We don’t know about you, but we’ve gotten pretty familiar with chafing this summer. The sun brings the heat, and that usually means a little sweat here and there. Areas such as the armpits and thighs can experience heavy chafing, that is, repeated rubbing of sweaty areas that cause skin pain and irritation.
Those of us who suffer from irritated skin know how bad it can get — and how much it can interfere with a good time (or a pretty outfit). We share proven tips and products to beat irritated skin for good!
How to stop irritated skin
Rubbing has a unique discomfort all its own: sticky skin, painful rubbing, red, swollen skin that is tender to the touch. It usually lasts a few hours, or as long as your skin is 1) sweaty and 2) in touch. In the worst case, a bad rub can last several days before it subsides and can lead to small red welts or bumps.
Here are some ways to stop irritated skin before it hits:
For mini, maxi, or midi dresses, a pair of breathable bike shorts is an ingenious hack to prevent thigh chafing. That extra layer can turn an uncomfortable day of hobbling into an easy, breezy walk in the park.
We like to look for mid-length bike shorts that fully cover the “tacky” parts of our thighs. We sometimes prefer them a little longer, because they can rise throughout the day. They’re pretty invisible under most dresses and can even be worn under baggy pants that don’t quite cover high-risk chafing areas.
While there are plenty of amazing anti-chafing products out there (which we’ll mention later), it’s wise to have a back-up option. We’ve been known to apply a few drops of our everyday deodorant to problem areas before a long day out and about. The creamy application and the powdery finish work perfectly as a barrier between the skin.
PRO TIP: Zinc is a key ingredient in many anti-chafing products. Our Everywhere Body Stick can work in a snap for high irritation areas!
Sometimes the cause of friction comes down to the tightness of the clothes we wear, or even the type of fabric. These factors can cause uncomfortable friction, leading to skin irritation. We’ve learned to replace old, worn-out lycra leggings with organic cotton or more breathable, skin-friendly materials.
Although home remedies have a bad reputation for being messy and ineffective, some of the solutions we’ve seen for irritated skin aren’t bad. For example, aloe vera gel straight out of the fridge reapplied to areas prone to chafing can prevent irritation. It is also ideal for soothing red and swollen skin that has already suffered from chafing.
Other commonly used body or face gels or balms can also work wonders, especially if they contain soothing florals like rose, chamomile or lavender. Bulk butters and oils that we keep on hand can help as long as they are light; think coconut, shea or almond. And for an old-school thing moms swear by: baby powder. Just make sure it’s talc-free!
Our 4 favorite anti-friction products
Mega Babe Anti-Chafing Stick
Take a trip down the happy lane with this creamy balm for our most chafing-prone areas. This aloe and chamomile stick coats the skin with hydrating and calming ingredients that neutralize active irritation for a more peaceful skin surface. Grapeseed Oil delivers the real good, helping to improve collagen levels while providing essential product glide for a smooth, creamy glide.
Try this favorite anti-chafing stick before long days crossing town or early morning hikes for spectacular sunrise views. Simply rub it directly onto the skin wherever anti-chafing attention is needed. This one is a real “set it and forget it” remedy – yes, it tastes that good.
Body Glide for Her Anti-Chafing Hydrating Balm
A moisturizing balm designed with his in mind, for all those body parts that just can’t get enough. This simple formula packs a hydrating punch, with coconut and sweet almond oils.
Coconut is an oil with natural abilities to tone the complexion, as irritated skin areas may experience discoloration; this feature puts Body Glide at the top of our anti-chafing list. The anti-inflammatory and extra hydrating coconut oil also allows for super smooth application and contains antioxidants that neutralize skin irritating free radicals.
Just as nutritious and hydrating as its coconut counterpart, Body Glide for Her’s Sweet Almond Oil also helps fight scars and repair skin tone. Packed with vitamins A and E, this oil acts as a natural elixir of youth to keep skin hydrated, supple and glowing. With its extra boost of Vitamin E, this clean, cruelty-free product makes the most of a few ingredients for a serious fight against skin irritation any time of the year.
Hiki Anti-Chafing Stick
Are you sweating? With heat waves creeping across the country, many of us are turning our days into nights with a visible glow all over our bodies. This “natural glow” sometimes looks great, but definitely makes a few areas of our body stick out more than we’d like – that’s where Hiki comes in. They take a blend of oils and extracts, toss them together in a handy, colorful stick, and dries up our dampness issues.
Like some of our other favorites, this stick stops irritated skin in its tracks with a substantial dose of coconut oil. In this case, we see a new ingredient, castor oil, added to the anti-chafing part. This component is essential for moisturizing, soothing sun damage and helping to keep the skin smooth and taut, which is very important for areas prone to irritation.
Here we also see healing and deeply hydrating aloe, which helps soothe irritated areas. Rosemary, known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, is also making an appearance. Rice bran balances skin pigmentation and keeps skin hydrated and supple, with its rich stores of vitamins A and E.
Overall, we love how this cute little stick has great natural ingredients to fight and heal irritated skin, and that we can apply it just about anywhere for instant results.
Toe of chamois
You might remember the chamois from your childhood: that super soft, extra fancy towel Dad used to wash his beloved car. And it’s all in the name of this anti-irritation cream: forgiving in all the right ways, this formula has been killing the game of irritated skin for decades, one pair of thighs at a time.
This product was developed by cyclists, so we like its high performance. Designed with activity in mind – by those who know a thing or two about friction – definitely made an impact on this lightweight formula. Soft, light and non-greasy, this is how this product feels on the skin.
The presentation in a tube is even more practical; rather than a stick, it’s a creamier product that slides easily out of a tube. Apply directly to skin, lining of shorts or anywhere that needs a little extra glide to prevent chafing. We can see that it works really well on the soles of the feet, to avoid that summer burn.
For all the fitness we’ve been enjoying this summer, this cream is also great before yoga or running. Paraben-free and fragrance-free, this anti-chafing cream is a great choice for those who lead busy lives.
For more on healthy body care products, check out our recent articles on deet-free insect repellents, natural baby products, and eco-friendly menstrual products!