10 Best Chafing Creams to Keep You Rub-Free, Recommended by an Experts

Keep friction at bay with our top pick, Chamois Butt'r Anti-Chafe Cream

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The 8 Best Chafing Creams of 2022

Verywell Fit / Chloe Jeong

Chafing results from skin irritation caused by repetitive rubbing. Common in runners and walkers, it manifests as burning, stinging, and red skin, and can also lead to swelling, pain, and bleeding. It's typically found in areas of your body that get excessively sweaty when you work out or where your skin repeatedly rubs against itself or clothing.

Reviewed & Approved

We selected Chamois’ Butt'r Original Anti-Chafe Cream as our best overall pick because it's easy to apply and can be used everywhere. The BodyGlide Original Anti-Chafe Balm is a good option for endurance athletes.

“Anti-chafing cream is used to prevent friction from causing skin breakdown,” Dorothea T. Barton, MD, a dermatologist and ultra-marathon runner in New Hampshire, says. “Key areas to protect are where skin rubs together or against clothing or straps, which include the inner thighs, under the breasts, groin, armpits, feet, and nipples.”

Wearing moisture-wicking clothes that fit properly and using a lubricating cream in chafing-prone areas can help prevent or reduce this irritation during exercise. We consulted dermatologists, running coaches, and athletes to get their recommendations for products and what to look for. By considering performance, convenience, formula, and price, we’ve collected the top chafing creams and balms and determined which ones work best for different purposes.

According to our research, these are the best chafing creams on the market.

Best Overall: Chamois Butt'r Original Anti-Chafe Cream

4.8
Chamois Butt'r Original Anti-Chafe Cream

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Prevents saddle soreness

  • Won’t stain or discolor clothes

  • Non-greasy

Cons
  • Can be messy

  • Not very portable

Any cyclist who has dealt with saddle soreness knows that a pre-ride application of chafing cream is critical to their comfort during and after riding. Chamois Butt'r Original Anti-Chafe Cream is our best overall pick because it helps prevent chafing on your rear and any other body parts—such as your nipples—that rub together or against clothing, so it can also be used by runners and walkers.

Non-greasy and easy to apply, users love that it lasts for hours and doesn’t stain your clothes. It also contains no artificial fragrances or colors and doesn’t have a strong scent, if you’re worried about a sensitive nose. This cream also comes off easily with soap and water when you’re finally ready to clean up after a long bike ride or run.

Type: Cream | Key Ingredients: Mineral oil, glyceryl stearate, glycerine, and lanolin | Size: 8 ounces | Scent: Unscented

Best Women's: Megababe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick

Megababe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick
Pros
  • Non-greasy

  • Works well in heat and humidity

  • Non-toxic

Cons
  • Need to reapply for long distances

Thigh chafing can be incredibly uncomfortable, and that's where the MegaBabe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick comes in. Formulated with soothing aloe, pomegranate, and hydrating grapeseed oil, we love that this formula is designed to create an instant barrier between your thighs while you walk, run, or simply go about your day.

Just swipe the non-greasy formula directly onto your inner thighs before you head out and enjoy less friction. Made with all non-toxic ingredients, the versatile stick also works well on other chafing-prone areas, including bra line, belly, and underarm area.

Type: Stick | Key Ingredients: Aloe, pomegranate, grapeseed oil, vitamin E, ginger root, orange oil | Size: 2.1 ounces | Scent: Light lemon

Best Men's: dznuts Pro Chamois Cream

dznuts Pro Chamois Cream

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial

  • Helps heal irritated skin

  • Good for sensitive skin

Cons
  • Some say it’s too greasy

Active men need strong protection down there and, if they do experience chafing or saddle soreness, they want a product that will speed up the healing process. DZNuts Pro Chamois Cream does all of that, and more.

Its anti-inflammatory and anti-chafing properties protect delicate skin against irritation and also decrease itching, prickling, and discomfort. We love the light, minty scent and the slight, cooling sensation after application.

This anti-fungal and anti-bacterial cream reduces the chance of infection, while also promoting healing in already existing wounds. It’s a bit more expensive than some other products, but worth the investment for reliable protection and comfort.

Type: Cream | Key Ingredients: Tea tree oil, evodia, masterwort, vitamin E oil | Size: 4 ounces | Scent:  Light, minty

Best Natural: Ruby's Lube Anti-Chafe Balm Motion Potion for Every Notion

Ruby's Lube Anti-Chafe Balm Motion Potion for Every Notion

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Good for sensitive skin

  • Works on sweaty skin

  • Glides on easily

Cons
  • Can get runny in extreme heat

  • Feels tacky to some

Created by a seven-time Ironman winner, Ruby’s Lube is made with all-natural ingredients, including olive oil, lemongrass, calendula, beeswax, and benzoin. A little bit of this cream goes a long way, so there’s no need to frequently reapply during long rides or runs. It stays put and holds up to extreme sweating and rainy conditions, but comes off easily in the shower with soap.

We also like that the balm goes on smoothly and doesn’t make a mess when applying. Ruby’s Lube has a clean, fresh scent and is even safe and gentle enough to be used on diaper rash or any chapped skin. It’s a great, natural option for athletes who’ve experienced breakouts or allergic reactions from other chafing creams.

The 3-ounce tube also comes with a bonus mini tube, which is perfect for stashing in a pack or pocket in case you forget to apply before your activity.

Type: Balm | Key Ingredients: Olive oil, lemongrass, calendula, beeswax, and benzoin | Size: 3 ounces | Scent: Mild lemongrass

Best for Feet: Squirrel’s Nut Butter All-Natural Anti-Chafe Salve

Squirrel’s Nut Butter All-Natural Anti-Chafe Salve

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Easy to apply

  • Moisturizes dry or cracked skin

  • All-natural

Cons
  • Hardens in cold temperatures

  • Small size

Active people’s feet are prone to not only chafing and blisters, but also dry, cracked skin. We love that this salve is a great all-in-one product for feet, protecting from irritation and rubbing, while also moisturizing and soothing. “Keeping the skin well moisturized in the first place helps minimize damage to the skin and irritation caused by chafing,” Richard Bottiglione, MD, Arizona board-certified dermatologist, says.

Made from all-natural ingredients, such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, and beeswax, it’s ideal for those with sensitive skin. The formula forms an invisible, water-repellent barrier of protection, while still allowing skin to breathe and sweat. In addition to protecting your feet, the salve is also effective for avoiding chafing in other areas, including thighs, arms, and chest. It comes in a double-wall plastic tub that’s designed for easy, mess-free application and acts as a thermos to prevent the salve from melting.

Type: Salve | Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, vitamin E oil | Size: 2 ounces | Scent: Cocoa butter

Best for After Sports: Blue Steel Sports Anti-Chafe Cream with Tea Tree Oil

Blue Steel Sports Anti-Chafe Cream with Tea Tree Oil

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Not sticky or greasy

  • Won’t sweat off

  • Won’t stain clothes

Cons
  • Need to reapply for long-term use

  • Scent doesn’t appeal to some

Specially formulated for endurance athletes, Blue Steel Sports Anti-chafe Cream is a ​silicone-based cream that helps protect chafing, blisters, and saddle sores. It contains tea tree oil, a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ingredient, which may help reduce the risk of infection.

We love that it’s not sticky or greasy, doesn’t burn your skin, and stays on. The cream is easy to apply in all areas where runners, walkers, and cyclists experience chafing issues. While it’s an effective product for preventing skin pain, Blue Steel excels at calming and soothing irritated skin, for those times when you may have missed a spot or completely forgot to apply. It’s perfect to pack for weekend hiking trips and multi-day races.

Type: Cream | Key Ingredients: Tea tree oil | Size: 3.3 ounces | Scent: Tea tree oil

Best Stick: BodyGlide Original Anti-Chafe Balm

Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Easy to apply

  • Very portable

  • Allergen-free

Cons
  • Can melt in extreme heat

  • Not shareable

One of the most tried-and-true anti-chafing products among runners, Body Glide is an allergen-free, plant-based, no-petroleum stick that goes on like a deodorant stick, creating a dry, invisible barrier between your skin and clothing to reduce friction. We like it for its versatility—it works well on feet, as well as large areas such as the chest or thighs, and isn’t messy or sticky.

The stick comes in several sizes, including a small .8-ounce one that’s easy to stash in a pocket or running pack for on-the-go applications. One caveat is that it can melt in extreme heat, so you shouldn’t leave it for long periods in a hot car, for instance.

Type: Stick | Key Ingredients: Vitamin E | Size: .8-, 1.5-, and 2.5-ounce options | Scent: Unscented

Best for Cyclists: Gooch Guard Chamois Cream

Gooch Guard Chamois Cream

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Gentle on skin

  • Good for hot weather exercise

  • Not sticky

Cons
  • Scent doesn’t appeal to some

If you spend a lot of time on your bike, we recommend opting for an anti-chafing cream that’s effective and long-lasting. A popular choice among endurance riders, Gooch Guard Chamois Cream will keep your rear comfortable, soothed and protected. Made from all-natural, safe ingredients, Gooch Guard contains no parabens, petroleum, silicone, added fragrance, or common allergens, so it’s gentle on all skin types.

Although cyclists use it on their bum, it’s also effective on other areas that are prone to chafing and irritation. It has a light scent and isn't greasy or sticky. We love how long it holds up, even under extremely hot and sweaty conditions.

Type: Cream | Key Ingredients: Aloe, coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, tea tree oil | Size: 4.2 ounces | Scent: Light scent

Best for Runners: RunGuard Natural Anti-Chafe

RunGuard Natural Anti-Chafe

Source: RunGuard Natural Anti-Chafe

Pros
  • Waterproof

  • Unscented

  • Made with plant-based ingredients

Cons
  • Only comes in one size

  • Not shareable

Just as the name promises, this chafing stick is ideal for distance runners, who need reliable chafing protection. However, Run Guard also works well for walkers and others who are active in hot, sweaty weather. It’s formulated to reduce friction and rubbing during long runs or other workouts and it can be applied anywhere you might chafe, such as underarms, inner thighs, nipples, groin, bra line, and feet.

Made from beeswax and plant-based ingredients, we love that Run Guard is free of scents, dyes, and chemicals, so it’s a great option for those with sensitive skin or nose. It’s easy to apply and is waterproof, so it stays on, even when sweating.

Type: Stick | Key Ingredients: Beeswax, vitamin E, shea butter, aloe vera | Size: 1.4 ounces | Scent:  Unscented

Best for Inner Thighs: Zone Naturals Chub Rub All-Natural Anti-Chafing Stick

Zone Naturals Chub Rub All-Natural Anti-Chafing Stick

Source: Zone Naturals

Pros
  • All-natural

  • Gentle on skin

  • Good for traveling

Cons
  • Not shareable

  • Can get soft in extreme heat

  • Some report gritty feel

Made with organic coconut oil and shea butter, this anti-chafing stick is ideal for protecting areas where skin rubs together, especially thighs and underarms. Unlike some messy creams, the stick glides easily onto skin without leaving a greasy feeling or sticky hands.

With an all-natural, unscented formula, we recommend it for those with sensitive skin. It also contains hydrating ingredients, such as aloe, so it keeps skin from drying out. Plus, the stick is a perfect size to stash in your purse or pack in your toiletry bag when traveling to a warm weather vacation destination.

Type: Stick | Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe | Size: 1.5 ounces | Scent: Unscented

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a go-to chafing cream that’s easy to apply and can be used everywhere, we recommend Chamois’ Butt'r Original Anti-Chafe Cream. With soothing ingredients and no artificial fragrances or colors, it provides long-lasting protection for chafing-prone areas.

For a very portable and affordable chafing solution, BodyGlide Original Anti-Chafe Balm is a great option, especially for endurance athletes. We love how easy the stick formula is to apply and stash in a pocket, running belt, or backpack.

How We Selected the Best Chafing Creams

To find the best chafing creams, we researched dozens of products from the most trustworthy brands and carefully reviewed customer feedback. We then interviewed a variety of experts—including three dermatologists and one podiatrist—for product recommendations and what to look for when selecting creams. We also asked runners, cyclists, and other active people about their favorite options for chafing protection.

To narrow down our options, we considered the creams’ effectiveness, ease of use, ingredients list, and price. Based on those evaluations, we determined which products were best suited for different uses and needs.

What to Look for in Chafing Creams

Type

Most anti-chafing products are creams, salves, balms, or glide-on sticks, and the best option for you depends on your needs and preferences. Creams usually go on easily and some may also moisturize the skin, but some people find them to be messy.

The stick formulas tend to be simple to apply and non-greasy, but they may be prone to melting in very hot conditions. They’re also less hygienic than creams and can’t be easily shared with your running buddy. Sticks often come in small, pocket-size versions, so they can be more convenient for on-the-go applications.

Ingredients

“Helpful ingredients to prevent chafing include zinc oxide, dimethicone, petroleum jelly, cornstarch, coconut oil, and glycerin,” Dorothea T. Barton, MD says. Those ingredients can help create a protective barrier on your skin that reduces friction.

“Some products will also contain aloe or vitamin E to help soothe and repair skin, if it does become chafed,” Adam Mamelak, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas, says. If you have sensitive skin, look for products that don’t contain fragrance, perfumes or other preservatives that can further irritate the skin by inducing an allergic or irritant contact dermatitis.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which ingredients should I look for in a chafing cream?

    According to Cheri Frey, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Howard University, products containing petrolatum or dimethicone protect skin by creating an artificial barrier and minimizing friction. “Ingredients like zinc oxide, aloe vera, and vitamin E can soothe skin and calm inflammation,” she says.

    Some products are made of natural ingredients and don’t have any added scents, making them a good choice for those with a sensitive nose or skin. “Even simple or natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions, so be sure to test on a small area of skin before using a product all over,” Dr. Frey says.

  • Should I have multiple chafing creams for different areas?

    It’s not necessary to find a cream or balm for different areas of the body, according to Dr. Frey. “Just find a product you like, and make sure it’s not too drying, too sticky, or too greasy,” she says. 

  • How often and for how long should I apply chafing creams?

    The key to preventing chafing is to address the problem before it starts. Be sure to apply chafing cream before exercising and reapply whenever a “hot spot” is felt. Usually, for activities lasting less than an hour, application prior to exercise should suffice.

    “Sweating or swimming may cause the product to wear off faster, so it may need to be reapplied more frequently,” Dorothea T. Barton, MD says. “Reapplication may also be needed in areas of high friction and in hot, humid environments.”

  • What type of clothing should I wear after applying chafing cream?

    Chafing can develop anywhere that clothing rubs on skin, so it’s important to choose your clothes wisely. Tight-fitting athletic attire, such as bike shorts or running tights, will provide better protection than loosely-fitting clothes during exercise.

    Look for clothes that are breathable and made of moisture-wicking fabrics (not cotton), since moisture on your skin increases your risk of friction and chafing. You should also avoid wearing clothes that have irritating seams, tags, or fasteners, as they can be a prime cause of chafing.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Certified running coach, personal trainer, and fitness writer Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, has spent years researching, testing, and recommending fitness and athletic products and knows that the right gear can tremendously improve performance and comfort.

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Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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