A decade ago, my best friend married her other best friend on a hot, sunny July day. Everything was perfect and, as her ecstatic maid of honour, I fulfilled all of my duties with a grin—even though my poor thighs felt like they’d been bitten by a thousand fire ants. Because throughout the sweaty day, as we hurried from the salon to the ceremony to the dancefloor, my thighs were chafing. Like. Crazy.
I thought I’d prepared. That morning as we embarked on our primp sesh, the bride’s aunts broke out their secret sweat weapon: Lady Anti Monkey Butt, a powder for bra lines and inner thighs meant to keep you chafe-free. We doused ourselves in it, confident that we’d stay dry through every photo, toast and semi-embarrassing dance move. Fast-forward 12 hours: The powder had long worn off and reapplying wasn’t doing a thing. (The stuff just didn’t stick!)
I was desperate. Luckily, my mom was also in attendance so I waddled over to her, begging for help. Half an hour later she arrived back at the reception with a Giant Tiger bag containing a pair of black men’s basketball shorts. The chunky waistband and thick cotton were a far cry from Spanx, but I didn’t care that it looked like I was wearing a diaper under my LBD—my chapped, bruised thighs were finally separated from each other, like two tired puppies after a long wrestling match.
Since that fateful night, I’ve struggled to find a proper solution. That’s right: It’s been ten years of trying everything from bike shorts (too hot) to antiperspirant (only lasts a couple of hours). It got to a point where chub rub became an expected part of my summer life, and there were days when I wouldn’t be able to wear dresses, skirts or shorts until I healed.
But this year, everything changed. I decided to switch to an all-natural deodorant, and in my hunt for the perfect stick I happened to stumble upon a natural solution to my chub rub issue at the same time. I found exactly what I was looking for when a friend told me about MegaBabe Thigh Rescue. Developed by fierce NYC-based blogger Katie Sturino of The 12ish, the anti-chafe stick’s soothing formula, with aloe and antioxidant-rich vitamin E, has been a total game-changer.
Sturino developed the product last year after dealing with thigh chafing her whole life and getting fed up with the options she had. “I tried everything, even suntan lotion,” she says. For a long time, she used another brand’s chafing stick but hated having to haul it out to reapply in public. “It’s like, you’re like this reasonably stylish woman and you’re going to pull out this disgusting men’s balls product? It was embarrassing.”
One day, after digging that very product out of her Chanel handbag, she decided she’d had enough. She saw an opportunity for a product “for the girl who’s just trying to make it in the summer,” and set out to find a factory to produce the stuff. “It was really important for me to make sure that this was a safe product to put near sensitive lady-part areas,” says Sturino. The result was a toxin-free formula in a sleek package that looks like an expensive women’s deodorant.
“I don’t know if I can make the claim that it’s the longest-lasting…” she says, “but for me, it works the best.” I’m with her—I only have to reapply on extra humid, sweaty days and the formula has totally kept my thighs from chapping. (The Megababe line also includes an awesome titty sweat-battling Bust Dust and a natural underarm deo called Rosy Pits, which has sold out within minutes the last two times I tried to buy it!).
Finally, the world seems to be catching on to the fact that chafing is a real issue that so many women deal with, and MegaBabe isn’t the only company filling the market void. This summer, I also gave Undercarriage a try and was super happy to see that its formula is aluminum-free and 100% natural. It works great for me as a deodorant (I even use it under the girls) and I love the beachy scent, though the cream-to-powder formula doesn’t glide onto thighs as easily as Megababe. As it says on their website, “It won’t prevent you from sweating, but it will minimize your wetness and keep you smelling fresh.”
Also, BIG shoutouts to Toronto-based brand Thigh Society. Sticks and gels just don’t cut it for some babes and for in that case, fabric protection is the only way to go. Thigh Society offers sweat-wicking, breathable anti-chafing shorts that are sleek, comfy and undetectable under clothes. Plus, everything is made in Canada!
When I ask Sturino what she wants consumers to get out of her product, she responds enthusiastically: “Freedom! I’ve talked to so many women who didn’t realize they were hiding from dresses, skirts and shorts. I want to allow them the freedom to do things they’ve restricted themselves from because of chafe.”
Now that I’ve ditched my Giant Tiger basketball shorts, I’m ready to hit any wedding dancefloor at any time. Turn up the Elton John!