Premax Chamois Cream for Women is similar to the men's version in its price and fancy looks but formulated with ingredients for women's skin to balance pH and aid moisture while smelling good. It's long-lasting, feels amazing and delivers a very pleasant experience; and while it's up there with the most expensive creams available, we've tested similarly priced women's products.
I've used buckets of chamois cream in my time, but for some reason I'd never considered a female-specific one. So upon receipt I eyed the Premax Chamois Cream for Women with a little suspicion – isn't this just a marketing thing? But it didn't take long to convince me that it's not, and is actually a pretty good idea.
When I asked Premax how it's different, I was told: 'Our Women's Chamois Cream has a gentler blend of antibacterial oils. We balance the PH formula to that of the private areas to reduce likelihood of bacterial infection, cysts and abrasions.' Sounds promising.
Premax, an Australian company, claims to be 'the leader in superior skincare' with products that are developed, tested and proven in elite sport, and the price point reflects this. At £24, Premax is the most expensive standalone chamois cream we have tested, as its shiny, fancy exterior may suggest. On volume, though, it's not the most expensive women's cream (more on this shortly) but it's definitely up there.
So is it worth the extra spend? At first sniff, maybe – it's crammed with natural, delicious-smelling ingredients. Amongst them is a native Aussie bush food, quandong, which is intended to reduce inflammation, and the more ubiquitous tea tree, which has proven anti-microbial properties to reduce unwanted bacteria and fungus (lovely) – although these ingredients aren't exclusive to the women's version.
Found in the women's blend only are rosehip, lavender and lime which together make for a very pleasant, albeit subtle, aroma which lasts for a good couple of hours. Another women's-only ingredient is macadamia nut oil. Premax tells me that women's skin is less oily than men's, so that's likely there to aid moisturisation.
Delicious ingredients with medicinal properties aside, the prime purpose of this product is of course to add a layer of lubrication between shorts and skin, and it does this job very effectively – and comfortably, too. Chamois creams vary greatly in texture, and this is the most pleasant I have used. It's not sticky or greasy, and it sinks straight in with no fuss, disappearing (to the eye) almost instantly so you're not left with a white, slimy bum. This also means it doesn't just transfer straight to the shorts which always gives me a truly icky feeling. Instead, it's like you're not wearing chamois cream at all. But despite apparently disappearing, it actually gives a rich sheen – read layer of protection – that feels super-soft without being oily.
This effect doesn't easily fade, and even after washing with warm water there's still a softer feel to the applied areas. In short – once on it ain't budging, making it a great option for long days in the saddle. After a long ride there was still evidence of it on my skin, indeed it took a good wash to properly remove it. While this could be a potential downside, it's simply not greasy enough to warrant this being an issue – it just leaves a bit of a softer feeling which is quite pleasant. It was also kind to my shorts, leaving no trace after a wash on 30°C.
I tested the Premax over a month of riding during a hot, sweaty July on both the Wahoo trainer and out in the real world, and I noticed a positive difference to mid-ride saddle comfort and post-ride soreness across both. On indoor rides in particular, though, I noticed fewer hot spots and less overall chafe when testing on back to back days with and without the cream. The formula claims to be 'ultra-endurance' and given the long-lasting comfort I'd be very happy taking this with me on a multi-day in terms of comfort.
Value-wise, there's a lot to be said for natural ingredients, and the price is actually comparable to smaller sized products that appear cheaper, like Muc Off's Athlete Performance Pour Femme. That's now £14.99 for 100ml, but £22.50 for 250ml (reduced to £11.25 at the time of writing). It boasts much of the same pH-balancing, antibacterial properties – although the mint in it makes for a 'cooling sensation' which you don't get with the Premax. Personally, I think there's nothing worse than a minty feeling in your shorts, but this is very much preference.
It's also on a par price-wise with Assos Chamois Creme, now £10 for 75ml, but the Assos ingredients definitely look less delicious than Premax's.
You can pick up women-specific creams cheaper, like the Paceline Chamois Butt'r Her which is £15.50 for a bigger tube than the Premax. This made it onto our nine of the best list (see below), although tester Siobhan found that it doesn't last longer than three or four hours, so the price gap might be smaller in the end when considering the volume needed for the same effect.
In practical terms, the 200ml tube is great because it is hygienic and it's easy to squeeze into smaller pots for a few days of bikepacking.
Finally, there's the enjoyment factor. You'll likely not have this aspect high on your list for bum cream, but there's no harm in using a product that smells more sophisticated than something used for nappy rash. My previous, unisex go-to, Udderly Smooth, is effective but not something you'd want to spend long inhaling, yet I'd happily slather on the Premax as a bit of makeshift aftersun while on the road and then keep sniffing my arms – if it wasn't so darned expensive, that is.
Overall, this chamois cream impressed – which you'd want it to for this price. I loved the natural formula, it would be nice to see more brands moving away from ingredients lists that are hard to decipher. Compared to other women's products out there, it's a serious contender among the premium options thanks to its durability, silky feel and nice smell – there's just that niggle that each time you slather it on, you're one step closer to forking out another £24.
Highly effective and long-lasting premium product packed with delicious-smelling natural ingredients, but you're paying for it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Premax Performance Skincare Chamois Cream for Women
Size tested: 200ml
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Premax says this is a pH-balanced ultra-endurance formula for women.
"A premium, super long-lasting chamois cream providing antibacterial protection, skin nourishing and moisturising in a female-specific pH balanced formula. This rich and efficacious cream will keep you extremely comfortable and your skin in optimal condition on the longest of rides."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Premax also says, 'Our Women's Chamois Cream has a gentler blend of antibacterial oils. We balance the PH formula to that of the private areas to reduce likelihood of bacterial infection, cysts and abrasions."
Fancy-looking design in an easy-squeeze tube. No information about whether the plastic is recycled or can be recycled, which would be useful. Great consistency – soft but not oily, and stays put for hours once applied.
Exceptional performance owing to a smooth and comfy feel in the saddle and reduced soreness afterwards.
Lasts a long time.
Oh-so-silky, smells great, not oily and crammed with natural stuff. I'd use it as a moisturiser.
On a par with other premium women's products price-wise, and arguably better value owing to the volume of natural ingredients and the no minty, cool feel – though this is personal preference.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The smell, the soft feeling and the knowledge that I was putting natural ingredients on my skin.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price, but that's really about it – and anyway, natural ingredients do cost money to source responsibly.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Assos' women's cream compares (£10 for 75ml) but it doesn't have the same level of natural ingredients so I would argue that Premax is better value, because of the likely cost of sourcing the ingredients. It's also similar to Muc Off's 'Luxury' Athlete Performance Pour Femme (with the minty feel). We've tested the cheaper option Paceline Chamois Butt'r Her, but its staying power wasn't as good as the Premax.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if I were feeling flush, but for bikepacking I might still go for a budget option for guilt-free slathering.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Lots of products claim to be premium but with Premax I am actually sold – the company wasn't shy of talking about its ingredients when contacted, and it just works – really well. We do have to factor in price, and although it's on a par with a couple of women's products we've tested, there are so many creams out there that give you change from a tenner. So, overall, it gets a 'very good' 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: My Scott Foil My best bike is: Oldie but the goldie, CAAD 8
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Triathlon, Audax