Tights and pantyhose are essentials in many wardrobes and they see a lot of action during the cold winter months. Opaque tights can be a great way to express creativity and personality, think of how cute Zooey Deschanel makes them, but they don’t always go with your outfits and when they don’t, sheer pantyhose become the solution. Many cringe at the thought of having nylon cling to their legs from November to March, but what else is a lady to do when she wants to don her favorite dress? Fashion bloggers have come up with a clever solution to wearing pantyhose and tights for those that just don’t like wearing them – embrocation creams. Keep reading to learn what embrocation creams are and why they might be your fashion savior this winter.
What is Embrocation Cream?
If you’ve never heard of embrocation creams, you certainly aren’t alone. While these creams and ointments are definitely not new, the attention surrounding them certainly is. Cyclists have been using embrocation creams for years in order to continue cycling during even the coldest months of the year. The creams have formulas that create a lasting feeling of warmth and are meant to be slathered over your legs, allowing you to go bare without the freezing, painful sensations you’d get otherwise.
What is in Embrocation Creams?
There are tons of brands that produce embrocation creams or ointments and while the formulas can be different, there is one ingredient nearly all have in common: capsicum. Embrocation creams are formulated using ingredients that stimulate circulation and create a sensation of warmth. The primary ingredients in embrocation creams and ointments are generally a blend of natural essences like wintergreen, clove, tea tree, menthol, peppermint and camphor that is mixed with a buttery base formed from ingredients like shea butter and lanolin. The active ingredient found in embrocation creams is capsicum, which is an extract from red chili peppers. Capsicum is used widely in cosmetics and other medical products like Salonpas patches for sore muscles. Secondary ingredients in embrocation creams are there primarily to serve as moisturizing agents or to help make the smell of the product less medicinal and more pleasant.
Are Embrocation Creams Safe?
Exercise physiologist Jason Boynton states that “there’s no evidence it’s dangerous. Capsicum works on particular thermal receptors – there’s no actual warmth coming from the creams.” The only thing to note is that capsicum can be irritating to the skin and when paired with other potential irritants like peppermint or tea tree, your legs may be warm but still uncomfortable. Always do a patch test before using the product to determine how your skin will react.
Embrocation creams have been used for years by cyclists and the certainly can help to keep your legs warm in winter weather. However, they can be potentially irritating, particularly if you already have sensitive skin and they may take some getting used to. Wearing embrocation creams daily may not be ideal or practical, but when you just can’t wait for warmer weather to wear your favorite skirt or dress, they are a great way to keep both your style and your comfort.