How To Stop Thigh Chafing, Straight From Dermatologists

From my thighs to yours.

Originally Published: 
How to stop thigh chafing with products that actually work.
Tara Moore/DigitalVision/Getty Images
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

While most people love warm weather, I spent most of my life dreading it (an unfortunate irony, as I’m from always-sunny LA). That’s because of two main reasons: I’m both very sweaty and very curvy, so for me, spring and summertime don’t elicit memories of beach days but the unwelcome return of chafing season. It’s only now that I’m able to at least be grateful that I’ve learned how to stop thigh chafing with the right products.

My thighs first started rubbing when I was 11 years old, and I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, let alone ask how to properly prevent it. So I spent literal years applying deodorant — as in, the kind meant for your armpits — to my inner thighs because I knew no better, and occasionally opted for adhesive bandages if deodorant didn’t do the trick.

Fortunately, I’ve since figured it out. I’d even consider myself to be an expert. Ever since the deodorant debacle, I’ve tried more anti-chafing products than I can count — I’ve tried them all. Now, I’ve come to the point where I’ve curated a collection of five tried-and-true favorites of all time — each of which I keep each in my cabinet, no matter the season (sometimes the heater gets too hot!) so I have it on hand — and thigh — in case of chafing emergency.

Been wondering how to stop thigh chafing? Read on for the absolute best thigh-chafing prevention products that truly work, from my thighs to yours.

The Experts

Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology in New York City. He’s one of few dermatologists to be board certified in both dermatology and dermatopathology; this gives him a unique understanding of skin disease and allows him to approach patient care from both a clinical and cellular perspective.

Dr. Brendan Camp, M.D., is a board-certified dermatologist at MCDS Dermatology. He is double board-certified in dermatology and dermatopathology and specializes in conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, warts, psoriasis, moles, and skin cancer, as well as cosmetic concerns and skin rejuvenation devices.

Best For Thigh Protection

MegaBabe’s cult-favorite Thigh Rescue is truly the anti-thigh-chafing MVP (no wonder it’s won so many awards). Sliding on like a standard deodorant, the product creates a silky smooth barrier atop the skin that prevents the thighs from rubbing. And once applied, your thighs literally slide against each other — like ice skates on ice — without that painful friction. Plus, it’s moisturizing: Formulated with skin-soothing aloe, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E, Thigh Rescue hydrates and soothes the skin as it protects. Mudgil is a fan of this buy, particularly for its inclusion of aloe vera, which he notes is soothing and helps the skin repair.

Pro-tip: For easy application and chafe prevention on the go, make sure to snag the travel-size version, aka the Thigh Rescue Mini.

Active Ingredients: Aloe Vera Leaf Extract, Ginger Root Extract, Pomegranate Seed Extract, Grapeseed Oil, Chamomile Flower Extract, Vitamin E

Best For Full-Body Use

As anyone whose thighs chafe knows, sometimes the rub travels beyond the thighs. “Chafing happens when there’s skin-to-skin contact combined with moisture and rubbing,” Mudgil explains. And sweat can form everywhere, so countless parts of the body can rub and tug. HIKI’s Anti-Chafe Stick was made to treat and prevent that very problem: Fragrance-free and formulated with all-natural ingredients including hydrating coconut oil, it’s safe to use on any part of the body — including the thighs — and prevents chafing wherever applied. Mudgil’s take? “This product is essentially a coconut oil-based emollient,” he says. “It's basically a moisturizer stick.”

I personally prefer it for thighs and under the breasts, but feel free to swipe it on your butt, feet, back, or literally anywhere your heart desires.

Active Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Rice Bran Extract, Sunflower Extract, Aloe Leaf, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Ginger Root Extract

Best For Sweat Prevention

Sometimes, thigh sweat becomes a bigger issue than chafing — especially amid the ultra-humid summertime. If such is the case for you, do yourself a favor and buy Carpe’s Sweat-Absorbing Thigh Lotion, which works to prevent chafing while keeping sweat at bay. According to Mudgil, this is a key way to prevent that painful rubbing from happening in the first place. “Keeping the skin dry plays a big role in preventing chafing,” he tells Bustle. “This is a great product that contains moisture absorbing ingredients.” These ingredients include starches, oil-reducing witch hazel, vitamin B3, and skin-soothing aloe, so this cream leaves a barely-detectable sweat shield on the thighs and groin, even on the warmest of days. And, of course, it keeps your thighs from chafing, sans residue on your hands, thighs, or clothing.

(Also amazing? Their sweat-absorbing breast lotion.)

Active Ingredients: Aluminum Starch, Tapioca Starch, Witch Hazel Water, Glycerin, Silica, Niacinamide, Rice Bran Extract, Aloe Leaf Juice, Sunflower Seed Extract, Rosemary Extract

Best Body Mist

If your thighs are prone to dryness that contributes to chafing, Topicals’ hydrating and soothing mist will be your next best friend. Vegan, cruelty-free, and safe for sensitive skin, this body mist is formulated with restorative tiger grass (which you might know as cica), skin-calming allantoin, and skin-barrier boosting rhubarb, and can be used to treat a wide range of skin conditions, including chafing, dry patches, sunburn, and heat rashes. The best part is that you can just spritz it on, so it’s really convenient.

That said, Mudgil says there are better alternatives for chafing. “This product is essentially a moisturizer,” he tells Bustle. Personally, it’s helped in my chafe saga, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you need something more heavy-duty.

Active Ingredients: Centella Asiatica, Allantoin, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Licorice Root Extract, Cucumber Extract, Lavender Flower Extract

Best For Sensitive Skin

The new anti-chafe stick from First Aid Beauty is the perfect choice when you need to quickly slick something on before running errands. “In addition to being non-sticky, this sweat-resistant formula contains shea butter to create a friction-minimizing layer on the skin surface, as well as colloidal oatmeal to calm and moisturize skin,” Camp says, noting why it’s ideal for sensitive skin.

According to a consumer perception study with 55 participants, 96% agreed this product was an easy-to-use solution for chafing, as well as one that’s convenient for on-the-go use, and 92% agreed it left no visible residue on clothing. As a bonus, it’s vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and comes in recyclable packaging.

Active Ingredients: Shea Butter, Colloidal Oatmeal, Ginger Root Extract, Bisabolol, Tapioca Starch

Best Affordable Option

You can put Body Glide pretty much everywhere, including your thighs, the undersides of your arms, your heels, and even between your toes. According to Camp, this protective balm contains coconut and sweet almond oils to reduce friction and vitamins A, B, and E to nourish skin. The fact it’s a deodorant-like balm means it’s extra easy to apply — and it also won’t get on your clothes.

Body Glide is made with plant-derived ingredients and excludes petroleum, lanolin, and mineral oils, and the breathable balm allows sweat to escape so your skin can breathe. In other words, you won’t even be able to tell you’re wearing it.

Active Ingredients: Vitamins A, B, E

Best For Sports

This product from Zelios is as an all-natural skin lubricant. According to Camp, it contains aloe vera to calm irritated skin, antioxidants like vitamin E and green tea extract to protect your skin from free radicals, and hydrating ingredients like sweet almond oil to moisturize.

It works as a chamois cream to make your skin slippery and smooth, so nothing will rub together as you walk, run, cycle, or work out. The non-staining formula easily washes out of clothes, which is great news for your fave leggings. You can also use the cream to repair dry, cracked hands and feet.

Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, Green Tea Extract, Aloe Vera

Best Body Powder

This dermatologist-recommended body powder sops up moisture to help prevent friction and chafing before it can even start so you’ll stay comfy — even when it’s boiling hot outside. The light, fresh scent helps hide odors, too.

Use it under your arms, on your thighs, or anywhere else sweat tends to gather. It contains cornstarch and silica to absorb the wetness and help prevent friction, as well as calamine to soothe and protect.

Active Ingredients: Cornstarch, Silica, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Oat Flour, Arrowroot, Calamine

Best For Travel

If you’re looking for something to pop in your bag for vacation, pick up the Vaseline jelly stick. “This travel-friendly product offers long-lasting moisture and friction-free movement thanks to the main ingredient: petrolatum,” Camp says. It’s TSA-friendly and portable, but more importantly it allows your thighs to glide friction-free. It also does wonders for irritated skin, which is great news when you’re walking all day through cities, parks, and museums.

Active Ingredients: Petrolatum, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Paraffin, Ozokerite, Cetearyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate

Best Slip Shorts

Even with all the chafing-prevention products in the world, there are some days you simply want to wear a pair of slip shorts. But not all shorts are created equal: Certain spandex shorts ride up and ultimately make chafing worse, while bike shorts can be thick and actually prompt more sweat. And shapewear? Honestly, I’m just not always in the mood to squeeze myself in — especially when it’s hot outside.

Fortunately, Undersummers exists, aka the anti-chafing “shortlette” that was created specifically to prevent thigh chafing. Designed to wick away moisture, these shorts are light, breathable, and don’t ride up — but aren’t tight like Spanx or Skims. Instead, they feel like a comfortable extension of your skin that’s undetectable under clothing and are therefore perfect for those sweltering summer days — sans chafing or thigh sweat. And these get the derm’s seal of approval: “This is a great product with moisture-wicking technology — a good choice for women on the go!” says Mudgil.

Sizes: S - 5X

Colors: Black, Beige, Ecru Cream, White, Royal, Red, Stars, Brown, Olive, Neutral Pink, Leopard

This article was originally published on