Chub rub, a.k.a that hellishly uncomfortable inner-thigh chafing caused by a combo of moisture (read: sweat) and friction, is enough to turn even the biggest summer lover in to a hater. Yup, that's right, #hatesummerloveeverythingelse can and will become an equally popular outlook on life if thighs everywhere are inflamed and irritated.
As the temps rise and shorts take on tushes everywhere, the delightful duo of sweat and friction is, unfortunately, pretty unavoidable. But that's not exactly an excuse to stay house-bound and hide from the sunny season until winter starts a-comin'. Enter: expert-approved products to help you easily end irritation and conquer the chafe with confidence.
1. Deep Moisture Body Wash
Your first line of protection? Making sure your skin is in "the best shape possible," says Mona Gohara, M.D., WH Advisory Board member and associate clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine. This means steering clear of things like harsh soaps, which can be drying and ruin the skin barrier, ultimately making chafing more of an issue, Gohara explains. So, opt for hydrating essentials, such as this gentle body wash that nourishes your dermis as it cleanses.
2. Original Anti-Chafe Balm
Built like a stick of deodorant, applying a few coats of this balm is so simple it'll make even Ina Garten exclaim, "How easy is that!" Ideal for long-distance activities, such running or hiking, Dr. Gohara explains that this hypoallergenic balm reduces friction thanks to a mixture of natural plant waxes. Major plus? Feel free to apply anywhere you experience a little extra (and unwanted, of course) rubbing, such as on blister-prone ankles.
3. Silky Underwear Dusting Powder
Think of this bad boy as the adult talcum powder—but better. "This jasmine scented powder goes on easily and quickly without staining your clothes," says Joyce Park, M.D., board certified dermatologist and skincare and beauty blogger. All you need is a light dusting to be left feeling smooth and dry thanks to moisture-absorbing ingredients like cornstarch and kaolin.
4. Original Petroleum Jelly
About to go for a run in the sun? Lube up your legs prior to working out with this tried-and-true product for extra protection. It's also a skin super saver post-sweat sesh or, frankly, any chafe-causing scenario, which can happen even when simply walking down the street in your fave sundress. Ugh. To lower your chances of getting your clothes a bit, well, greasy, you might want to save this anti-chafe solution for after the shower when you have some bonus time to dry off.
5. Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream with Zinc Oxide
Okay, yes, you can technically use zinc oxide for diaper rash but that doesn't mean it's exclusively for babies' bums. This thick white paste can also do wonders for protecting your skin against chafing by forming a protective barrier that keeps out extra wetness and chafe-causing irritants. "This works especially well during summer when sweat and moisture collect under the skin folds," Dr. Park adds.
6. Healing Ointment
For chafed, raw skin (ugh, the burn!), this helpful healer is always a good choice. "Ointments like this one protect the damaged skin from the environment while also hydrating and promoting healing, " says Nazanin Saedi, M.D., director of Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Center. While there are tons of ointments on the market (Dr. Saedi also recommends A+D for chafe), CeraVe is a derm-fave because it has ceramides, which help repair a damaged skin barrier, essentially the protective wall that keeps water and moisture in and bacteria out.
7. Thinstincts Mid Thigh Shorts
As if you weren't already convinced Spanx are simply magical, this will just add to your awe. While they're busy slimming and tightening up your overall figure, these shapewear shorts are also providing a slippery surface to prevent chafing, Dr. Park explains. Being that they're pricier, you're likely going to want to avoid stretching them out with too much vigorous activity. So Dr. Park suggests donning these lightweight Spanx underneath a dress or other casual, non-workout wear.
8. Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick
Both Dr. Park and Dr. Saedi are fans of this anti-friction stick because, yes, it's easy to use and, major bonus points, it has aloe to help calm inflammation. Other star ingredients? Grapeseed oil and anti-oxidant-rich vitamin E oil to hydrate your way to happier skin.
9. Restore Healing Balm
There's not much this dermatologist-created ointment can't do—help chapped lips, protect against irritation, heal dry or damaged skin—so it makes sense that it's a favorite of Dr. Saedi. "It's also plant-derived, chemical-free, and something you can use any time," not just pre-run or post-chafing, she adds.
10. Elastic Anti-Chafing Thigh Bands
If you don't want the full coverage of Spanx, but still want to reap some of the benefits, go for anti-chafe thigh-bands. These non-slip garter-like loops are made of stretchy lace that acts as a barrier between your thighs. Plus, they're a sexy addition to your undergarments collection.