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Warm temperatures, irritating shorts, and a little bit of sweat are the perfect recipe for skin chafing between the thighs.

When you combine the excess moisture from your perspiration with the friction that comes from movement, you get a stinging or burning sensation known as chafing. Chafing may even cause a mild rash in the affected area. In severe cases, it can lead to swelling, bleeding, or crusting of the skin.

Though it commonly occurs between the thighs, chafing can occur over the whole body, especially in the underarms, groin, and nipples.

One way to combat skin chafing is by using preventive products that reduce friction and moisture buildup. From balms to creams, here are the best products to prevent skin chafing.

Every body is different, so one anti-chafe product may not work for everyone. We chose these anti-chafe picks based on their price, accessibility, ratings, and customer reviews. We also included a variety of product types to choose from.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$19
  • $$$ = over $19

Best all-around

Megababe Thigh Rescue

  • Price: $$
  • Pro: doesn’t leave ashy marks on skin
  • Con: can feel a little greasy due to its mix of oils

With packaging that resembles a deodorant stick, this stick is the portable solution to skin chafing in the middle of a nice summer afternoon. Finally, you can wear shorts and dresses comfortably.

Megababe Thigh Rescue works by reducing the friction between your thighs. The balm-like formula creates a smooth barrier on the surface of the skin, allowing your thighs to glide, rather than rub, against each other.

The stick includes aloe to soothe inflammation and grapeseed oil to hydrate the skin. It also contains vitamin E, a potent antioxidant.

Best balm

BodyGlide Original Anti-Chafe Balm

  • Price: $
  • Pro: long-lasting formula
  • Con: can feel sticky if you apply too much

Whether you live in a humid or dry climate, soaring temperatures increase the likelihood of skin chafing. If you’re prone to chafing, keep one of these sticks around and apply before you get dressed.

This stick can be applied to the thighs, neck, arms, and anywhere else you experience uncomfortable friction. Reviewers say the formula is long-lasting, which is a bonus if you don’t want to reapply throughout the day,

If you have a sensitivity to certain ingredients, note this balm is free of petroleum, lanolin, and mineral oils. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and safe for children.

Best powder

Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder

  • Price: $$
  • Pro: soaks up excess oil
  • Con: can be messy

The root cause of chafing is moisture usually caused by perspiration mixed with friction from moving or walking. This cornstarch- and kaolin-based powder absorbs excess moisture to keep skin prone to chafing smooth.

Though this product is designed to absorb moisture, it includes fine shavings of cocoa butter to help nourish skin and create a velvety texture so skin glides instead of rubs.

If you can appreciate a multipurpose product, you may enjoy using this dusting powder not only on your skin but also in your hair or sprinkled on your sheets.

The formula is housed in a thin, recyclable bottle to reduce plastic usage.

Best stick

Vaseline All-Over Body Balm Jelly Stick

  • Price: $$$
  • Pro: non-greasy formula
  • Con: can feel sticky if you apply too much

Stick-shaped products are convenient for travel, and they’re also mess-free. The Vaseline All-Over Body Balm Jelly Stick can be applied directly to your skin so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. The formula is also nongreasy.

Designed to protect skin, this balm stick prevents friction and, therefore, chafing. The shape of the product allows you to target hard-to-reach places in the inner thigh, groin, and pelvic area where friction is likely to occur.

If you missed your window of opportunity and are dealing with the aftermath of chafing, this stick comes in handy then, too. It can help add a boost of hydration to dry skin and encourages healing for skin that needs it.

Best multi-use

BodyGlide for Her Anti Chafe & Moisturizing Balm

  • Price: $
  • Pro: moisturizing formula
  • Con: can feel sticky if you apply too much

This balm prevents chafing while simultaneously moisturizing the skin. It’s rich in vitamins A, B, E, and F for added skin benefits.

According to reviewers, application couldn’t be easier: Simply apply the balm to the skin like you would deodorant.

If you’re worried about it clogging your pores, this formula allows sweat to escape and skin to breathe. You can even apply this balm before putting on clothes or a wetsuit.

While some user reviews say the product feels sticky, most agree that the balm effectively reduces chafing.

Best for runners

Gold Bond Friction Defense Stick

  • Price: $
  • Pro: also prevents skin from rubbing against fabrics
  • Con: may need constant reapplication

A favorite among runners, Gold Bond Friction Defense Stick is the protective and moisturizing solution to irritated and burning skin that results from chafing. Whether needed for a long run or daily activities, this anti-friction stick is a skin saver.

This stick not only prevents chafing from skin rubbing together but also from skin rubbing against itchy fabrics. It helps moisturize and soothe skin, and it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, as the formula is unscented and nongreasy.

You can control how much product you need, but Gold Bond recommends applying it liberally and frequently for best results.

Best clean stick

HIKI Anti-Chafe Stick

  • Price: $$
  • Pro: clean ingredients gentle on skin
  • Con: can feel sticky if you apply too much

Thighs aren’t the only place where chafing occurs. You may experience chafing around the breasts, buttocks, back, feet, and other areas.

HIKI Anti-Chafe Stick is made with clean ingredients, including coconut oil to encourage smooth gliding and prevent painful friction. It helps prevent irritating skin-to-skin and skin-to-clothing contact wherever you experience chafing the most.

Be prepared that your first use is usually the most difficult. You may have to use a little extra effort to get the product to dispense at first, but it gets easier with each additional use.

Best spray

SKIN SLICK Continuous Spray Lubricant

  • Price: $$
  • Pro: long-lasting
  • Con: can get all over the floor if applied indoors

Sticks, balms, ointments, and creams are the most common types of anti-chafe products, but they’re not the only ones. This spray continuously applies lubricant to the skin.

Water- and sweat-resistant, this spray is ideal for water activities like swimming or surfing or other physical activities like running or cycling. If you have trouble putting on protective gear like wetsuits, reviewers say this product acts like a second skin to alleviate uncomfortable rubbing and tugging.

Formulated to stop chafing, this SKIN SLICK spray also prevents blisters. This is helpful when you’re breaking in new shoes or wearing uncomfortable undergarments.

Best ointment

CeraVe Healing Ointment

  • Price: $$
  • Pro: actually helps “repair” chaffed skin
  • Con: doesn’t prevent chafing much but does help heal it

Chafed, cracked, or dry skin will benefit from this healing ointment formulated with petrolatum, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. These ingredients hydrate, repair, protect, and relieve irritated skin or skin that is at risk of irritation.

The nongreasy formula is free of lanolin and fragrance to avoid further irritation from certain ingredients. It’s noncomedogenic, which means it’s suitable for skin types that are prone to acne, and it won’t clog your pores.

The gel-like texture is easy to apply directly to skin and can be used for a variety of purposes. Apply before chafing occurs to prevent irritation or apply to skin that is already chafed to relieve the pain.

Best powder gel

Monistat Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel

  • Price: $
  • Pro: completely translucent
  • Con: needs constant reapplying

Many chafing products take the form of a lotion or powder, and this product combines the best of both worlds. Designed to prevent and relieve chafing in the most intimate and delicate areas, this powder gel fights friction specifically in the bikini area.

Chafing may occur due to a combination of factors like sweating, heat, exercising, or shaving. This friction can lead to irritation, redness, and rawness even near the pelvic region. Applying this gel may prevent some of these symptoms before they even occur.

Best clothing item

Undersummers Classic Shortlette Anti-Chafing Slipshort

  • Price: $$$
  • Pro: no need to constantly reapply product
  • Con: may limit wardrobe options

While some fabrics are the culprit of chafing, others safeguard against it. These slipshorts are slick enough to wear under clothing like dresses to provide a layer of protection between the thighs.

The material consists of a lightweight fabric that is soft and stretchy. The inner thigh area is free of stitching to further reduce friction, and the gusset is made of breathable cotton for maximum comfort.

For maximum protection against chafing, apply a topical anti-chafe product to the skin before putting on these shorts.

Chafing breaks the skin’s protective barrier, which defends the body against germs and infection. If your chafing goes beyond mild redness and chapped skin, see a doctor. Symptoms that need medical attention include:

  • bleeding
  • discoloration
  • swelling
  • crust

Your doctor may prescribe a steroid to soothe skin and help it heal faster.

Can Vaseline prevent chafing?

Yes. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using petroleum jelly to help heal existing blisters and wounds, and also to prevent skin from chaffing in the first place.

How can you prevent chafing naturally?

The most natural way is likely wearing protective clothing, such as shorts, or nipple covers or shields, depending on where you experience chaffing.

Can you use anti-chafing cream every day?

Yes, as long as the ingredients in your chafe cream don’t irritate your skin in any way.

Anti-chafe products are a temporary preventive solution for uncomfortable chafing that is more common in warmer months.

There is a wide variety of chafing products on the market, including sticks, jellies, sprays, powders, ointments, shorts, and more. There’s a range of price points, so there’s likely something for everyone, no matter your budget.

For best results, be sure to read and follow the directions listed on the product label.

Lacey Bourassa is a health, wellness, and beauty writer based in Southern California. She holds a BA in English. Her work has appeared in digital publications like Livestrong, Verywell, Business Insider, Eat This Not That, and others. When she’s not writing, Lacey is likely pursuing her other interests: skin care, plant-based cooking, pilates, and traveling. You can keep up with her by visiting herwebsite or herblog.