a girl in medical mask

Air pollution is something we don’t see that often (excludes Los Angeles and Beijing); but it is all around us and has a impact on our skin and health.  Particles in the air settle on our skin and can block our pores resulting in breakouts.  My daughter who is prone to acne; after living in China for 4 months came back with full blown acne.  Prior to going there, her skin was clear.  Air pollution can also cause eczema and skin rashes.

 Pollutants That Harm Your Skin

There are many pollutants in the air:   car exhaust, airborne dirt(construction sites),  dust particles (the dessert), smog, and smoke.  During a fire from a natural source the ash and debris particles floating in the air are apparent. Volcanic activity also adds particles to the air.  Sulphur dioxide from vehicles, petroleum refineries and mills also damages your skin.

Protection From the Outside

The best way you can protect your skin is to adhere to a good skin care routine.  At a minimum wash your face with a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type.  If you do not know what your skin type is, visit an esthetician for a skin evaluation.  Exfoliating two to three times a week will help keep your pores clean and remove dead skin cells so your skin does not look dull.   Apply a moisturizer with or without sunscreen (at least SPF 30) to create a barrier between the environment and your face.  Never skimp on the sunscreen. Look for products with antioxidants, essential oils and vitamins to help maintain your skin.  If your skin is damaged, consider using a serum and night creams with peptides for repair.

Maintenance From the Inside

Pollution also enters our bodies as we breathe. Drinking at least 8 – 10 glasses of  water every day hydrates the skin and helps the liver to process and remove toxins from the blood. To support your liver function, add liver-friendly foods to your diet: beets, broccoli, cabbage, kale, swiss chard, and other cruciferous vegetables.  Eat lots of fruit including berries which have antioxidant properties. Don’t overtax the liver, drink alcohol in moderation.

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