For those of us without a thigh gap, soreness, rubbing and chafing as our thighs get sweaty on warm days or long walks can be a real problem. Also rather unpleasantly known as ‘chub rub’ (we prefer to think of ourselves as almost mermaids!) the dreaded condition can make the prettiest of summer dresses a painful wardrobe choice.
Luckily, there are now a host of products available to stop the problem – from creams and sprays to fabric bands – as well as lots of advice. Here’s our pick of the best.
Keep your thighs dry and sweat-free
Sweaty thighs from exercising or a hot commute make for perfect chafing conditions. Sprinkle a little baby powder or talc onto them throughout the day to stay dry. Even just a quick, gentle blot with a tissue in the ladies should help reduce soreness.
Smoovall Skin Contact Spray
A clever new product that keeps legs feeling dry all day long, no matter how hot it gets. It claims to last up to four hours, but we tried it and found the results lasted much longer. It’s non-toxic and forms an invisible, breathable layer. It can also be used during sports to cut down on sweat, for example any areas which get sore and sweaty during running or cycling. We’ve given it a try and found it lasts really well throughout the day, even on a hot holiday.
We recommend a spritz between your thighs, under your armpits and around your sports bra, especially under the band and straps. A few miles into a run, you’ll be so glad you used it!
Anti Chafing Short Leg Slip Shorts
(£13.95, The Big Bloomers Company)
Save money on lotions and potions with these clever knickers. They cover the tops of thighs to stop any kind of rubbing, plus they won’t ride up. As an added bonus, they also nip you in at the waist, and smooth any lumps and bumps, helping you look fabulous.
Pop some Vaseline on your thighs
A dab of Vaseline or similar lubricants and gels can make a big different to sore legs. As well as helping to heal sore skin, it will also help stop your thighs from sticking and rubbing. Keep a pot in your handbag and you can use it as a lip balm too.
Try anti-chafing cream
Bepanthen, the nappy-rash cream, is great for reducing friction and soothing soreness if you’ve already rubbed your skin. It is, after all, gentle enough for baby skin!
After chafing, be careful with soap
If your poor legs have been left red and sore, use gentle or mild soaps or shower gels when you’re washing to avoid making them more irritated. Dry carefully by patting gently with a towel, not rubbing.
Bandelettes Elastic Lace Thigh Bands
These pretty bands, which come in a range of colours, could be mistaken for hold-up stockings. In fact they’re designed to sit on your thighs and prevent rubbing – what a clever, simple idea.
Pop a pair of cycling shorts under your skirt – no one will notice as they are skin-tight, but they’ll act as a barrier to thigh rubbing. Alternatively consider cutting a pair of leggings into shorts.
Runderwear are seamfree and chafe-free underwear which work with your body to allow freer, faster movement with zero friction or irritation, whether you’re training for a marathon or pushing yourself in the gym. Runderwear also provide anti-blister socks, long sleeved baselayers and more.