From petroleum jelly to Body Glide, experts share their recommendations for the best products to prevent dreaded "thigh rub" chafing.

Maria Masters
June 18, 2018
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Unless you’re one of the five people on Earth who have a thigh gap, you’re probably familiar with what the rest of us mortals call "thigh rub"—that annoying chafing that you get when your thighs cozy up together as you walk or run.

Basically, here’s what happens: When your thighs rub together, it creates friction that damages the outer layer of skin, causing pain and inflammation, says Melissa Piliang, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. And when you sweat, moisture sits on the skin and breaks down the outer layer of skin even more. Ouch.

With summer right around the corner, we asked experts for the best options to help stop the chafe.

Lip balm 

We like: ($8; )

Since lip balms are slick, they can help keep your thighs from rubbing against each other and creating friction, says Carolyn Bangert, MD, a dermatologist at McGovern Medical School at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Petroleum jelly

We like:  ($7 for 2; )

This is another option that can act as a lubricant and prevent friction, says Dr. Bangert. Bonus: Petroleum jelly can also be used to soothe already-chafed skin. (The only downside? It can be a little greasy.)

Body Glide

We like:  ($8; )

An anti-chafing balm that helps prevent the skin irritation caused by friction, is an alternative for people who don’t want to deal with messier products. Plus, it also protects against blisters, which makes it especially useful for weekend warriors and athletes alike.

Spanx

We like: ($45; )

They’re a good option when you’re wearing a dress: The fabric acts as a barrier against the skin, which helps prevent friction and wick away sweat, says Dr. Piliang.

Baby powder

We like:  ($17 for 2; )

Since baby powders are good at absorbing moisture, they’re also helpful for preventing chafing. (Though you might want to go with a instead of one that contains talc.) And like petroleum jelly, baby powder can also be used on chafed skin to soothe the irritation.

Bandelettes

We like:  ($19; )

On first glance, these look too pretty to be useful. But in fact, are specifically designed to ward off chafing. Plus, they’re also recommended by and alike. They’re non-slip, made of silicone, and are cute enough to wear with (or, ahem, without) your favorite skirt.

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