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Something new for the gym

August 03, 2008|Valli Herman | Times Staff Writer

Whether they're Olympic contenders or weekend warriors, athletes are a lot alike: They're keenly aware of their bodies, eager for gear that might improve their performance and big users of sunscreen, moisturizers and balms.

Now there's a line of skin-care products designed specifically for them. A veteran of the cosmetics industry, Josh Shaw, recruited elite athletes such as soccer star Mia Hamm, gold-medal swimmer Amanda Beard and ultra-marathon runner Charlie Engle and asked them what they needed, where they wanted to buy it and how they wanted it to work.

"All of them complained of the same things," Shaw says. "Sunscreen stings their eyes, that the moisturizers were oily and greasy and the anti-friction creams don't last long enough."

The result is Mission Product, a line of five items, each $20 or less and packaged for travel and efficient application during a workout. They are sold in pro shops or sporting-goods stores such as Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker and Performance Bicycle.

We put a few to the test. A good squeeze of the $20 Anti-Friction Cream was absorbed quickly and wasn't sticky -- and made even a new pair of sandals feel comfortable. The $5 lip protector balm comes in a tube with a pointed applicator, which makes it easy to slick on when you're in motion. Though it feels like a lip gloss, it doesn't shine like one. The $15 beeswax-based sunscreen stick survived a hot afternoon in the car without melting -- and it stayed put -- no running into your eyes.

Mission donates 10% of profits to charities, including H20 Africa Foundation and Oceana.


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