Summer is almost over, but I’m still sweatin.’ That might be because I live in California, where it stays hot right through September (and for most of the year, truth be told). If you’re a lady whose thighs rub together when you walk, you’re probably familiar with the eternal quest to prevent ‘chub rub.’ This phrase describes the sensation of repetitive thigh-rubbing and can affect anyone with thighs that naturally touch; you may have noticed this kind of discomfort while exercising or wearing skirts in the warmer months, since chafing tends to get worse in warm weather (sweat is an additional skin irritant!).
The lingering effects of chub rub can be uncomfortable as well as unsightly. Thigh friction may result in chafing, rashes, or bumps on your skin. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having thighs that rub together, you probably want to avoid irritation. Check out these five easy ways to prevent chub rub and give your sensitive bits a break.
Any type of elasticated shorts — from cycling shorts to Spanx — will help protect your thighs from chafe city. Shorts are easy to wear under dresses and skirts; and as an added bonus, they’ll prevent you from flashing everyone if your skirt blows up in an unexpected breeze.
I recommend Thigh Society, a size-inclusive company founded with the specific goal of combatting chub rub and selling “second-skin” base layers to protect your thighs. As an alternative to suffocating “shapewear,” these are long-leg underwear for women (a.k.a. “chafewear”). I love “The Cooling” pair ($37 on Thigh Society), which are moisture-wicking and made with performance fabric that pulls heat away from your body.
Another option is Spanx shorts: a bit of an investment, but they cannot be beat for quality (plus, tummy control). Try the Thinstincts 2.0 Mid-Thigh Short ($58 at Spanx), a lightweight and breathable pair that also offer Spanx’s signature targeted shaping for your stomach and hips.
If you’d rather not put on a full pair of shorts (adding another layer can definitely make you hotter), consider anti-chafing bands or “bandalettes.” Think of it like a garter at the top of stockings: This is a barrier covering only the parts of your skin that are likely to rub together. While I haven’t tried these personally, reviews claim they stay in place all day without the commitment of shorts. Try the Bandelettes Patented Trademarked Original Elastic Anti-Chafing Thigh Bands ($20.69 on Amazon); the lace ones even look kind of sexy, especially if glimpsed briefly when you flash a little leg.
If you’re not down with a band, how about a patch? The Chub Rub Patch ($8.99 from The Chub Rub Patch) made a splash on TikTok as a brand that reinforces body positivity. These patches cover even less skin than the bands — you only stick them on the part of your thighs that rub together, instead of circling the whole leg. The sweat-proof patches are easy to apply and remove, allowing your thighs to glide seamlessly together; plus, they come in a variety of skin tones, to better blend in with your natural color.
Baby powder was invented in 1893 by Johnson & Johnson to prevent diaper rash — but companies quickly began marketing it to women after discovering the talc was also useful for controlling moisture in the genital region. Dusting some powder on your skin is still an easy way to prevent chafing.
The most popular powder product on the thigh market these days is the Silky Underwear Dusting Powder ($12.50 at Lush). It’s made with skin-friendly ingredients that’ll keep chafing at bay, without all the harmful chemicals other powders may contain. Bonus: Lots of women love it for under-boob sweat, too.
Think of it like deodorant for your thighs — or ointment shorts. I love Megababe Thigh Rescue, ($14 from Megababe), an anti-chafe stick with nourishing grapeseed oil and antioxidant rich vitamin E that helps moisturize your skin and create a barrier where applied. You just swipe it on your thighs like you would your deodorant, and they’ll slip past each other with ease.
You can also try Body Glide ($10.99 from Body Glide), a non-greasy anti-chafe and blister balm that comes in a similar stick format and is sweat and water-resistant. Apply it anywhere your skin is being rubbed the wrong way, from your feet to your neck.
Bonus: Healing Tip
Did you forget your chub rub protection method and get struck by the dreaded chafe? To ease your discomfort, try CeraVe Healing Ointment ($19.88 at Walmart). This thick and extra-moisturizing cream features three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid. It also absorbs less rapidly than lotions, so it’ll stay on your thighs to provide a barrier as you heal, keeping your sore skin hydrated all day long.
May the remainder of your summer be chafe-free and breezy.