The 9 Best Chafing Creams to Buy in 2018

Keep moisture and uncomfortable friction at bay

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Whether you’re an endurance athlete or a weekend warrior, you most likely have experienced chafing at some point and know how painful it can be. It may have even caused you to stop mid-ride or scream in agony during your post-run shower. Chafing can occur anywhere there’s moisture or friction, but the most chafing-prone areas are the butt, crotch, thighs, underarms, feet, chest, and nipples. Wherever you’ve felt it, you’re probably willing to do whatever you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Fortunately, there’s a slew of products that are specifically designed to protect these extremely delicate skin areas. Many athletes prefer to use chafing creams because they help prevent skin irritation, but are also soothing and less messy than other anti-chafing products such as petroleum jelly. Some creams are more suitable for cyclists, while others are formulated with triathletes and runners in mind.

Whatever your needs and preferences, you’re sure to find the perfect product to protect even your most sensitive areas with this collection of the best chafing creams.

Our Top Picks

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

Chamois Butt'r Original Anti-Chafe Cream

Courtesy of Amazon

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 helps prevent chafing on your rear and any other body parts that rub together or against clothing, so it can also be used by runners and other athletes.

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.

Best Natural: Ruby’s Lube

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.

Users also love that it doesn’t melt in the heat or 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.

Best for Feet: ChafeX Anti-Blister and Anti-Chafe Cream

Many endurance athletes who suffer from painful blisters and hot spots on their feet during long runs find that creams with wax, silicone, or petroleum as their main ingredients just don’t give them the protection they need. ​ChafeX is different because rather than lubricating the skin, it forms a semi-permeable membrane on your skin to protect it from chafing and blistering.

To apply, you simply put it on any area that’s susceptible to chafing or blistering and then rub it in for about 30 seconds until it feels stiff or tacky, which is temporary. After two to three minutes of dry time, your skin will feel smooth, and then you can put on your socks or other workout gear.

ChafeX washes off your skin with soap and water, and won’t leave any stain or odor behind on your clothes. Although it’s pricier than other chafing creams, users say a little goes a long way and its effectiveness makes it worth every penny. 

Best for Men: DZNuts Pro Chamois Cream

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. Users love the light, minty scent and the slight, cooling sensation after they apply it. This anti-fungal and anti-bacterial cream reduces the chance of infection, while also promoting healing in already existing wounds. 

Best for Women: Petal Power Joy Ride Cream

Formulated especially for women (although men can use it, too!), Petal Power Joy Ride Cream protects women’s delicate areas from painful chafing without any burning or tingling. The natural, plant-based formula is extremely mild and contains no menthol, peppermint, or tea tree oil, so it’s especially good for women with sensitive skin. Users love that it’s light, not greasy, and goes on very smoothly without leaving any sticky residue.

Best Budget: Udderly Smooth Chamois Cream with Shea Butter

While it’s not as thick as some of the other chafing creams, Udderly Smooth Chamois Cream provides chafing protection at a much more reasonable price. The gentle formula was developed using the input of elite female ​athletes and is perfect for protecting skin from irritation during cycling, running, hiking, and other activities. It’s lightly scented, a cinch to apply, and easy to wash off with soap and water. It may not last as long as other chafing creams, but it’s a good value and a smart alternative to more expensive creams, especially for shorter runs and rides.

Best for After Sports: Blue Steel Sports ANTI-CHAFE CREAM

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 helps reduce the risk of infection and prevents stains on clothing.

Users love that it’s not sticky or greasy, doesn’t burn your skin, and stays on. 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.

Best Stick: Body Glide

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. Available in a few different formulas, including Foot, Cycle, or Sun, it’s easy to find one that suits your needs. It also comes in smaller sizes, so it’s easy to pack if space is limited. 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.

Best for Cyclists: Gooch Guard Chamois Cream

If you spend a lot of time on your bike, you need 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 effective on other areas that are prone to chafing and irritation. It also has a pleasant, light smell and isn't greasy or sticky. Fans of Gooch Guard love how long it holds up, even under extremely hot and sweaty conditions.

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