Marie Claire gets the nod from its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission on some of the items you choose to purchase.
Inner thigh rubbing affects more people than you realize. Stop hurting with these simple tips, tricks and products.
If the current heat wave is anything to go by, summer is indeed here – which means it’s probably time to stock up on chafing cream.
You’re probably already planning when you can turn off your laptop and change out of your summer dress into your favorite swimwear to soak up the evening rays. But, excitement at the prospect of enjoying that sunshine aside, we’re far less amused by a common side effect of warm weather. We’re looking at you, thigh chafing.
Yes exactly. When the temperature soars and you ditch your jeans in favor of a light airy summer dress, for some there’s no getting away from it. And that is in total normal (it happens to the best of us), but not very comfortable. It itches, hurts, can leave you with red spots between your legs and is just not pleasant.
Waggling can alleviate it a bit, as can subtly trying to tuck your dress between your legs and hope no one notices. But if you don’t feel like wincing as you slowly walk home, here’s how to avoid thigh chafing forever, with the best chafing cream available right now.
So what is Chafing on the thighs?
Thigh chafing is the result of the skin between your legs consistently rubbing, which can cause irritation. During the warmer months, we sweat more and therefore it makes the friction between your thighs even worse.
Some experience some discomfort, others experience a rash, but the repeated rubbing can also break the skin and make it feel painfully raw.
As a runner, I sometimes get chafing in my thighs and armpits – that’s why I started investing in the following. My two go-tos are Vaseline and BodyGlide – the latter is especially good for long-distance running because it doesn’t sweat off – but I’ve tried and tested everything below and they get my stamp of approval.
Chafing Cream: 13 Best Products to Prevent Chafing
The easiest ways to prevent chafing on the thighs come in the form of a cream, conditioner or garment that acts as a barrier.
If you choose a cream or conditioner, remember to apply it between the legs – or on the areas that need protection – before heading out. FYI, any cream, gel, or balm that offers lubrication will reduce friction, soothe your skin, and protect you from the start. Chafing your thighs? More like Bye chafing.
Bepanthen Thigh Chafing Cream, £7 | Amazon
This well-known diaper rash cream and ointment is made for babies and you can tell – it’s soothing and makes your skin feel super soft. I liked that it created the perfect moisturizing barrier between the chafing skin, was affordable, plus it lasted me about eight months.
BeYou Anti Chafing Cream, £11.32 | Amazon
Next I tried the BeYou anti-chafing cream. I really liked that the ingredient list is all natural, vegan and includes things like lavender and coconut oil. I found it more breathable than other options but also needed to apply it more regularly as well.
Vaseline Original Pure Petroleum Jelly, £1.43 | Amazon
As simple as it is, petroleum jelly is the OG way to prevent 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 then because I know I can rely on it for instant protection without the price tag.
Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel, £6.29 | Super drug
Another fairly budget friendly product, I found the Lancane gel soothing. It really prevented chafing and provided long-lasting relief, as it promised on the packaging. Also, as a sustainability editor, I liked that the product has one of Amazon’s “Climate Pledge Friendly” marks, indicating that it has credible sustainability certifications. Buy for one
BodyGlide Unisex Anti Chafe Balm Stick, £18.56 | Amazon
If you’re looking for a bra that literally glides on and protects your thighs all day, give the BodyGlide a try. I’ve used it a lot for running and it never disappoints. Although it’s a bit pricey, I found it lasts all day and doesn’t need to be reapplied, no matter how sweaty or sticky you get.
Sirona Natural Anti Chafing Rash Cream, £9.99 | Amazon
After a more natural conditioner? I tried Sirona natural skin rash cream without chemical additives. It was easy to apply, soothing and unscented – it wasn’t overpowering, which I liked. I also liked that it also helped my already chafed skin to heal.
Glamza Chub Rub Anti Chafing Cream, £4.35 | Amazon
With nearly 400 reviews and a four-star average on Amazon, I was excited to try what Glamza calls their “unique anti-friction formula”—and it really does work. The main thing for me was the fact that it didn’t stain (and I mean didn’t stain my clothes at all).
Lush Silky Underwear Damping Powder, £10 | Lush
No chafing cream, but a damn good powder that I love to use and have since repurchased. A bit like talc, but better smelling, this dust product from Lush was soft and silky, and I was pleasantly surprised at how long it lasted too. I also thought it felt a little nicer to apply than, say, gel.
Azulenal ointment, £12.10 | Amazon
Ok, so this one won’t prevent chafing but it is good for treating sore skin when you’ve already experienced it. I liked that it is specially developed for use near sensitive genitals, and helps relieve sores, redness, skin irritation and psoriasis as well. Medical treatment? Sorted.
Premax Chamois Cream, £14.99 | Premax
Sporty and want to avoid the dreaded chub rub? Another one I’ve tried and rated is Premax’s chamois cream. A mix between Bodyglide and Lush’s dust cream, it’s a bit like sunscreen but for your chafing. I liked that it promises antibacterial protection and held up during a sweaty two-hour run.
If creams, conditioners or powders aren’t your thing, fear not. There are a few different items you can wear under your dress or skirt that will keep your skin separated and no one will be the wiser.
Anti-chafing shorts, we’re looking at you.
M&S Collection Cool Comfort™ Anti-Chafe Shorts£10.00
I liked that these anti-chafing shorts act as a thigh barrier and include cool comfort technology that will keep you fresh and free all day. They come in three colors – black, white and almond – and I thought were a bargain at just £12 a pair.
Or, if you’re looking for a cheaper thigh barrier option, you can also buy a pair of regular tights and cut them off at the knee. You’ll end up with breathable and lightweight 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. Make sure 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 above, such as Benpanthen.
4. If you prefer a homemade remedy, soaked and cooled chamomile tea bags are said to do the trick.