Ask Grace: How Do I Stop My Thighs From Chafing?

Dear Grace,  

Every summer I have the exact same problem: chafing. I’ve tried every home remedy in the book and all I seem to feel is even more uncomfortable, greasy, and I still chafe! I have it worst around the tops of my thighs, which stops me wearing shorts and skirts in hot weather, but once it starts, it can be quite painful for days afterwards. What can I do to a) prevent chafing in the first place and b) be comfortable when it does happen? 

Charlotte, 24 

The good thing about the modern beauty industry is that there really is a product for anything and everything. If you’ve got a concern, no matter how niche you might think it is, chances are thousands of other people experience it too, and if they’ve been vocal enough about it, then the geniuses over in NPD (new product development) will be doing their best to create a product to treat it.  

A case in point, chafing or skin rubbing. Essentially, a friction-induced skin injury where the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) rubs together or against your clothes, causing tears. This results in the layer below (the dermis) becoming red and raw, so the more the chafing occurs, the more irritated and painful this becomes. It’s super common to experience this on your thighs, although some may also notice it around the underarms, breasts, and groin—all areas which experience excess moisture (from sweating), skin-to-skin contact, and repetitive movements—the perfect environment for chafing to occur. This can of course happen at any time of year, but the reason why many of us associate chafing with summer is because we sweat far more during the warmer months, and sweat (being salt-based) further irritates the skin. 

To prevent chafing from clothing, avoid cotton, which absorbs sweat and stays wet (opt for lightweight synthetic fabrics instead), and ensure that your clothes fit properly (anything too loose or too tight increases the risk of chafing). Preventing skin-on-skin chafing is much harder, but the better moisturised your skin is, the less likely you are to experience friction.  

A few years ago, I’d have ended the column here, but as I mentioned above, there really is a product for everything these days. In 2020, BeYou launched their (now famous) Anti-Chafing Cream, which instantly sold out within hours of its release on BEAUTY BAY. Not only does it contain nourishing oils which soften skin to prevent friction, it also helps to soothe and repair already irritated skin, and as it’s formulated to be waterproof it therefore lasts much longer than your average moisturising cream. 

A personal favourite of mine is Megababe’s Thigh Rescue Anti-Friction Stick—and as you can see from its reviews, I’m not the only one who’s obsessed. This swipe-on stick is easy to use on-the-go and top-up throughout the day so it’s perfect for holidays or festivals.