Offered in 1.5 ounces, 2.5 ounces, or .8 ounce sizes. Hypoallergenic formula won't clog pores, making safe for break out prone skin. Bar applicator makes for less mess. Mild enough to use every day, not just for athletic activities. Designed for men and women.
Some customers commented that this product feels too thick in hot weather.
Designed to moisturize while it prevents chafing and friction. 1.75 ounces. Offered in single or double packs. Unscented and non greasy formula is designed for everyday use. Less expensive than some of the other brands on our list. Will not rub off or stain clothing.
Less effective with intense activities and better for day-to-day use.
100% natural ingredients. Will not rub off in the water or during sweaty workouts. Formula is designed for all skin types. Can be used for runners, triathletes, and even as a diaper rash prevention. Only 5 natural ingredients including lemongrass and beeswax. 3 ounce container.
This balm is expensive, compared to alternative balms.
Hypoallergenic and free of fragrance. Won’t stain clothing. Gel consistency means no greasy or sticky skin. Ideal for runners and those with sensitive skin. Easy on the wallet. Sized right for carry-on luggage.
Some Lanacane loyalists say it’s not as effective as the original formula. Chafing can return after an hour of activity.
Fragrance free, wax, and silicone free is good for the most sensitive skin. Creates a micro-layer over the skin that is designed to prevent blisters and frictions. Water and sand resistant. Comes in a 1.75 ounce container. Tested and approved by extreme athletes.
Some customers did not like the cream formula.
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If you have sensitive skin, then you’ve probably tried nearly every product under the sun to find one that won’t cause irritation. Few products combat irritation caused by friction, namely runner’s rash, rug burns, and blisters – but there’s one that can help. Anti-chafe balms keep chafing, redness, blistering, and skin eruptions at bay with a unique formula.
If you’re wondering who uses anti-chafe balms, just look around: runners, cyclists, hikers, babies, and those with sensitive skin, just to name a few. Anti-chafe balms use ingredients like beeswax, olive oil, or petroleum to reduce friction by creating a protective layer over the skin. Balms won’t clog pores, but they will cause moisture to wick or bead away from the skin.
Don’t let sensitive skin hold you back from the activities you enjoy. Take a look at our comprehensive buying guide on anti-chafe balms to choose one that provides the protection and relief you need. For our five favorite balms on the market, see the matrix above.
Anti-chafe balm is applied directly to the skin to prevent friction from skin rubbing against fabric or other skin. The balm provides a breathable moisture barrier, which means sweat and rain roll off the skin and are absorbed into clothing or simply wicked away.
Even if moisture isn’t an issue, sometimes basic friction from dry fabric against skin is problematic. Anti-chafe balm acts as a greaseless lubricant. Fabric glides against the coated skin instead of scraping against it, which means fewer burns and blisters. For the most part, anti-chafe balm dries greaseless and colorless, so there’s no need to worry about stained clothing.
When wearing new shoes without socks, a touch of anti-chafe balm at the back of your heels will provide a smooth layer of protection and prevent skin from blistering.
There are several different types of anti-chafe balms. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
The first anti-chafe balms were in the form of lotions and creams, and they’re still popular. A little goes a long way with these. Once you figure out the right amount of product, you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
Lotions and creams are messy to apply. Even though they wash off easily, you still need to scrub your hands well, especially before touching your eyes or mouth.
Roll-on anti-chafe balms are the most convenient and mess-free. They either come as a rollerball or a stick. Simply swipe the balm on your skin to apply. There’s no leaking with these containers, and it’s easy to control how much product comes out.
Roll-ons tend to be more expensive than other anti-chafe balms. Some consumers also feel that because the roll-on or stick comes into regular contact with the skin that they are less hygienic than other balms.
Anti-chafe balms in wipe form are ultra-convenient and embraced by gym-goers and travelers. Each wipe has the right amount of product, so there’s no need to worry about mess or waste. Wipes are especially popular with parents as an alternative to diaper rash cream.
Some wipes are too small to cover the area of application, so you’ll need to use multiple wipes to do the job. This can get costly, so they’re not ideal if you need to use anti-chafe balm often. Wipes also have mixed reviews since a considerable amount of product transfers to the hands. Wipes are not eco-friendly.
Gels are the up-and-coming preferred formula for anti-chafe balms. Application is quick, and gel feels lightweight on the skin. Gel spreads easily, so less product is required, which makes gel anti-chafe balms a cost-effective choice.
Though gels don’t require much product to cover a large area, these anti-chafe balms are often more expensive than other types.
Anti-chafe balms shouldn’t be applied to the lips or inside the nose. While many formulas are designed for sensitive skin, they shouldn’t be ingested or inhaled.
The ingredients in anti-chafe balms vary considerably. Popular ingredients include beeswax, olive oil, petroleum, triglycerides, coconut oil, and glyceryl behenate. These anti-chafing substances make the moisture barrier, and some of them also work as emulsifying agents to thicken the formula.
For those with sensitive skin, there’s a broad assortment of anti-chafe balms made with more natural ingredients. These balms are usually free of petroleum, lanolin, and mineral oils. They stick to hypoallergenic ingredients that are plant-derived, vegan-friendly, and fragrance-free. There are also anti-chafe balms that are sustainable, child-safe, and cruelty-free if you’re looking for more eco-friendly options.
Anti-chafe balms cost between $6 and $25, so there’s a formula for every budget. If you’re going to use anti-chafe balm every day, it’s worth buying in bulk to spend less per container.
Inexpensive: Wallet-friendly anti-chafe balms cost less than $10. These often come from leading brands that manufacture large quantities to keep prices down. They include tried-and-true formulas, but they’re hit or miss for consumers.
Mid-range: Mid-range anti-chafe balms run between $10 and $18 and include those manufactured by premium brands as well as emerging brands. They don’t always have attractive packaging, but these balms are diverse in terms of formulas and have a lot to offer.
Expensive: Premium anti-chafe balms cost between $18 and $25 per container. These formulas are rigorously tested to meet quality standards. Since they focus on using high-end ingredients, their sticker prices reflect it.
If your child has sensitive skin, choose an anti-chafe balm made for kids. These formulas are as natural, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic as they come.
Q. Is anti-chafe balm scented?
A. The majority of anti-chafe balms are unscented as scent can be irritating to sensitive skin. Many formulas also stick to natural ingredients and try to stay hypoallergenic. There may be a subtle scent from certain ingredients, but there’s really nothing overpowering about anti-chafe balms.
Q. Are anti-chafe balms clear?
A. While many of them dry clear, they don’t always apply that way. Some roll-on balms are opaque like deodorants, and if you apply too much, they end up matting or flaking on skin. Some creams and lotions are white until they absorb into the skin. Gels are generally clear.
Q. Can I use anti-chafe balm on my face as a makeup primer?
A. While some beauty influencers have tried this hack, anti-chafe balms aren’t designed for cosmetic use. While they can help prevent redness from windburn or make sweat roll off your face, they can cause acne flare-ups and other skin irritations. Depending on your foundation’s formula, it could be a bit difficult to get it to stick to the balm, too.
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