Anyone who enjoys “long walks on the beach” either has a thigh gap or is a liar. Chub rub — the burning sensation caused by relentless, sweaty, skin-to-skin friction — ruins any sort of summer walking for me. When chub rub hits, you have two options: walk with your legs bowed and jaw clamped like a cowboy who just stubbed his toe in church and is trying not to curse, or sit down and stay there. Forever.
The internet has a few general “HACKS” for this problem, like wearing shorts that go down to your knee or slathering your thighs in Vaseline. Neither are viable options. You may recall the opening montage in Diablo Cody’s Juno when Michael Cera’s character slides deodorant up and down his sinewy gams. This was ostensibly to avoid “runners rash,” but was more of a visual gag given his jointed pencil sticks. (God bless him.) It seemed like a good idea, so I tried it (didn’t really work). The shelves of CVS carry other options, but the packaging is ugly and the target demographic tends to be balls.
Katie Sturino of The 12ish Style is a fellow experiencer of unsolicited thigh exfoliation. For the past year, Katie, her sister Jenny Sturino and friend Kate McPherson have been working on a line of products called Megababe. Megababe’s whole thing is about creating beauty-adjacent products that women need but either don’t know exist or feel ashamed to buy, like underboob sweat spray. The first item available for sale is a thigh-chafe stick and, as you might have gleaned, I tried it and can no longer live my life without it.
My commute to work is exactly 30 minutes. Each morning I applied the thigh-chafe stick as part of my daily ritual, then braced myself for the pain ahead; by the time I reached the office I’d realize I’d forgotten about it. This is unheard of. It was remarkable. I wonder if this is what they call happiness.
I found that the stick, while effective, wasn’t an all-day thing, so I took to packing it in my purse and reapplying in the evening before walking home again. It smells really good, so no big. I do the same thing with my deodorant. I also appreciate fact that the bottle looks like a ’70s roller skate team tee.
One more perk, which was unexpected but appreciated: I forgot to pack makeup primer for a weekend-away wedding. As I began to perspire, fresh out of the shower, just from the gentle act of bending over to swipe my thighs with Megababe, I realized I was going to sweat my foundation off on the dance floor. I looked at the thigh-chafe stick and had an epiphany, because forever ago, a friend told me that a makeup artist told her that to avoid shine you — in an emergency — can swipe deodorant on your T-zone before applying. (This was before highlighter was so trendy.) So whatever, I swiped my thigh-chafe stick across my face a few times, then applied foundation. It worked better than any primer I’ve ever had in my arsenal and didn’t cause me to break out, either. I wouldn’t do this as a regular thing, but some thrills are worth the risky adventure.
Which is why tomorrow, against all odds, I have a long, strenuous, pants-free walk on the beach planned.
Photos by Edith Young