• Friction Between Legs
  • The Correct Order to Apply Your Skincare Routine

Friction Between Legs

You’re on a relaxing walk in the park...then it starts.. First, the itching. Then the burn. And then, the waddle. 

Oop. Your thighs are chafed. 

If you're lucky, you have a soothing rash cream and a comfy chair reach. But , you could also be at the office or in a meeting. Even worse, you could be wrapping up the last few miles of your morning run -- ouch!

The infamous itching and burning go by many names: Thigh chafing, sweat rash, groin rash, etc. So how can you avoid it? 

In this post, we'll spill about everything you need to know about friction between the legs, including what causes thigh chafing and how to prevent it.


What exactly is Chafing?

Skin chafing is that it's what happens to the skin when it experiences increased friction. Basically, chafing is the repeated skin-on-skin or fabric-on-skin contact that can lead to irritation, blistering, dryness, or breakdown of the skin. 


Symptoms of Chafing

When you experience chafing, you'll know. But in case you need a few things to keep an eye out for, here's a list

With chafing, you'll most likely experience the following:

  • Redness

  • A burning sensation

  • A flat rash

  • Blister-like lesions or boils

  • Pain

  • Itchiness as the skin heals

  • Swelling


Causes of Thigh Chafing

Inner thigh chafing is very common. So don’t freak out.

Most people have thighs that touch or rub together when they move. This skin can get irritated by friction, moisture, heat, and repeated rubbing against clothing. 

Skin chafing is most common in the inner thighs, but it can also occur on other parts of the body, like the armpits and nipples. 

There are many causes of chafing. Here are some of them:

Our Bodies

Body fat can make it a little easier for your inner thighs to rub together and cause friction. However, it's far from the only cause. 

Exercise And Sports

People who play sports or work out often experience thigh chafing. 

The cause is repetitive actions, excess moisture from sweat, or loose-fitting workout clothing. In fact, resistance-trained athletes with muscular thighs are just as likely to have chronic skin chafing troubles as someone with a little extra body fat.

Wearing Skirts Or Dresses

For some people, dresses and skirts are often the items that result in discomfort from chafing. 

For hot girl summer, we all know that cute skirts, tiny shorts and floral dresses come out. With thighs exposed and no fabric barrier between the legs, sweat and heat can lead to thigh rubbing and pain.

Loose Skin

Loose skin after giving birth, or losing a significant amount of weight, can also contribute to thigh chafing. 

Poor Fitting Clothes

Clothes that don't fit you well can repeatedly rub and irritate your skin. Wearing clothes that are a little too tight can also result in rubbing. So, if you're wearing something tight, pay close attention to where the seams are. 

Seams located in areas that rub are a common culprit. Clothes that are too loose, on the other hand, can leave your thighs exposed to rub directly against the other, which can result in a painful rash. 

Sweat And Moisture

Sweat just might be the biggest cause of chafing -- especially when combined with any of the other factors listed above. Plus, in addition to the moisture-increasing friction, dried sweat tends to leave a layer of salt on the skin. 

This dried salt can ramp up the irritation immensely. Ugh. 


How to Treat Chafing

 Tip #1: Clean The Area With Care

Gently wash thigh chafing with a gentle body wash or lukewarm water to soothe irritation from dried sweat and help control fungal growth. 

Pat dry, don't rub. Then, if you can, let the skin air out for a few moments to make sure all dampness is gone. 

Tip #2: Calm Your Skin With Ointments

Treat your chafed skin twice a day with a zinc ointment or a balm to soothe the abrasion and restore damaged skin. 

You can also use Topicals Like Butter -- a thick, whipped mask packed with potent botanicals to help soothe and restore irritated skin while fortifying the damaged moisture barrier. Thank us later. 

Tip #3: Bandage The Area

If you have tiny blisters forming on your skin, you may need to use blister plasters.

For severe blisters, lesions, or experiencing bleeding, it is important to seek medical advice. You may need a medicated cream to prevent scarring or infection.


How to Prevent Thigh Chafing

Thigh chafing can make it really painful to walk, run, bike, and more. If it becomes intense enough, it may even cause you to stop exercising until your thighs are fully healed. Your body will love you for slowing down. 

Stay Clean

This is an easy one. Shower daily and wear clean undies. Daily activities will lead to a buildup of sweat, dirt, and salt in your thigh area. 

This "thigh grime" causes that sticky feeling which leads to friction and chafing between the thighs. If you can't shower after a sweaty run or an afternoon hike in the sun, use a shower body wipe to clean dirt and sweat from between your thighs and groin area. 

Interrupt The Friction

Applying a thick, slippery product like petroleum jelly on your chafed thighs can help to reduce friction and prevent abrasion. Products with beeswax, shea butter, or silicone provide the same benefit. 

Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing

Materials like cotton retain moisture and sweat and keep your skin damp. This dampness will increase your risk of friction and -- you guessed it -- chafing. 

Wear clothes that "breathe" and let the sweat evaporate off your skin, especially while exercising. 

Compression shorts and other sport-specific clothing can protect skin when you are active. You can also wear bike shorts underneath a dress or skirt to prevent your thigh skin from rubbing together. 

Plan For The Weather

Consider workout out when it's a bit cooler outside -- such as evening or morning. That may help you to sweat less and keep your skin and clothing drier. 

Avoid Poorly Placed Seams

As mentioned early, seams in shorts or leggings can often be the biggest culprits of friction and chafing in the thighs. It's essential if you want to get through a run or workout comfortably that you take your apparel seriously and look for any functional hazards. 

To avoid chafing, choose clothing that is seamless or has flat seams in the leg area.  

Consider Medical Options

If your thigh chafing is due to excessive sweating, you may have a condition called hyperhidrosis. But don't stress -- it's totally manageable.

Talk to your doctor and discuss the best treatment plan for you. 


Bottom Line

The best treatment for thigh chafing is prevention. But even with the best prevention methods in place, it's still definitely possible to experience a little bit of chafing. It happens.

In those cases, dry off the area, stop the activity that led to chafing as quickly as possible, and apply petroleum jelly or lotion to help soothe and protect the affected skin. 

We love Like Butter from Topicals because its anti-inflammatory properties help with soothing sensitive skin and irritation -- exactly what you need to calm chafing. 

Here at Topicals, all of our products are research-backed and only contain ingredients that are scientifically proven to benefit the skin. Completely free of dyes and fragrances and never tested on animals, Topicals is more than beauty and more than skincare; we're a new standard -- medicated botanicals.

Whether you're looking to soothe and hydrate chafing skin or balance your spotty complexion, we've got your back.


5 ways to use petroleum jelly for skin care | AAD

What causes chafing rash? Remedies, treatment, and prevention | Medical News Today

Hyperhidrosis - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic


The Correct Order to Apply Your Skincare Routine

Here’s a scary thought: That pricey serum you splurge on every couple of months might not be working as well as it should be. Why? Because you’re layering it over other skincare products in the wrong order

Seriously. The order that you apply your favorite skincare products makes a real and significant difference to your skin. And if you’re not following that specific order, it could be compromising the overall efficacy of your daily skincare ritual. 

If you’re interested in learning more about maximizing your favorite skincare products to get the best results, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the correct order to apply your skincare routine.


Product Sequence Matters—Here’s Why

First things first, why does the sequence matter, anyway? 

When you don’t follow the correct order to apply your skincare products, you can run into three issues:

  1. They may not penetrate. 

This is a huge problem if you’re putting thin, water-based products on top of thick, oily, or creamy ones. Always keep in mind that the richer products will form a barrier on your skin, preventing anything else from getting through.

  1. They may be less effective. 

Consequently, if certain products are not able to penetrate your skin properly, you can’t reap all of the yummy skin benefits they have to offer! Plus, when certain active ingredients are meant to be applied away from each other, using them together can make them ineffective or even create a new, unfavorable chemical reaction. In either case, your daily skincare routine won’t be as effective as it should be. And you deserve the best.

  1. You could actually harm your skin. Oops.

Lastly, using skincare products out of sequence could even create new skin issues. For instance, applying serums on top of oils could leave your usually dewy skin dehydrated and dry since not enough water is reaching your skin. Or, if you’re layering your serums, creams, and oils on top of your favorite mineral broad-spectrum sunscreen, you will be disturbing the coverage, essentially diluting the protection. This will leave you vulnerable to the sun’s harsh UV rays -- AKA premature aging.


The Four Golden Rules of Product Layering

Did you know that there are four general “rules” to keep in when determining what sequence to apply your skincare products? Yup, it’s true! 

The four golden rules of product layering are as follows:

Rule #1: Thinnest to Thickest Texture: Always move in the direction of light to heavy. Begin with your most watery products, such as toners, serums, and essences. Then, your heavier, more moisturizing ones, like lotions, creams, and then oils. To top it all off, slather on what’s usually the heaviest product of them all, your sunscreen.  

Rule #2: Water-based always before oil-based: Water and oil don’t mix, and oil can block water from penetrating deep into your skin. That means your water-based products must be applied first. Give them a few minutes to fully absorb into your skin, and then apply your oil-based products on top.

Rule #3: Lowest to Highest pH: If you happen to be using any active ingredients, it’s crucial to understand what their approximate pH levels are, and go from lowest to highest. Simply put, acidic products (pH 3.0 to 4.0) should always be applied prior to more neutral ones (pH 5.0 to 7.0).

Rule #4: Low and high pH products do not mix. If your daily skincare routine includes products with active ingredients, you can apply them at the same time as long as their pH levels are similar. But if there happens to be a gap in pH of more than, say, 1.0 to 2.0, we suggest waiting roughly 30 minutes or so in between them or using them at different times of the day. That way, each skincare product can work at its intended pH.

In some instances, you may run into a dilemma because the oilier or thicker product will have a lower pH level than the lighter, more watery one. In cases like these, it’s best to use them at different times of the day, rather than risk changing the pH level or having the lighter product not penetrate. 


What is The Correct Order To Apply Your Skincare Routine?

By now we know that applying our skincare products out of order will not only do more harm to our skin than good -- but it’s also a total waste of expensive products! Follow these simple steps to correctly apply your skincare routine and never waste another beauty product again. 

Step 1: Cleanser

Some skin types do just fine with a simple splash of water first thing in the morning. But if your skin type produces a lot of oil or if there’s any residue left on your skin from the skincare products you used the evening before, cleansing is a good idea. Stick with a non-drying, sulfate-free cleanser. 

 Step 2: Physical Exfoliant

Next on the list is using a physical exfoliant. We know there are a ton of exfoliants on the market, but our favorite -- hands down -- has to be our very own Topicals brightening and clearing gel, FADED. This powerful gel is like no other exfoliant and is gentle enough for those experiencing hyperpigmentation and erythema who can’t tolerate more aggressive acids. We love to see it.

Step 3: Toner

A lot of people choose to skip toners, partly because there’s a lingering assumption that most of them are harsh, causing irritation to the skin. Fortunately, that's not the case anymore. 

While they don’t physically “shrink” pores despite contrary belief, the new breed of toners on the market today can serve multiple purposes, like acting as a delivery system for antioxidants, vitamin B derivatives, and even toning acids. Not to mention, each type of toner is intended for a different skin concern, so it’s important to use the right kind for your specific skin issue. 

However, at the end of the day, if you’ve lived all your life without ever using a toner and your skin looks bright, healthy, and happy, there’s no pressure to start using one. Do you!

Step 4: Antioxidant Serum

Serums are highly-concentrated, nutrient-dense treatments that address specific concerns, so it’s better to keep them as close to the skin as possible (hence, why serums are step 4). 

There are many different types of good quality serums on the market but for daytime, stick with an antioxidant serum, which provides a variety of benefits -- from blunting your skin’s natural inflammatory response, to neutralizing damage from the sun’s harsh UV rays and environmental pollutants. 

Step 5 : Eye Cream

Since the area around your eyes doesn’t have any oil glands to help keep it moisturized, you’ll want to give it a little bit of magic with some proper hydration right away. Eye cream should be used twice a day, period.  

Step 6 : Moisturizer

Lock in your serums and moisture with a top-notch face moisturizer. If you have dry skin, you can use a thicker cream, but those with oily skin will want to reach for something a little more lightweight, okay?

Step 7 : Sunscreen

You need sun protection. Rain or shine. Every. Single. Day. Look for something around 30 SPF to ensure your skin is well-protected from the sun’s harsh UV rays. Even if you aren’t going to be in the sun all day -- you still need sunscreen. 

If you’re a person of color, you definitely need to be using sunscreen too.


Bottom Line

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in the body? It’s true -- that’s why taking care of it is so dang important! Follow the seven steps above and never waste your skincare products again. 

When searching for the best skincare products on the market, look no further and check out Topicals. 

Whether you’re looking for an ultra-hydrating mask to soothe your irritated skin or a top-notch brightening and clearing gel to fade your most stubborn marks, scars, and spots, we can help with dermatologist-approved, scientifically-backed botanicals!