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.
Enter Amy Schumer—comedienne, star of Trainwreck, and bestie to J.Law—with perhaps the greatest thigh rub hack ever:
At Monday’s Met Gala, Schumer, 34, stunned in an Alexander Wang gown, and her Instagram account featured plenty of behind-the-scenes photos of her prepping for the big event. But it was this video of Schumer applying deodorant to her inner thighs—“No chafe #nothighgapnoproblem”— that racked up more than 121,000 likes. Obviously, many of us can relate.
Deoderant is “good in a pinch,” confirms Dr. Piliang. As a general rule, anything that absorbs moisture can help with chafing, she says. But deodorant can also be drying, so if you use it too often, your skin might become even more irritated.
With summer right around the corner, we asked the experts for a few more options to help stop the chafe.
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.
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.)
An anti-chafing balm that helps prevent the skin irritation caused by friction, Body Glide 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.
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.
Since baby powders are good at absorbing moisture, they’re also helpful for preventing chafing. (Though you might want to go with a cornstarch-based product instead of one that contains talc.) And like petroleum jelly, baby powder can also be used on chafed skin to soothe the irritation.
On first glance, these look too pretty to be useful. But in fact, Bandelettes are specifically designed to ward off chafing. Plus, they’re also recommended by fashion editors and bloggers 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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