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The Faction Actionproof Chamois Cream has a lightweight feel to it and, if an all-natural ingredient list is what you're after, it's probably the product for you. Like others of this ilk it costs a bit more though, and you might want something thicker for those really long rides.
There is nothing worse than saddle discomfort if you ride every day for commuting, or you're on a multi-day event. Chamois cream is the obvious way around it, and like everything else there are many different types to choose from. I'd say the Faction is one of the better ones.
I normally use chamois cream only for rides over three hours or so – shorter than that on the gravel bike, as I tend to spend a lot more time seated. I'm not a fan of a cooling menthol effect and I don't much enjoy thick creams that feel weird when you first sit on them.
The Faction feels of a much lighter-weight than most, and while there is a slight scent it's far from overpowering.
During application there's no feeling of greasiness, and in fact I barely noticed it at all. Even when riding I didn't feel like I was using a cream, yet after plenty of hours in the saddle I was still feeling fresh and without irritation.
As it's lighter, though, I did find I'd need to reapply it after four or five hours to maintain the protection.
This cream uses an olive extract which Faction says provides a long-lasting silky feel, and it seems to work very well – I could ride for hours without noticing the cream at all and without any soreness whatsoever.
Actionproof also uses 'active molecules' from magnolia and white willow bark which are proven (according to Faction) to calm sensitive and irritated skin, reduce redness, and protect against dryness.
This is all part of Faction's 'Friction Sense Technology' which is a botanical concoction designed to do all of those jobs and prevent bacteria growing.
Things you won't find in Actionproof are silicone, petrochemicals, PEGs (presumably polyethylene glycol) or parabens.
Officially the RRP is £19.99 for this 150ml tin. The recently tested Cambridge Chamois Cream is also 100% natural and costs £14.50 for a 100ml tin, so even at full price the Faction works out slightly cheaper at £13.32 per 100ml.
Faction is currently discounting it significantly, however, and at £13.49 it's much more competitive.
BeElite's Chamois Cream comes in a 250ml tin for £20 which is quite a bargain as long as you aren't put off by the inclusion of menthol – and that's virtually always on sale at a tenner, so even better value.
Faction Actionproof is a barely-noticeable chamois cream that quietly keeps you soreness free. It's at the pricier end of the market, but it works well – and it's worth it if you want only natural ingredients.
Barely noticeable in use, but does a great job of stopping any saddle soreness
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Faction Actionproof Chamois Cream
Size tested: 150g
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Faction says, "Faction Actionproof Chamois Cream has been designed from the ground up to provide unbeatable protection from saddle soreness. Meaning you can perform at the highest possible level, in even the most demanding conditions.
"Just as importantly, we will never use any questionable ingredients, the 'dirty dozen'. Unlike other brands, we will never use silicone, petrochemicals or 10 other ingredients known to be, or suspected to be harmful to the environment, your skin, or long-term health."
It's a comfortable cream to use and wear.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sustainably Reduces Friction
Faction Actionproof Chamois Cream uses olive extract which provides a long lasting silky feel, significantly reducing saddle friction. It's non-greasy and unlike silicone based chamois creams, it doesn't have any negative consequences for the environment.
Natural Skin Protection Technology
Faction's Friction Sense Technology is a botanical complex designed to prevent friction, inhibit skin inflammation, calm irritation and prevent bacteria. It's the only chamois cream to use micro encapsulation technology, which protects key ingredients and maximises their efficacy.
Scientifically Proven Ingredients
Faction Actionproof Chamois Cream contains active molecules from Magnolia and White Willow bark that have been proven to calm sensitive and irritated skin, reduce redness and protect against dryness. Other natural ingredients include Shea Butter, Apricot Kernel Oil & Alba Bark Extract.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pleasant to use and contains no menthol.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Barely noticeable when used.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pricier than 'regular' creams that aren't 100% natural.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's similarly priced to other creams that use 100% natural ingredients, like the Cambridge tin mentioned in the review. Other brands who might not go down that route can be found cheaper like the BeElite option.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, especially at the sale price
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A bit pricier than some of the competition, but one of the most unobtrusive I have used.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!