Nobody wants to talk about thigh rub. But for the vast majority of us, it is a very real – and very uncomfortable – summertime problem. Thankfully, journalist Lauren Bravo has taken up the cause and come up with six ways to beat thigh rub on hot days. Read on and never suffer from chafed legs again…
1. Talcum powder
If you’re happy using it, a good talcum powder can mop up sweat and keep friction at bay for a short while. Just be prepared to reapply regularly, and to leave a suspect trail of white dust in your wake. 3/5.
2. Dry shampoo
By the same logic of absorbing moisture and stopping friction, a powdery dry shampoo should be a thigh’s best friend – but although a spray can make application much easier than talc, one intrepid tester reports that “it turned into a paste really quickly”. And if the Friends episode with Ross’s leather trousers taught us anything, it’s to stop right there. Emergencies only. 1/5.
3. Body Glide the Original Anti-chafe Anti-blister Balm
A little like applying Pritt Stick to your thighs, Body Glide is a heavy-duty barrier balm that promises to resist sweat and protect your skin all day. It works a treat on blisters and under bra straps, but on tender thigh skin my tester found it more of a nuisance than a help. “I was just very aware of it at all times,” she says. Let’s not talk about the identical “For Her” version that comes in a pink tube, either. 2/5.
4. Lanacane Anti-chafing Gel
Working on the principle of keeping your skin slippy, rather than dry, Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel gives the same silky finish as a silicone-based face primer. On the thighs, it feels nicely soothing and reduced friction up to a point, but on a long, sticky walk we found it actually made things more uncomfortable. Best for short-shorts, where a fabric barrier would look weird. 3/5.
5. “Comfort shorts”
We’re talking long-line, microfibre pants, somewhere between Spanx and long johns. They give reliable protection, but the main drawback is that they add an extra layer of insulation to what is, frankly, an already sweaty situation. Best for cooler days and spontaneous cartwheels. 4/5.
Like the lace tops of hold-ups without the tights below, Bandelettes were invented specifically to prevent thigh chafing and look vaguely sexy, not surgical. Much breezier around your nethers than cycling shorts or tights, once they’re on they stay put all day and a pair could last you years. I discovered them a few years ago and have never looked back – except to boast about my unchafed thighs as I hike cheerfully up hills in a midi dress. The Holy Grail. 4.5/5.
It sounds like Bandelettes are the way to go, but in a pinch, it’s good to know that a few bathroom essentials can offer a bit of relief. As well as talc and dry shampoo, good old-fashioned Vaseline is a reliable cure for thigh rub. Keep a tub in your handbag while you wait for your Bandelette delivery to arrive.