How To Prevent Thigh Chafing With Sunscreen That Works Double Duty

It occurred to me recently that pretty much everyone — even men — experiences thigh chafing. Anywhere skin touches skin in a repetitive motion can cause this mishap, and I am experiencing it more and more as my lower half gets more robust. It was a pretty annoying problem until I remembered that I am a beauty science junkie, and a chub rub cure had to be a Google away. Lo and behold, cures can come in many packages.

As my hunt for the perfect thigh chafing product continued, I was having a hard time finding a product that actually seemed worth the money. Everything I saw at drugstores were single use, and generally came in small containers meant for feet and toes. This was not gonna cut it.

Then, I discovered my miracle product: sunscreen. It's generally cheaper than a chafing-specific product, can cover my entire body, and, of course reduces the risk of skin cancer. This really makes wearing a skirt a breeze!

While you can use pretty much any moisturizing sunscreen to ward off chafing, I do have some faves. Here are two very different but equally effective options for nixing thigh chafing while also getting crucial sun protection.

1. Save

Australian Gold’s Hello Kitty SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen in Sweet Starfruit, $10,

This Hello Kitty branded beauty is great because it’s not overly sticky, moisturizes decently, and is widely available. Plus it’s got Hello Kitty on it and that is Kawaii AF. But adorable packaging is not the only selling point of this product. The SPF in this sunscreen is sourced from mineral powders instead of typical chemical sunscreens like avobenzone and oxybenzone. These work by penetrating the dermis to refract and deactivate UV rays that try to hit your melanocytes. Mineral sunscreens use reflection to bounce the rays off of the surface of your skin before they have a chance to get inside.

The physical barrier provided by zinc oxide and titanium oxide have the bonus effect of preventing skin from sticking to itself! These minerals are found in almost all cosmetics and help repel sweat and water, which minimizes skin stickage. There is a reason that zinc creams are the most used by lifeguards and people with outdoorsy jobs: it repels not only UV rays, but sweat, water, and grime. As a thigh chafing prevention method, Australian Gold's Hello Kitty SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen allows skin to glide past skin so you can focus on being cute instead of rashes.

2. Splurge

Aureli Sun Care Illuminating Body Gel SPF 30, $45,

This sunscreen is truly the best of all worlds. A silicone base helps your thighs glide past each other without making a rash, which is super helpful on those crazy hot days. But that's not all! The gel contains anti-aging ingredients and an added shimmer to help your skin glow. Basically if you top off you body lotion with this, you have what amounts to a full-on primer for your body. Perfect for those who love to wear their limbs out in the open air.

I use this stuff when I’m wearing shorts, especially white ones. Aureli's gel illuminates skin with a shimmer that doesn’t make you look like a disco ball, and a gentle scent that makes you smell fresh. Chemical sunscreens work within the skin, which some people prefer over minerals. This tube is sizeable and will take some time to go through, so it makes the price less of an issue. Smaller tubes of silicone chaffing cream are priced similarly per ounce.

Fear not! No matter your gender or body type, chub rub can be a thing of the past. Gel or cream, chemical or mineral, you can truly have it all and skip the rub rash. For some, simply moisturizing will do the job, but for some, the slip of minerals or silicone is needed to truly banish this annoying casualty of fashion. Going one step further by getting something SPF worthy can make all the difference in your future skin!

Photos: Neill Kumar/Unsplash; Maria Penaloza (3)