Chub Rub Challenge: Can silicone primers prevent inner thigh chafing?

Though the weather has gotten quite rainy, the unbearable heat of living in a tropical country continues to be something we struggle with. We try to keep cool by adding lots of shorts and skirts to our outfits, but this gives rise to another problem: the chub rub.

Inner thigh chafing occurs as a result of thighs rubbing together while walking or running. The friction created is what causes jeans to wear out faster in that area, or skin to become painful and irritated if you’re wearing a skirt or pair of shorts. And it gets worse when the weather is warm due to the addition of sweat in the area.

Despite the name, the chafing can be experienced regardless of body type, and many different solutions have been recommended - from slathering baby powder or baby oil, to using antiperspirants. Basically, try anything that can make your thighs feel smoother and therefore decrease the friction. So we in the PV team came up with a theory: if silicone primers can make our face look and feel smooth, would it also work when applied to our inner thighs? So we went through our stash and tried different primers to find out!

Crystal: Applying a generous amount of Snoe Prime Phenomenon Pore Eraser HD Face Primer (P999) on my inner thighs made them feel really slippery. An hour later, though, I could barely feel it on my skin anymore. Perhaps the product got moved around the constant rubbing? For the rest of the day, my thighs chafed like always. The primer does help with the chafing, but only for an hour or so, then I’d have to reapply to maintain the smoothness. I have mixed feelings about using it for this purpose, mostly because I would have to reapply constantly and also because it would be easier to bring something in a tube instead of a tub.

Gett: I usually rely on baby powder because I sweat a lot and it helps to keep the area dry. I first tried Flormar Illuminating Primer Makeup Base (P699), which felt like moisturizer with a bit of slip. It lasted five hours until I felt the chafing again. I had a very similar experience with the Banila Co Prime Primer Hydrating (P1,150), which felt even more silicone-y. Both of these formulas are touted to be hydrating, and I felt that the added moisture was rather uncomfortable even though the primers did minimize chafing.

I got the best results from the BYS Face Primer for Oily Skin (P799), which lasted the whole day! I was walking around a lot on the day I tested this primer and I didn't notice any chafing until the day ended.

I was also able to try the Quick FX No-Shine Mattifier (P99). This felt the most silicone-y among the four, and was also very effective in reducing the chub rub. However, the effect didn’t last long as the BYS primer, and I noticed chafing by sixth hour of wear. Still not a bad primer though! I did sweat a lot so that may have affected its lasting power.

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Khae: My usual go-to is my trusty Suave invisible solid deo stick because, aside from keeping moisture at bay, it keeps my thunder thighs feeling smooth and frictionless. I was curious if the primer theory would work though so I tried testing it with one of my very first primers: Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser (P299). I haven't been using this lately because the heavy silicone feel is unbearable in this heat, so it might be perfect for this experiment. Upon application, it felt pretty manageable but I was quite conscious of how thick and silicone-y it felt on my thighs. It performed fairly well on a regular day, making my thighs feel smooth with zero friction for six hours of walking around the mall. Not bad, and the primer is portable enough for me to just reapply in the washroom. 

I do around an hour and a half of cardio and maybe an hour of circuit training and weights for workout days, so I had low expectations for the primer since I would be sweating quite a bit. The primer lasted around two hours before it gave up on me. All in all, not a bad experience! I could probably use it on regular days since it provides a smoother and slippier feel, but I’m definitely gonna stick to my deo stick when hitting the gym since it controls the sweat better.

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Stacie: I had the worst chafing experience of my entire life about a month ago when I wore a dress out and returned home with inner thigh chafing about the size of my palm! The area was really red and painful, and I consider myself lucky I didn’t get blisters. I’ve since avoided wearing dresses and shorts if I expect to do lots of walking. This has limited my outfit choices though, so I was hopeful about trying out Etude House’s Fix and Fix Primer Tone Up in Mint (P698).

Although this primer feels matte on my face, it oddly felt so sticky on my thighs. Even after patting it on to absorb and fanning it to dry, it didn’t give the usual slick feeling of primer. It actually made my thighs feel like there is more friction than usual. I checked the ingredients and though this primer has silicone, it ranks seventh on the ingredient list so there wasn’t as much slip as the other girls experienced. I also found that the primer rubbed off in less than an hour, so even the tone-up effect was lost (yes, I had white inner thighs with this on). Needless to say, I will be keeping this for exclusive use on my face instead.  

I think that primers, specifically pore primers with higher silicone content, do help with inner thigh chafing but only up to a certain extent. Reapplication is often needed because the product will eventually be rubbed off or affected by sweat. Whether it works at all is also dependent on the primer’s formulation, as just containing silicone is not a guarantee of creating that smooth, slippery surface.

Using face primers for inner thigh chafing is also not cost-effective, so I can’t really recommend them unless you really need chub rub protection or already own a primer that you no longer use on your face. Make sure to also patch test before applying all over your thighs, and clean the area thoroughly afterwards. It’s good to know that I do have this back-up option should I need it, but I’ll be sticking to avoiding skirts and shorts for now.

Do you experience chub rub? What are your hacks for keeping your thighs from chafing?

With product photography by Nicole Quindara