The Women's Chamois Cream Experiment
Chamois creams help eliminate friction between skin and clothing, therefore reducing the chafing that can happen during a ride. They typically have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well. So, should you use chamois cream when you ride? In short, yeah you do… Especially on long ones. We covered more on chamois creams and why you might want to consider a women specific one in our free ‘6 tips to protecting your lady parts’ booklet, so if you didn’t get your hands on it yet, now is the time to download it!
During the summer months, we decided to put a few women specific chamois creams to the test. The first step was to find a few brands that are accessible in Canada and have a women specific formulation to complement their men’s or unisex formulations. Then, we got our hands on the product. As a full disclaimer, we purchased two of the creams at full retail, and got the other two as samples from the brands.
To make sure we can give you consistent and straight forward reviews on each product, we came up with a simple ranking criteria. Then, came the fun part. We went riding, testing each product over hundreds of kilometers.
Who tested the products? Myself (Noa), Christie and Zoe. What did we test? Assos chamois cream, DZ Nuts Bliss, Hoo Ha ride glide and chamois Butt’r Her. It is important to note that DZ Nuts Bliss and Hoo Ha ride glide both have Barley in their formulation. As a celiac, there was no way I was going to put a product that is not gluten free down there, so I was unable to test those two chamois creams. Sadly, neither company replied to emails about this.
The women specific chamois cream testing criteria
We used a simple ranking range of 1 to 5. 1 = didn’t like this at all / wasn’t good and 5 = love it.
Smell - In the container and when riding’ / after riding
How much is needed to use per ride? Product efficiency – how far does it go
Special features - Essentials oils, cooling sensation, as a moisturizer, etc
Texture - Does it go on smoothly? Does it cause you to slide on the saddle?
Lasting Power - Does it last the whole ride? Need reapplying? Last when wet?
Washing it off after a ride - Easy to get off yourself & out of the chamois post ride
Assos Women’s Chamois creme
Whats the difference between the men’s and women’s Assos formulation, you ask? The menthol levels are different and the women’s version has additional antioxidant, anti-bacterial and an-inflammatory ingredients.
The ingredient list is relatively short, compared with the other products we tested, which we think is a good thing. Here are some of the key ingredients:
Sunflower oil is high in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant and could help soften the skin and with healing of damaged tissue. Menthol is cooling and refreshing. Rosemary leaf extract is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Blackcurrant seed oil is an antioxidant, anti-dermatitis, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Halicacabum flower/leaf/vine extract is used for soothing and anti-inflammation, especially when it comes to rashes. Witch Hazel is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, reduces skin irritation and protects against skin damage.
The first thing that comes to mind when I opened the Assos Women’s Chamois Crème tub is that it just smells like a nice skincare product, or maybe even sunscreen. It’s not one of those products that when you put it on and meet your friends to ride, everyone else thinks “hellooo chamois creme!” – this didn’t change during or after riding.
A little goes a long way. Personally, I am quite conservative when it comes to how much I use, but I felt that out of all the products we tested, I used the least amount out of the container, but had the most product to work with.
I think we all agreed that we loved the tingling sensation from this product! The tingling/cooling lasted the longest out of any cream I tested, and I didn’t find the sensation too aggressive. I’m not too well versed in the listed ingredients, but I did notice that the product contains Annuus Seed Oil (Sunflower Seed Oil) which is rich in Vitamin E
This creme definitely had the thickest texture out of everything that we tested, which worked best for its packaging. I think that if they decided to package this in a tube, a lot of the product could go to waste.
This creme also had the longest lasting power. It was obvious to me the whole time that I was riding that I was using the product, even when it was tested in the rain! I also probably indulged in too much chamois time (sorry Noa!) after this ride & the crème still felt present over that period of time
I didn’t have any issues washing this off my body or my chamois.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and give it a 4.5/5. The smell is great, the texture is great, the sexy tingling is great. Assos has made an unparalleled product with this chamois cream. It’s only missing that .5 score because WE WANT BIGGER CONTAINERS!
I really like the smell of this one. I can sometimes smell it wafting when I ride.
A little does not go a long way with this, because of this and the small container when I use this one exclusively, I go through about two tubs in a month. Definitely not a budget-friendly chamois cream.
It is cooling without being tingly. When the Assos rep told me about it, he said that how to sell it is that it is different than the men’s version because it is NT (no tingle). I don’t know which I prefer between the women’s and the men’s, I sort of like tingle.
This is a thicker one! Almost like body butter, or shea butter in texture. Best applied both to skin and rubbed into chamois, in my opinion.
Great lasting power for this one! Definitely the best out of any cream I have tried for longer rides.
Washes right out of clothing, but it is very white, so be careful to wash it off your hands upon application before pulling up bibs or there will be white marks all over you.
Overall this is my favorite because it doesn’t have really any negative qualities. It is just the cost and the potential for mess that are a little bit irritating, but I would say if you can afford it, go for it! I give it a 4/5
I find the smell neutral, nice and not too strong. I think neutral is what you want when it comes to chamois creams!
I’m with Christie on this one - I do find that a little bit goes a long way and I was surprised how long that little container lasts!
The little tingle from the menthol is awesome, and it lasts for a bit without being too much. The cream is full of essential oils that have antibacterial and moisturizing properties - I added more on this above!
Smooth and silky, with thickness between a body lotion and body butter. I think the texture is perfect and the container makes sense vs a tube to make sure nothing goes to waste and you can re-use it (yes for recycling!)
Great lasting power for rides short and long, even when riding in the rain
No issues with washing it off, which is great. As reference, I once tried a more waxy chamois butter that took 2-3 washes to wash off my bibs! Do wash your hands before pulling your bibs up though.
This is my go to chamois cream, so I give it 4.5/5. Like Christie, I deducted 0.5 because I want to be able to buy a bigger container!
DZ Nuts Bliss
As mentioned above, this product has Barley, so I was unable to try it, and Zoe didn’t test it as we didn’t get it until a bit too late. As a result, we only have Christie’s review.
The website only lists the men’s chamois cream ingredients, not the women’s and the ingredient lists for both products are very long. It looks like the ingredients are fairly similar, with small variations. The ingredients that are the same are listed in different order, indicating the quantities are different between versions. Here are some of the key ingredients of the women’s product:
Shea butter is moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, effective for skin rashes and soothing. Masterwort leaf extract is said to sooth and relieve skin irritation. Polymnia sonchifolia root juice is a moisturizer. Tea tree oil is soothing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Sandlewood extract is anti-bacterial and soothing.
This chamois crème had a bit more of a “hellooo chamois crème!” smell straight out of the container. However, I didn’t notice an obvious smell during or after riding.
I needed to use more of this than the Assos crème, but less than the others. The exact amount I needed to use was “two generous squeezes from the tube”. (I’m still very concerned about tubed packaging and wasted product!)
This one had a bit more of an aggressive cooling sensation. It was still pleasant, but a lot more apparent than the Assos crème. I noticed that it contains Tea Tree Oil – as a kid, my mum would put this stuff on every single bug bite or skin irritation that I had. It’s anti-bacterial properties are a-ma-zing.
The texture was quite thick compared to the other crème’s we tested that came in tubes. This is a plus for me! I don’t like them too watery, otherwise they just go everywhere.
It was obvious to me for the entire ride (approx. 50k) that I was wearing this crème. The strong tingling sensation lasted about 25 minutes, and then tapered off for the rest of the ride. I felt no desire to reapply if given the option.
Again, no problems here!
I’m going to give DZ Nuts Bliss a 4/5. The product works well, and on a side note, the packaging is very cute!
Hoo Ha Ride Glide
Similar to DZ Nuts Bliss, Hoo Ha ride glide has Barley extract, therefore unsuitable for me to to use. Here are the key ingredients:
Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (willow herb) is a soothing antioxidant. Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract is anti-inflammatory. Sandlewood extract is anti-bacterial and soothing. Tea tree oil is soothing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Eucalyptus Oil is an antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Peppermint oil is antiseptic, antimicrobial and cooling. Lavender oil is anti-bacterial, soothing and anti-inflammatory.
This crème smells intense. Personally, I like the smell of the essential oils used in this product, but I found the immediate smell to be a bit much at first. I didn’t notice it as much during or after my ride.
I found that I needed to use a little more of this product than I was expecting, which I think had more to do with the watery texture of this crème.
This product uses both Tea Tree Oil (which I’m a big fan of – see DZ Nuts Bliss review!) and Eucalyptus oil, which as someone who grew up in Australia, I’m very familiar with both. The anti-bacterial properties of both oils are stellar, and I’ve always known them to be used “to fight the bad stuff. This crème had the most intense cooling sensation out of all the crème’s that were tested. It was almost too much for me.
The texture of this crème was also a little too watery for my liking – though that’s probably just my personal preference. I find them too messy and harder to evenly distribute.
After the overwhelming tingling subsided, I kind of forgot that I was wearing this crème. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it was just doing its thing, low key, which is fine by me!
No issues washing this off my chamois or my body!
2.5/5 for this one – mostly for the watery texture, and the spicy tingles!
This one smells a bit like sunblock, not bad. Once it is on, it is barely noticeable.
I only used a small amount. It goes on very smoothly, so application is even and a little goes a long way!
It is a little bit cooling on the skin, but because it is pretty liquid it spread a little too easily and definitely burned pretty bad when it got too close to the essentials if ya know what I mean (this eventually subsided). I would say that “glide” is an accurate description because it really helps the skin glide on the chamois which is very nice.
It is very thin, thinner than any other cream I have tried! I actually would really like that if it wasn’t for the burning thing, because even though it is a liquid it doesn’t get absorbed by the chamois and is a nice layer between myself and my clothing. Apply directly to skin!
It lasted well! I rode for only about two hours but did not feel the need to reapply, and it was raining!
Definitely the oiliness of it makes it a more challenging cream to wash off, but nothing some soap or detergent won’t get off.
I would give this a 3.75. Because of the burning I don’t think I personally can make this my regular cream, but other than that I really liked it… It is just really important to apply it directly to the skin, and use caution when pulling those bibs up!
Chamois Butt’r Her
The most cost effective chamois cream of the bunch and possibly the most commonly found one also. The ingredient list is not crazy long (shorter than the previous two products). Here are the key ingredients:
Shea butter is moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, effective for skin rashes and soothing. Lavender oil is anti-bacterial, soothing and anti-inflammatory. Tea tree oil is soothing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Green tea extract is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory anti-bacterial, and astringent. Aloe vera keeps skin hydrated and has cooling properties.
I actually really, really loved the smell of this crème. It’s super floral – which I later learned is lavender! Not too much of a smell during or after riding.
I had to use a little more of this crème than I expected. I found that it wanted to quickly soak into anything that it was applied to.
As I mentioned in point #1 – this one contains lavender oil, which on top of being anti-microbial, is soothing, calming and aids in healing. I’m surprised that we don’t see it in more of these products, especially as it smells so good. Minimal cooling sensation, which is fine by me. My skin felt the softest after using this crème, but I feel that it completely soaked into it, instead of creating a barrier.
This crème was the thickest out of our tested products. No issues with sliding, but again, it soaked in pretty quick.
I think a long day in the saddle would require multiple reapplications. I did notice that this brand sells single use sizes – maybe that’s why?!
No issues at all here.
This one gets a 2/5 from me. It was described to me by someone as the “105 level of chamois crème’s” – it gets the job done just fine, but it’s not the elite version. It does smell amazing, though!
I really don’t like the smell of this one. It reminds me of sour lotion.
I used about a teaspoon of this, it is very easy to use so none is wasted in application.
It says its pH balanced, which is pretty cool because nothing is worse than getting a yeast infection after a long day in the saddle! (Sorry, TMI)
This is a very smooth sort of waxy cream which makes getting it on and on where it counts very easy without it spreading too much.
Unfortunately it didn’t have a lot of lasting power. After an hour on the rollers, none of it seems to be left.
No trouble to wash this off because it seemed to be completely off by the end of my ride.
I give this one a 2. The easy application is not worth having to reapply. It feels nice while it lasts, but the smell got to me.
I liked the smell, but wish it was just a tiny bit more subtle
I expected to use less of this one compared with the Assos creme, but the opposite was true. I think I started using more in the hopes that it would last longer during my ride (see point #5). It does come in a very large bottle, so perhaps they have taken this into account?
There seems to be a good mix of oils and moisturizing ingredients. It says its pH balanced, but I have not has any issues with other products and assume they are pH balanced also, being women specific formulations and all
It is pretty thick, but the texture is smooth and it goes on nicely. Its a little bit waxy, but not greasy. Kind of like the typical texture of a body butter
It does not last long. I find it pretty effective on shorter rides, but a long day in the saddle definitely requires multiple application - I prefer filling my jersey pockets with snacks, not extra chamois cream!
No issues washing it off clothing, no issues washing it off me, because there is none left…
I give it a 3. I use this one as a ‘back up’ chamois cream and for short rides. Assos gets applied for medium length and long rides though.
Well, there you have it - we hope our reviews have been helpful… Overall, we all liked the Assos creme the best. There are quite a few other brands out there and everyone has a favorite - We will likely try a few other brands next spring/summer and write more reviews. Which brand is your favorite? And why? Let us know in the comments!