Did you know that since the Covid-19 pandemic, 59% of active adults are using an outdoor activity such as running and walking to stay fit?
Whether they're doing it every day, training for races, or are just occasional exercisers, it's exciting to see so many people take on such a healthy hobby. But most runners and other endurance athletes know that exercising isn't always painless and fun.
While there are lots of injuries and mishaps that can happen on a run, chafing is the number one affliction of long-distance runners. There are so many anti-chafing products on the market that it can be hard to know where to start when choosing one. This list of the best anti-chafing products on the market will help you find the best solution for you.
Why Does Chafing Happen?
Your skin can chafe in two ways. The first is skin-on-skin chafing.
Skin-on-skin chafing occurs when two parts of your body rub against each other. It's common in the underarms and between the thighs. It can be caused by extra body weight, large muscles, humid weather, and sensitive skin.
The other kind of chafing is skin-on-fabric. This happens when your body rubs up against your running clothes repeatedly such as your shorts shirt, pants, and sports bra. It's caused by loose-fitting clothing, non-breathable fabrics, and again humid weather.
The most frequent problem areas for all kinds of chafing are the thighs, underarms, crotch, nipples, feet, and under any straps.
As it gets hotter and more humid outside it's more important than ever to make sure that you're prepared for possible chafing. Read on for the best products on the market for dealing with your chafing.
There are a couple of products for chafing and ways to deal with it. They range from clothing to anti-chafing balms to creams to help with skin restoration.
Moisturizing Body Wash
The first way to deal with chafing is by making sure your skin is already moisturized and clean before you begin running. Invest in a high-quality moisturizing body wash to use daily and moisturize your skin immediately after showering to trap the hydration in.
Hydrated, smooth skin is less likely to rub uncomfortably against itself. This body wash is best for normal to dry skin types and helps restore your skin's natural barrier. It also doesn't include soap or sulfates which prevents any residue from being left on your skin - making it stiffer and more irritable.
Thinstincts Mid Thigh Shorts
Loose-fitting clothing can cause skin-on-fabric chafing, and a shorter pair of shorts leave your thighs exposed to skin-on-skin chafing.
You can combat both of those issues with a pair of tight-fitting mid-thigh shorts like these by spandex. The smooth spandex provides a surface for your thighs to rub without getting your skin involved, and the tight fit doesn't allow for the fabric to rub against your skin.
For a more modest look, you can put a loose pair of shorts on over the spandex.
While deodorant may be able to help with day-to-day chafing, you'll need something more effective, long-lasting, and direct to help with chafing caused by serious exercise.
Squirrel's Nut Butter makes several all-natural skin products for chafing including an easy apply stick version of their anti-chafe salve.
Apply as you would a deodorant stick directly to parts of your body that you experience frequent chafing for long-lasting relief. The coconut oil and cocoa butter provide a slick surface between your skin and moisturize damaged skin while the beeswax makes for a strong, all-day hold.
The same all-natural ingredients also come in a tub salve version, if you prefer to apply by hand.
The tub version of this salve is also better if you live in a warmer climate where it's hard to keep your salve cool. The stick version requires a cool environment to stay hard, while the salve stays soft and gooey for quick application in warmer homes.
To apply, let the salve get warm in your hands and then gently rub it into your frequently affected areas. Re-apply as needed and even to other skin irritations for healing and pain relief. You can even apply the salve to the backs and tops of your feet as an anti-blister product!
If your chafing is from cycling, you may have more specific needs than your average chafer. This Saddle Butter Cycling Salve can protect you from chafing where your body means your bicycle seat and anywhere else you wish to apply it.
The salve is totally vegan, and it's made of peppermint oil, tea tree oil & zinc oxide. The tea tree oil is an important ingredient because it kills bacteria and fungi that cyclists are prone to struggling with. The zinc oxide will lower inflammation if you already are experiencing a rash, and the peppermint adds a fresh scent.
Apply it as you would the anti-chafe tub - paying particularly close attention to your groin and inner thighs. Keep in mind that like the anti-chafe tub, this product is best used in warm weather scenarios.
Getting Chafing Relief
With the right body wash, clothing choices, and pre and post-workout anti-chafing products you can have major relief from chafing. You deserve to get back to your fullest athletic potential without worry of discomfort and pain from doing the thing you love.