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On the very first day of warm weather, I, like everyone else in New York City, ran outside with renewed optimism and energy. I was ready to spend the day walking around, basking in the sunlight and warmth we’ve been deprived of during the cold winter, but a problem arose almost immediately: painful chafing between my thighs.
I have always been thick, so chub rub, as it’s affectionately coined, has been a part of my life since adolescence. Warm weather means sweat, humidity, and moisture that create and exacerbate the thigh-rubbing and friction issue. Although I initially assumed this was something I just had to live with, there are products and hacks that can prevent and heal the affliction.
The first solution I ever found was a tip I received from a girl at fat camp. She told me I should take a deodorant stick and rub it on the inside of my thighs. It sounded weird, but I was desperate, so I tried it. Thankfully, it worked (the hack even has a stamp of approval from dermatologists).
That was my sole method of prevention for years — I simply did not know of any alternative solutions. But beyond preempting it, I also needed aftercare. If you’ve experienced chub rub you know the worst part is not the active chafing; it’s the raw, red, irritated, welted skin. So, I also had to develop methods of soothing and rehabilitating the damaged skin.
While deodorant will still do the job, thigh-chafing is finally being acknowledged by the beauty industry, so there are products specifically formulated for this exact issue. Below, you’ll find five products, new and old, that have become my warm-weather go-tos for handling chub rub.
Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick
This is my first thigh chafing-related love; I have been using this deodorant for more than a decade. It’s by far the most economical option here, not only because it is the cheapest but it’s also a multitasker that can be used for its original purpose (as a deodorant) and as a thigh lubricant.
Megababe Thigh Rescue
This is the only product on this list created specifically for thigh chafing, and as such, I was instantly smitten with the branding. I loved that there was finally a product acknowledging what I was using my deodorant for off-label. Thankfully this also works; it lubricates your thighs without being sticky or slippery, and its staying power has personally been around six hours. The stick lasts a very long time, but if you end up relying on this as heavily as I do, I recommend going for the Safe From Chafe Kit, which comes with three Thigh Rescues: two full-size and one mini.
Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm
When it comes to physical exercise, I think running is a scam perpetuated to keep our knees and joints in eternal pain. I almost exclusively do pilates, so I don’t really experience any of the workout-related chafing this product was originally intended for. I came across Body Glide incidentally at Duane Reade, and it does the trick — although it is a slippier texture than Megababe and seemed to run out faster.
Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Cream Skin Protectant
I first bought Elizabeth Arden’s Eight-Hour Cream because I’d heard every other industry insider mention it. At first, I was confused by what to do with the almost honey-like cream, but I began applying it to my ashy elbows and knees, and eventually to my chub rub before I went to sleep. The next morning (eight hours later, as the name suggests), my skin felt brand new.
Lanolips Golden Dry Skin Salve
I probably have 10 tubes of Lanolips’ original 101 Ointment littering various totes, purses, pockets, and corners of my apartment. I like to know there’s always at least one within reach since I use it everywhere: on dry cuticles, chapped lips, healing scabs, etc. The Lanolips Golden Dry Skin Salve, however, is saved for one specific purpose, mitigating the physical aftermath of chub rub. This stuff is viscous and thick, so I warm it up by rubbing it between my fingertips before applying to sensitive skin. I think of it as an overnight, moisturizing, and reparative mask for my inner thighs.