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Which anti-chafe balm is best?

If you have sensitive skin, dealing with skin irritation is just another annoying fact of life. Even if you stick to hypoallergenic skin-care products, you can wind up with rashes and other irritations due to something as simple as friction.  An anti-chafe balm helps reduce the problem by lubricating the skin. It also forms a protective barrier over the skin that draws sweat and other moisture away to keep you cool and comfortable. With its long-lasting effectiveness and nongreasy formula, the Body Glide Skin Glide Anti-Friction Cream is a top choice. 

What to know before you buy an anti-chafe balm


You can use an anti-chafe balm for any situation where you typically encounter friction, but there are certain applications where it works particularly well.

  • Diaper rash: Anti-chafe balm can prevent diaper rash if applied to your baby’s bottom.
  • Running and cycling: Runners and bike riders can use an anti-chafe balm on their inner thighs and groin area to avoid chafing during training or competition.
  • New shoes: Anti-chafe balm can prevent irritation on the feet when you’re wearing or breaking in new shoes.
  • General chafing: Anti-chafe balm can prevent chafing between areas of the body, such as the inner thighs or the inside of the upper arm and torso, when you’re wearing certain clothing, such as skirts or dresses.
  • Chafing from bra straps: People can prevent irritation on their back and torso by applying anti-chafe balm in the areas where their bra straps rub against the body.


Anti-chafe balm is available in several different formulas. All types are effective, but some formulas may fit your needs better than others.

  • Sticks and roll-ons: These are usually the easiest to apply because you can smooth them over your skin directly from the container. It’s easier to control how much balm you apply, too. Some users worry about sticks and roll-ons collecting germs and bacteria because they touch the skin directly, though. They’re typically more expensive than other options.
  • Lotions and creams: On the plus side, lotions and creams require a small amount of product to provide anti-chafing protection and are less expensive than sticks. However, the application can be messy, and you have to be very careful about washing your hands afterward to avoid getting the balm in your eyes or mouth.
  • Gels: A newer option for anti-chafe balms, gels offer a quick-absorbing, lightweight formula. They spread well, too, so you don’t need to use very much. However, they can cost a little more than other formulas.
  • Wipes: Extremely convenient and easy to take on the go, wipes are especially good for use before a workout at the gym and offer a mess-free application, too. But some wipes are pretty small, so you need more than one to fully cover an area. That can get pretty expensive and create a good deal of waste for the environment.

What to look for in a quality anti-chafe balm


The ingredients in anti-chafe balm vary from formula to formula. Many balms include ingredients like olive oil, beeswax, petroleum jelly and coconut oil because they can form a protective barrier for the skin and provide effective lubrication.

If you have sensitive skin, you should usually choose a formula with natural ingredients. These balms avoid ingredients like petroleum jelly and mineral oil in favor of plant-based hypoallergenic ingredients. Most natural anti-chafe balms are fragrance-free and feature a vegan formula.

Wear time

You want an anti-chafe balm that’s going to provide lubrication and protection as long as you need it. Some formulas last longer than others, though. In general, a thicker balm will last longer and work best for more rigorous activities, such as long-distance running or cycling.

How much you can expect to spend on an anti-chafe balm

You’ll usually pay between $6-$25 for an anti-chafe balm. You can find basic formulas for under $10, but you’ll typically spend $10-$18 for an effective, high-quality balm. If you want a premium anti-chafe balm, expect to pay $18-$25.

Anti-chafe balm FAQ

Is anti-chafe balm visible on the skin? Will it leave marks on my clothing?

A. Most anti-chafe balms dry clear, but they can appear white on application. That can cause white marks on fabric if your clothing comes into contact with the balm before it’s dry. Gel balms are usually clear, though, so they’re the best bet if you’re worried about stains.

How do I remove anti-chafe balm from my skin?

A. Anti-chafe balms usually only require soap and water to rinse off.

What’s the best anti-chafe balm to buy?

Top anti-chafe balm

Best Body Glide Skin Glide Anti-Friction Cream

Body Glide Skin Glide Anti-Friction Cream

What you should know: This anti-chafe balm earns rave reviews from most buyers for its effective, long-lasting results.

What you’ll love: It offers a clean formula that doesn’t clog the pores, is nongreasy and is ideal for daily use. It hydrates already chapped or rubbed skin while also protecting it from future chafing. 

What you should consider: It’s on the expensive side for the amount you get. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top anti-chafe balm for the money

KT Tape Performance+ Anti Chafing Stick

KT Tape Performance+ Anti Chafing Stick

What you should know: This budget-friendly, fragrance-free balm is effective for full-body use.

What you’ll love: This balm moisturizes while it fights chafing. The formula is both sweat and humidity-resistant. It’s also sulfate-, paraben-, petrolatum- and dye-free.

What you should consider: Some users reported the product not lasting 24 hours as it claims.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Ruby’s Lube All-Natural Anti-Chafe, Anti-Blister Balm

Ruby’s Lube All-Natural Anti-Chafe, Anti-Blister Balm

What you should know: It has a highly potent, all-natural anti-chafe formula that can handle intense activities.

What you’ll love: This balm features all-natural ingredients, including olive oil and beeswax. It doesn’t come off in water or during sweaty activities. The formula is suitable for all skin types. Serious athletes can use it to hold up through tough workouts.

What you should consider: It’s a fairly pricey option when compared with the competition.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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