Summer fashion is iconic – we’re always looking forward to wearing cute sundresses, mini-skirts, rompers and shorts. But to be completely honest, we have a love-hate relationship with summer fashion. While that sundress looks amazing, it also causes some serious damage to our thighs. In case you’ve forgotten, let us remind you of basically one of the only negative aspects of wearing a sundress: chafing.
If you, like many women, have thighs that touch, you probably deal with the pain that comes from them rubbing together in hot weather. The sweaty weather isn’t the only thing to blame—many of us also tend to be more active during the summer, whether we’re walking long distances on summer vacay, going for a run in the finally sunny weather, swimming on a hot day, or just going outside more often. It’s all fun and games until our inner thighs are red and sore.
The good news is that chafing doesn’t have to be an inevitable damper on an otherwise perfect summer day. Here are some of our favorite style hacks to prevent that dreaded summer chafing.
1. Wear bike shorts
If you don’t mind wearing an extra layer under your clothes, bike shorts are a great option for preventing chafing. Sure, they involve wearing more fabric in hot weather—but they also stop the friction that you might experience sans bike shorts.
2. Keep the area dry
Keeping your inner thigh area (or another high-risk chafing area) dry and cool can help you avoid chafing, dermatologist Dr. Marie Jhin told The Huffington Post. Using a powder to absorb moisture, such as baby powder, might help. Also avoid wearing sweaty, damp or wet clothes for too long, if possible. Verywell Fit suggests using a body powder or sports powder for a little more protection. One powder product is Lush’s Silky Underwear, which has a cornstarch and kaolin base and is designed to absorb moisture and keep your skin soft.
3. Lather on some moisture
Sometimes, you might be out for too long to change clothes, or powder might just not do the trick for you. Everybody (and every body) is different. If powder doesn’t work for you, you might want to try a method that is basically the opposite—apply petroleum jelly, like Vaseline. Using a lubricant like Vaseline will keep the areas from rubbing harshly against each other—instead, they’ll just be smoothly sliding, Verywell Fit says.
4. Use tried-and-true anti-chafing products
Lafayette College student Morgan Levy recommends Body Glide, which is marketed as “the original anti chafing, anti blister balm.” According to Morgan, “It goes on like deodorant and works super well for chafing.” If you think other options sound a little too messy, this is great because it’s easy to use and not wet or greasy.
Central Michigan University alumna Katia Koerner uses Bandelettes, which are anti-chafing thigh bands. “Bandelettes are the best,” she says. “They look cute, are comfortable and totally work to prevent rubbing.”
5. Try some products that aren’t marketed for thighs
There are some products that are marketed for chafing—and there are products that are designed to serve other purposes, but also work wonders for preventing chafed thighs. Some options are Fresh Balls Lotion, which is marketed toward men, A&D Ointment (yes, for diaper rashes), and glide-on deodorant, which you can roll on your inner things in the morning. The Independent reports that deodorant continues to protect the thighs even after it has dried for many women. Again, you might have to try out different products to discover what works best for you.
6. Avoid cotton
Cotton might seem like a comfortable fabric, but it can actually make chafing worse. According to Men’s Health, because cotton soaks up moisture (like sweat), it will cause chafing. Instead, opt for synthetic materials because they don’t absorb that moisture, Bustle reports. Though looser clothing might seem more breathable and best for comfort, wearing tighter clothing in synthetic materials is actually one of the best clothing hacks for dealing with chafing. For thigh chafing, running coach Christine Hinton told Competitor that longer, tighter shorts are best for when your thighs rub together.
7. Search for seamless options (or less stitching)
Chafing can also be caused or made worse by the seams in your clothes. Why? Because seams are yet another thing that can cause more friction and rubbing when you’re walking or running. Hinton also told Competitor that some women choose to wear their sports bras inside out, leaving the exposed seams on the outside so they don’t rub against their skin (smart hack, TBH). An even better alternative is searching for undergarments, bike shorts or other anti-chafing garments that are seamless or have flat seams and smoother surfaces.
Though you might have to try some different methods to find your favorite, with so many different chafing prevention hacks, you shouldn’t have to put up with chafing anymore. Enjoy your summer and your favorite romper without your thighs hating you for it.