Inner-thigh rub affects more women (and men) than you'd know. Stop it hurting with these simple tips, tricks, and products.
If last week’s temperatures (and our hay fever) is anything to go by, spring is well and truly here – which means it’s probably time to stock up on chafing cream, too.
You’re already planning when you’ll get your summer dresses out of the spare wardrobe. But, excitement about the prospect of soaking up that sunshine aside, we’re far less amused by one common side effect of hot weather. We’re looking at you, thigh chafing.
Ah, yes. When the temperature soars and you’ve ditched your jeans in place of an easy breezy summer dress, for some, there’s no getting away from it. And that’s totally normal (it happens to the best of us), but not particularly comfortable. It’s itchy, sore, can leave you with red raw patches between your legs, and just isn’t pleasant.
Waddling might relieve it for a bit, as can subtly trying to tuck your dress between your legs and hoping no one notices. But if you’re not keen on wincing as you slow walk home, then here’s how to avoid thigh chafing forever, ft. the best chafing cream currently available to buy.
So, what is thigh chafing?
Thigh chafing is the result of the skin between your legs consistently rubbing, which can cause irritation. During the hotter months, we sweat more and therefore it makes the friction between your thighs even worse.
Some people experience some slight discomfort, others find they get rashes, but the repeated rub can also cause the skin to break and make it feel painfully raw.
As a runner, I sometimes get thigh and armpit chafing – which is why I started investing in the below. My two go-to’s are Vaseline and BodyGlide – the latter is particularly great for long-distance running as it doesn’t sweat off – but I’ve tried and tested all of the below and they get my seal of approval.
Chafing cream: 13 best products to help prevent rub
The easiest ways to prevent thigh chafing come in the form of a cream, balm or garment that acts as a barrier.
If you opt for a cream or balm, remember to apply it between your legs – or on the areas that need protection – before you head out. FYI, any creams, gels, or balms that offer lubrication will reduce the friction, soothe your skin, and protect you from the get-go. Thigh chafing? More like bye chafing.
Bepanthen Thigh Chafing Cream, £2.50
This well-known nappy rash cream and ointment is created for babies and you can tell – it’s soothing and makes your skin feel super soft. I liked that it created the perfect moisturising barrier between the rubbing skin, was affordable, plus lasted me for around eight months.
Mama Mio Lucky Legs, £20.00
Designed for pregnancy but for all chafing situs, I liked that this gel is cooling and therefore one of the better options for relieving that hot, itchy feeling thigh rub can sometimes cause. A higher price point, but a good investment.
BeYou Anti Chafing Cream, £12.95
Next up, I tried the BeYou anti-chafing cream. I really liked that the ingredients list is all-natural, vegan, and includes the likes of lavender and coconut oil. I found it to be more breathable than other options but also needed to apply it more regularly, too.
Vaseline Original Pure Petroleum Jelly, £1.50
As simple as it comes, Vaseline is the OG way of preventing your thighs – or any other part of your body, for that matter – from chafing. I first tried this when I was about 14 years old and have used it most summers since, because I know I can rely on it for instant protection without the price tag.
Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel, £6.30
Another fairly budget-friendly product, I found the Lancane gel soothing. It did indeed prevent chafing and offer long-lasting relief, as it promised on the packet. Plus, as Sustainability Editor, I liked that the product has one of Amazon’s ‘Climate Pledge Friendly’ badges, indicating it has credible sustainability certifications. Buy for a
BodyGlide Unisex Anti Chafe Balm Stick, £18.48
If you’re looking for a stick that quite literally glides on and protects your thighs all day, give BodyGlide a go. I’ve used it loads for running and it never disappoints. While it is a little pricey, I found that it lasts all day and doesn’t need to be reapplied during, no matter how sweaty or clammy you get.
Sirona Natural Anti Chafing Rash Cream, £9.99
After a more natural balm? I tried the Sirona natural rash cream with no chemical additives. It was easy to apply, soothing, and non-scented, which I liked as it didn’t overpower my perfume. I also liked that it also helped my already chafed skin to heal, too.
Glamza Chub Rub Anti Chafing Cream, £7.99
With near 400 reviews and an average of four stars, I was excited to trywhat Glamza calls their “unique anti-friction formula” – and it really works. The key standout for me was the fact it didn’t stain (and I mean didn’t mark my clothes at all).
Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder, £10
Not a chafing cream, but a damn good powder that I love using and have since bought again. A bit like talcum powder, but better smelling, this dusting product from Lush was soft, silky, and I was pleasantly surprised at how long it lasted, too. I also thought it felt a bit nicer to apply than, say, gel.
Azulenal Ointment with Guaiazulene: Multipurpose Rash Cream, £12.10
Ok, so this one won’t prevent chafing, but is great for treating sore skin when you’ve already experienced it. I liked that it’s specifically developed for use near sensitive genital areas, and helps to relieve sores, skin redness, skin irritation, and psoriasis, too. Medical grade treatment? Sorted.
Premax Chamois Cream, £24
Sporty and want to avoid the dreaded chub rub? Another one I’ve tried and rate is Premax’s chamois cream. A mix between Bodyglide and Lush’s dusting cream, it’s a bit like suncream but for your chafe. I liked that it promises anti-bacterial protection and lasted over the course of a sweaty two-hour run.
If creams, balms, or powders aren’t your thing, then fear not. There are a couple of different items you can wear under your dress or skirt that will keep the skin separated and no one will be any the wiser.
Anti-chafing shorts, we’re looking at you.
M&S Collection Cool Comfort™ Anti-chafing Shorts, £12.00
I liked that these anti-chafing shorts act as a thigh barrier and include cool comfort technology which will keep you feeling fresh and free all day. They come in three colours – black, white and almond – and I thought were a bargain at only £12 a pair.
Or, if you’re looking for a cheaper thigh barrier alternative, you could also get a pair of regular tights and cut them at the knee. You’ll end up with breathable and light tights-shorts that you can wear under your clothes. You heard it here first.
How to heal thigh chafing – fast
1. First, gently clean the area with water.
2. Ensure your skin is dry before applying any products, to reduce the risk of infection if the skin is broken.
3. Apply one of the healing creams mentioned above, like Benpanthen.
4. If you prefer a homemade remedy, soaked and refrigerated chamomile tea bags are said to do the trick.