A blog by runners. For runners.

Prevent chafing with homemade balms and creams

Homemade lotions and creams to prevent chafing on the run. Chafing. That stinging, burning feeling of skin rubbed raw. It leaves ugly marks and can take a while to heal, leaving you uncomfortable through many workouts. We all deal with it at one time or another. It can happen when we least expect it, like in the middle of a 20-miler. Or perhaps you have a trouble zone that always acts up no matter the weather or distance.

The popular zones?

Around the bra for women, nipples for men, and we all enjoy the occasional inner thigh, underarm, and – ahem – between the butt cheeks chafing. What starts as a slight discomfort of skin rubbing fabric or skin can turn ugly – and fast. The obvious is to stick with smart, tech fabrics that are soft and keep moisture at bay. Make sure key pieces of clothing, like bras and shorts, fit properly.

If that’s not enough – and for long distances, it usually isn’t – there are also a few homemade solutions to help keep you chafe-free.

  1. Sport balm. This DIY Sport Balm lets your skin glide friction-free with a mix of shea butter and aloe. You can also add some essential oils for fragrance, though the author usually omits them (and they may irritate sensitive skin).
  2. Lotion bar. This Homemade Lotion Bar, which contains coconut oil, shea or cocoa butter, beeswax, and vitamin E, is a favorite of many runners. You can use a formal silicone mold or even pour into an empty container of your choosing.
  3. Anti-chafing cream. This next recipe for Anti-Chafing Cream uses sweet almond oil, cornstarch, and lavender oil. Just mix ingredients and pour into an airtight container. You can also substitute in arrowroot powder if you’re out of cornstarch.
  4. Simple solution. Don’t have time to mix things up? you can usually just slap on some petroleum jelly. And even more, some athletes have just tried spreading on a little coconut oil with good results. The key is to get the area lubed up – in any way – and free from the friction which causes the rash, redness, and discomfort.

How do you prevent – and treat – chafing?

Written by Ashley Marcin