How To Apply Chamois Cream For Female Cyclists

Now ladies, if you need to have a giggle before you read this, please do. But from here on in, we’re gonna chat openly and honestly about how to apply chamois cream.

What is Chamois Cream?

Let’s start with the basics, like what on earth is this stuff?! Then we’ll move on to what we are supposed to do with it! Basically, the pad that you find in your cycling shorts is known as a ‘chammy’ and even though it starts off nice and soft, once you’ve worn and washed it a few times it tends to get a little bit uncomfortable. So in came the chamois cream to give it back some softness, help reduce the chafing therefore reducing the chances of you getting saddle sores in your nether regions when you start to up your mileage on the bike.

It comes in a variety of forms but in a nutshell, it should be anti-bacterial and kinda sticky to alleviate friction between your skin and clothing (especially seams). And yes, you really should use it whether it’s a multi day ride (like my London to Paris adventure) or your weekend saddle time. But, how?

get your free race day prep guide here

How To Apply Your Chamois Cream (& Where)

Right, now this is no time to be vague or anatomically confusing when we’re talking about how to apply your chamois cream and where, right? The main areas that you want to focus on are the pad in your shorts and the seams;  these are the areas that are most likely to rub.

There are a few more friction / pressure points that you should also consider; these are mainly the creases where your legs and thighs meet, your inner thighs and then the visible portions of the vulva which include your labia.

Please note: DO NOT apply internally or to your inner labia especially if you’re using the menthol stuff!!

Depending on your own personal anatomy, grooming practices, saddle etc you might want to apply the chamois cream to a wider region surrounding your vulva. Do we need a picture, ladies?!

There is no real rule of thumb here; you just have to try different ways and find the one that works for you. And, APPLY GENEROUSLY!

Want Some Recommendations?

Although which chamois cream you use and love is a very personal thing, it never hurts to have a few recommendations to start with. Here are a mix of products, some specifically made as chamois creams, some not… all whilst covering a variety of price points:

If buying a bigger tube / tub is more economical then you can always pick up a few travel sized pots and decant into them! They’ll fit nicely into your jersey pockets or saddle bag ready for any in-ride top ups required.

Don’t Forget To Ditch The Knickers

Gosh, I remember when I used to wear underwear with my padded cycling shorts. It’s not like it’s the first thing anyone tells you when you start cycling. In fact, I’m not even sure anyone ever told me… I might have had to figure it out myself. So, here I am, sharing this nugget of information with you. The reasons you would ditch the underwear are pretty much the same as why you should, and I hope will now, use chamois cream. It will reduce the chances of chafing, reduce the chances of any nasty bacteria causing you an infection plus the fact you won’t have to keep pulling them out from between your butt cheeks the entire time you’re on the move is an added bonus.

Other Ways To Protect Your Undercarriage

Well, here’s one I accidentally learnt the other day when I was whizzing around on a Brompton for Bike Week. Make sure your saddle isn’t tipped up.  This puts pressure on your pubic bone (situated at the front) when you should be seated on your “sit bones” aka the ischial tuberosity (which is more lateral to the pubic bone)…. so check your saddle, even if you have to use a spirit level to do so.

A more robust choice would be to have a bike fit and to have some saddle mapping included. I’ve been riding on a female specific saddle (the width of our pelvis is typically bigger than a mans) and have been lucky not to have any issues. I did have a few tweaks to my bike set up before I rode to Paris as it was imperative that I would be comfortable for the entire 300km. In the many cycling chats I’m privy to I’ve also heard you can get a saddle with a shorter “nose” so check that out if you think that may help. I’d like to think that most bike shops would be able to let you test a saddle before you purchase too to help you get an idea whether or not it would be suited for you.

Tell, me what’s your favourite brand of chamois cream to use? …do you remember life before versus after? …and for those who haven’t been using it… was this all food for thought?!

Elle 

Follow:

14 Comments

  1. Donna Mcconnell
    October 23, 2019 / 10:39

    Hold on – it’s safe to put this cream on your nani? Surely it would end up working it’s way inside…?

    • Elle
      Author
      October 23, 2019 / 14:19

      looool yeah it’s made specifically for our nether regions! And it should def be just applied externally. Don’t think there is much risk of it ending up where it shouldn’t though!

  2. Such good info! I have a Peloton bike so my rides aren’t TOO long but I do know the importance of chamois cream and ditching the undies. Once I found the perfect saddle fit for me, I didn’t have any issues down there. If I do anticipate longer rides, I’ll add some chamois cream!

    • Elle
      Author
      June 21, 2019 / 22:00

      oh how I dream of having a peloton bike! I think I’ve been lucky with the saddle thing, never really had any issues! But try my best to prevent any in the first place!

  3. May 29, 2019 / 15:53

    Such great tips!! And yes, ditch the knickers (lol) as they will only create more friction and chafing!

    • Elle
      Author
      June 21, 2019 / 22:00

      I’ve been quite surprised by how many women didn’t know and / or still ride in underwear! I’m on a mission now lol

  4. May 29, 2019 / 12:33

    This is important information to get out there! I use Butt’her and mostly just apply it directly to my lady parts. One tip I have for long rides its to get a few single packs so you can reapply after a few hours. Best $1 ever spent! My husband got me into cycling and when he told me not to wear undies with my shorts I thought it was a ploy. 😉

    • Elle
      Author
      June 21, 2019 / 22:02

      hahaha! I would’ve thought the same if my OH said that to me! lol …and great tip re the sachets!

  5. Joanna
    May 29, 2019 / 11:17

    Great article! My favourite chamois cream is Muc-Off, it’s thick and smells nice. The best smelling one is Rapha which is perfumed with lavender, several times I’ve had that on, gone to the loo and thought ‘ooh what’s that lovely smell? Oh wait, it’s my ass!’

    • Elle
      Author
      June 21, 2019 / 22:03

      hahaha! made me laugh! …I had a sample of the Rapha one and it was lush <3

  6. Sue Giles
    May 29, 2019 / 09:20

    I use Butt’er Her, a female specific one. If I forget to use it, I feel like I am suffering greatly but I am sure a lot of that is psychological as my bike set up is good. I did hear that you have to be careful using stuff like vaseline as the petroleum in it can damage your chamois pad and Lycra. Best to stick to something made specifically for that purpose

    • Elle
      Author
      June 21, 2019 / 22:04

      Ooooo that’s wort knowing re the chamois and lycra. Do have to take care of fabrics. Plus all the recommended ones smell soooo nice! I’d rather go with that!

  7. Lesley Boniface
    May 29, 2019 / 07:47

    Brilliant blog – I’m continually telling female friends who take up cycling to ditch their knickers if they’re wearing padded shorts. None of them believe me about the dangers – especially the one who wears thongs ! Thank you – I will be sharing far and wide.

    I personally use a big old tub of Boots nappy cream pre-ride and for the in-ride top ups little sachets of bum butter which I get from my local cycling shop. I never go without – it makes such a massive difference to comfort and enjoying the ride.

    • Elle
      Author
      June 21, 2019 / 22:05

      OMG I can’t even handle a thong on a regular day never mind on a bike! I’ve had enough experience to have always favoured big cotton knickers hahahah so ditching the undies was THE BEST thing ever!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Take Your Workout To The Caribbean With W8 Gym

Despite the fact my last trip to the Caribbean involved cycling 65km in the inaugural Barbados Cycling Festival, my vacations...

Close