Summer is the time of year when we whip out our shorts, miniskirts, and bare thighs to accommodate the often sweltering heat, but this is also the time of year when adventure and physical activity reach their peak, with hiking trips, walking tours, and swimming all being common activities to do during the summertime. What often comes with these activities for plus size women like myself, however, is the task of finding adequate ways to treat chafing (aka chub rub).
You know when the friction between your thighs causes you to get that uncomfortable and sometimes painful rash? That is what "chub rub" is, and it can happen to anyone who doesn't have a thigh gap (which is almost everyone), but is especially common for those of us who have larger legs. I know that I've been dealing with chub rub since I was pretty young; and I also know that if you get it, the rash can make walking a living hell. I remember being about 13 years old and going to the amusement park with my family for the day — which naturally involves a lot of walking — and my chub rub being so bad that I had to buy tighter pants at a gift shop to find relief.
If you don't want this to be you, there are luckily a lot more chub rub solutions nowadays than buying another pair of pants. Also, I've learned how to get really inventive around this problem and prevent it from happening in the first place. So without further ado, here are seven ways to deal with chub rub so you can have fun in the sun without having to deal with a painful rash.
1. Wear Tight Shorts Or Pants
Since the chub rub is caused by the friction of your thighs rubbing together, wearing tight pants or shorts is a great way to stop the rub before it has a chance to make an entrance. Leggings are great for this too, which is part of the reason I love them so dearly — even in the summer! If you want to stay cool while doing this, search for silky fabrics like lycra that will feel breathable but still give you that form fit.
Bandelettes have been touted by many as the greatest invention in chub rub prevention to date. These are thick bands that sort of resemble garter belts, which you wear on your thighs to keep them from rubbing together — even if you're wearing a skirt or a dress. I have found that many bloggers who have tried several other chub rub solutions have said that nothing has compared to Bandelettes' performance.
3. Body Glide
Body Glide was originally invented for runners, but has been appropriated by fat girls everywhere for our own chafing problems. Body Glide is kind of like deodorant that can work on any area of your skin, as it provides a barrier to prevent any sort of chafing. The product also comes in all sorts of applications, from Body Glide designed for feet, blisters, and a "for her" product that seems to be marketed to fat girls without saying it explicitly.
Lesley of xoJane was immediately and surprisingly impressed by how well Body Glide works, writing, "I can’t believe how well this works. I even happened to use it on an unusually hot day, and it still held up beautifully." Even better, Body Glide is vegan, sweat proof, made with plant-based ingredients, and not tested on animals.
4. Wear Shorts Underneath Skirts And Dresses
This is another essential, since chub rub is inevitable whenever I'm wearing a skirt or dress and will be walking a lot. Wearing biker shorts or something that is tight and not visible will keep you from getting chub rub. This is a great solution if you forgot to bring your Body Glide or Bandelettes with you on a trip or if you're in a rush, since almost everyone owns a pair of shorts like this, which they can just slide on underneath. You could even wear full-blown leggings if you're sporting a maxi dress!
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is God's gift to mankind. And to make matters more divine, it turns out that there's a way you can use coconut oil to prevent chub rub. All you need to do is mix coconut oil, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and any essential oil of your choosing together, and presto: You've found a brilliant chub rub solution.
LUSH makes this really interesting chub rub prevention product called Silky Underwear Dusting Powder that claims to leave your skin "smooth and seriously sexy." While I'm not so sure about its abilities to transform the sexiness of your skin, it's been reviewed as a chub rub solution many times, and definitely seems to do the trick. Be warned, though, that you'll probably need to reapply it throughout the day since it wears off within a few hours.
If you want to repurpose a product you already have, lotion can be a great chub rub solution. There are many different ways you can approach this, since you could buy specialized lotions for chafing or even just your standard, unscented stuff from the drugstore.
I personally prefer Eucerin's Intense Repair Dry Skin Lotion, as I've always found it to be a miracle worker for any kind of rash or dryness. The Nubian Heritage brand has also been recommended for chub rub by Bevin Branlandingham of QueerFatFemme, and raw shea butter has also been used as a chub rub solution.
Really, any lotion that is healing will probably do the trick, but don't be afraid to try a few brand before you find what's most comfortable for you.