The Best Anti-Chafing Products For Thighs That Rub

The Megababe Thigh Rescue keeps friction at bay.

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Best Anti-Chafing Products

Target

In a list of the most irritating sensations, chafing would definitely hit toward the top. 

Luckily, in the past few years lots of brands have started prioritizing products to help out with this issue. Brands have launched beautiful packaging, and marketed these products to make it clear that this is a normal problem that should be addressed. Now, the market is flooded with different formula options. To help you figure out what would work best for you based on your skin sensitivities and planned activity, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite picks. While Megababe Thigh Rescue took home the best overall category, there are other options in cream, salve, powder and even spray forms that are all incredibly soothing. 

Shop our selects for the best anti-chafing products below.   

Best Overall: Megababe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick

Megababe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick

What We Love: It has a lovely (but faint!) bergamot scent and never feels sticky. 

What We Don’t Love: Careful to make sure you don’t leave it out in the sun (or in a handbag that’s in the sun!) because it will definitely melt.

Not only does this stick look chic – and it’s always nice not to have to carry around an eyesore – it was founded by Katie Sturino, who is a body-positivity influencer. It’s packed with ingredients that are actually good for your skin, including aloe, pomegranate and grape seed oil. To combat any existing inflammation, it uses orange oil, which also adds a slight citrusy smell. That’s right, this formula not only prevents chafing, it actually nourishes the skin while it works. It also has a very slight but delightful scent thanks to ingredients like bergamot and juniper. 

In addition to all of this, the stick is a favorite of InStyle’s senior beauty editor, Pia Velasco. She explains that she was finally able to stop wearing bike shorts under dresses during the summer. Velasco says that it not only glides on smoothly and keeps her thighs from chafing even after hours of wear, she also explains that it doesn’t “pill or leave a white residue behind.” You can even pick up the stick in a little travel size if you are looking for something that will fit into a clutch. 

Size: 2.12 ounces | Best For: Inner thighs | Product Texture: Stick

Best Value: BodyGlide For Her Anti Chafe and Moisturizing Balm

Body Glide For Her Anti Chafe and Moisturizing Balm

Amazon

What We Love: It can be applied to all areas of the body — bra line, under arms, and feet.

What We Don’t Love: This formula doesn’t seem to be strong enough for all day thigh chafe prevention. 

This stick was actually the official sport lubricant of the USA Triathlon, so it is a great pick for athletes. It’s also completely sweat and water-resistant so that you don’t have to worry about it melting off on a hot day or leaving behind stains or residue on your clothing. It’s super long-lasting, but it won’t irritate the skin and actually allows the skin to let sweat escape so that it doesn’t clog your pores. It can even be applied to cracked or inflamed skin without causing any further irritation. 

It’s packed with clean, plant-derived ingredients that are super effective and keep the formula from ever feeling greasy. It uses coconut and sweet almond oils to prevent friction and to leave the skin feeling moisturized. It’s also packed with vitamins A, B, E and F, which will help your skin heal more quickly. Finally, it’s a great option for those with sensitive skin as it is free of any fragrances or irritant-inducing ingredients. 

Size: .5 ounces | Best For: Inner thighs, breasts, under arm | Product Texture: Stick

Best Drugstore: Gold Bond Friction Defense Stick

Friction Defense Stick

Gold Bond

What We Love: It’s easy to find and inexpensive. 

What We Don’t Love: It can feel a little sticky.

This is probably the easiest stick to find at your local drugstore or pharmacy, and it’s actually super effective. It contains aloe vera and ginger root, both of which work to soothe your skin. It even has a slight aloe scent, which is refreshing. The brand also recommends using it on rough skin like your elbows or heels because it is packed with moisturizing ingredients that the formula will lock-in. 


While the brand notes that it is safe to apply as often as needed, it does need more reapplication than some of the other options on this list. The product itself can feel a little sticky, especially right after application. That said, it has more of a smooth feel once it’s been on the skin for a while and doesn’t leave behind any residue on your clothing. Overall, this is a great option if you’re in a pinch and need to pick up something that will get the job done ASAP.

Size: 1.75 ounces | Best For: Inner thighs, feet | Product Texture: Stick

Best Cream: Calmmé Anti-Chafe and Soothing Cream

Calmmé Anti-Chafe and Soothing Cream

Amazon

What We Love: A little goes a long way.

What We Don’t Love: You have to wash your hands after application.

This may look like a tiny tube, but a dime-sized amount will easily cover your entire inner-thigh area. It’s super spreadable and immediately leaves the skin feeling smooth and friction-resistant. It’s also really great at staying put – even if you are slogging through a tough workout or walking around on the hottest day. It will also soothe your skin if you forgot to apply it until, well, you really needed it. 

It’s packed with great ingredients, including aloe vera, ginger, St. John’s wort and calendula. All of these ingredients work to soothe and nourish the skin – so much so that this is a great cream to apply as a balm if you are experiencing irritation or a rash from friction. Don’t worry, it won’t burn or irritate the skin even if you have an open wound. It’s completely free of parabens, aluminums, palm oils, and fragrance – all of which are possible irritants. Overall, it really leaves the skin with a silk-like texture that doesn’t feel sticky or gummy at all. 

Size: 40 grams | Best For: Inner thighs | Product Texture: Cream

Best Gel: Monistat Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel

Chafing Relief Powder Gel

Monistat

What We Love: It reduces the appearance of redness. 

What We Don’t Love: It feels sticky going on and you have to wash your hands after application. 

In addition to preventing chafing, this little tube of gel can actually reduce the appearance of bumps and redness. It’s a great option for any post-friction swelling or for any irritation that arises as a result of shaving or waxing. While it may feel a little sticky at first, it dries into a smooth, powdery-feeling finish that really lasts for hours on end and won’t wear off on your clothing. 

The active ingredient in this formula is dimethicone, which is a commonly-used silicone-based polymer. It is a moisturizing ingredient that will actually help improve any rough or dry patches of skin – so go ahead and apply it to your dry heels and elbows. While the tube may look small, a dab of this cream truly goes a long way.

Size: 1.5 ounces | Best For: Inner thighs, bikini area | Product Texture: Gel

Best Stick: Zone Naturals Chub Rub All Natural Anti Chafing Stick

Zone Naturals Chub Rub All Natural Anti Chafing Stick

Walgreens

What We Love: It’s long-lasting and made with women in mind.

What We Don’t Love: We wish we could talk about chafing, without the negative body connotations in the name. 

Look, let’s call it like it is – the name “chub rub” isn’t the best. Luckily, this product is good enough to look past that transgression (but Zone Naturals — please change it!). It is aluminum, paraben, and fragrance-free and otherwise packed with natural ingredients. 

To help moisturize the skin, they enlist the help of ingredients like shea butter, coconut, hempseed, olive and jojoba oils. And to make sure you stay friction-free, they use ingredients like carnauba wax. Finally, to add a layer of antioxidants so that your skin can fight off irritation, it contains citric acid, as well as aloe vera to soothe any redness or swelling. Even though it is packed with nourishing oils, it won’t wear off for hours or leave behind any stains on your clothes. It’s perfectly-sized for popping in your purse and it’s shaped like a stick of deodorant for easy application.

Size: 1.5 ounces | Best For: Inner thighs, shoulder straps | Product Texture: Stick

Best Spray: SBR Skin Slick Continuous Spray Lubricant

SBR Skin Slick Continuous Spray Lubricant

Amazon

What We Love: You don’t have to touch potentially irritated skin in order to apply it.

What We Don’t Love: The brand doesn’t list ingredients. 

Sometimes you just want a spray that will dry on its own without you having to touch your skin at all (even with a stick formula). This spray is here to answer that call. This long-lasting waterproof and sweat proof spray is made to stick with you no matter what activity you’re taking on. 

It won’t wear off on clothes and will even stay put if you’re wearing tight spandex or neoprene clothing. It’s also completely odorless and dries super quickly so that you don’t have to worry about rubbing it in. It’s also a great option to use on your toes, and the spray bottle will continue to emit an endless stream when it’s held upside down or at odd angles. To get the best coverage, the brand recommends that users hold it three to four inches away when spraying and to allow a few seconds to dry.  

Size: 1.5 fluid ounces | Best For: Inner thighs, feet, fabric rub | Product Texture: Spray

Best Powder: Lush Silky Underwear

Lush Silky Underwear

Lush

What We Love: It comes with lots of product that lasts forever. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s easy to make a mess during application. 

This may bring back memories of baby powder and the smell that comes with it, but this powder couldn’t be further from that puffy stuff. First off, it smells amazing because it contains vetiver and jasmine, of natural origin. The powder itself is really easy to blend into the skin and immediately starts to soak up any moisture and leaves behind skin that feels silky smooth and irritant-free. 

As with everything at Lush, all of the ingredients are natural. The base of the powder is made from corn starch and kaolin, both of which work to keep you dry and to absorb any existing moisture. It also has tiny shavings of cocoa butter that help to moisturize the skin and prevents that chalky residue that often accompanies powders. You can even use this powder on your hair where it will be quickly absorbed and leaves behind a lovely jasmine scent. The brand even notes that you can sprinkle a dash on your sheets for a beautiful smell and a clean feel. 

Size: 2.1 ounces | Best For: Inner thighs, under arms and breast area, hair | Product Texture: Powder

Best for Feet: Squirrel’s Nut Butter All-Natural Anti-Chafe Salve

Squirrel’s Nut Butter All-Natural Anti-Chafe Salve

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Love: It’s all-natural but still heavy-duty enough to help your feet. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s thick and getting it out of the tub can be messy. 

Everyone is, unfortunately, familiar with the feeling of shoes that rub your heel raw or pinch your toes in a weird place. This anti-chafe salve is the perfect solution. First off, it’s thicker than a normal cream or stick – and this is great for the foot area since it is destined to be facing-off with lots of pressure. The brand also recommends applying it to really irritated skin before showering to protect the area, so that you can bathe in peace. 

It is all-natural and contains coconut oil, cocoa butter, and vitamin E oil to moisturize and nourish the skin. The real winning ingredient is the beeswax, which works to create a thick-but-smoothe film over the irritated area to ensure that it is protected. This little tub will also last you forever, and you don’t have to worry about it feeling sticky, greasy, or wearing off on fabrics. 

Size: 2 ounces | Best For: Ankles and heels | Product Texture: Balm

Best for Workouts: Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm

Anti-Chafe Balm

Body Glide

What We Love: This stick is easy to apply and works even on the sweatiest, most sensitive skin.

What We Don’t Love: You need to let it dry for five to 10 minutes before being active.

This little stick is made to be applied wherever your body needs it. It’s an especially good tool to have on-hand for hikers who might be wearing irritating boots or carrying heavy gear that could rub on the shoulders. It’s incredibly long-lasting and was made for athletes who plan to get sweaty and need a waterproof solution that still allows their skin to breathe. 

It’s completely hypoallergenic and made of clean, natural ingredients – so much so that it’s even kid-friendly. It uses caprylic triglycerides to create a smooth barrier so that your skin doesn’t create friction. This ingredient also works as an antioxidant and a binding ingredient that holds everything together. It also contains allantoin, which is a moisturizer that’s commonly used to treat irritated skin facing rashes and dryness. The tube that it comes in is slightly smaller than a stick of deodorant, so it’s the perfect lightweight option for sticking in your purse or backpack. 

Size: .8 fluid ounces | Best For: Inner thighs, under arms, feet | Product Texture: Stick

What to Keep in Mind

Ingredients

Anti-chafing formulas typically contain ingredients like nut oils, waxes, or starches to leave the skin feeling silky smoothe. Many of the formulas also contain aloe vera, antioxidants, and vitamins to nourish the skin – especially because these products are being applied to skin that is potentially already experiencing some irritation. 

Formula

Formula refers to the product’s texture. There are lots of options for anti-chafe solutions, such as a stick (like deodorant), spray, powder, or a cream or balm. Your choice of formula may depend on how you want to apply, like a spray-on formula or rubbing it in with your fingers. Whether you want to take it on the go — a stick may be your best bet. Formula is especially important if you’re planning on traveling because you’ll need to make sure it’s compact, easily accessible, and won’t make a mess in transit.

Activity

Since different types of formulas can all be effective, which one you choose typically depends on preference and activity level. Thicker options like balms and sticks are more heavy duty if you’re planning on doing a high-impact activity, like hiking or running. That said, if you just want to make sure you prevent any potential moisture or future friction, powders can be a great option too. 

Your Questions, Answered

How do anti-chafing products work? 

They create a thin, ideally long-lasting barrier, that invisibly coats the skin to prevent any friction due to rubbing. This film is created by ingredients like nut oils, waxes, or starches that leave the skin feeling smooth. Anti-chafe products cause your skin to pass by each other, rather than sticking and causing irritation. The soothing properties can also help heal redness and irritation after it occurs. 

Can they be used on irritated skin? 

Yes – most of them are intended to be used on skin that is potentially already raw or irritated. This means that you don’t have to worry about any ingredients that will result in a burning sensation. Nearly all of these products are actually soothing to skin that is already irritated, so you may want to apply it even when you’re not planning on being active just to help the skin heal. Or apply it to skin that is covered, like before putting on pants if your skirt causing thigh chafing the day before. 

When do you use anti-chafing products? 

The most ideal time to use an anti-chafing product is before your skin is irritated. If you know that your inner thighs tend to rub together when you’re wearing shorts or dresses, make sure to apply it when you’re getting dressed. This is especially true for athletes running marathons or participating in triathlons where their skin is likely to experience high-friction areas. For endurance athletes, you may want to apply an anti-friction product to areas that rub skin against clothes, like along your sports bra or shoes.

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