Skip to Content

How To Use A Lip Scrub

When the cooler weather hits, lips are one of the first places on your face that get chapped, dry and flaky. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to combat dry, flaky lips. One of the simplest ways to address dry lips is to use a lip scrub.

If you’ve ever wondered how to use a lip scrub, you’ll be glad to know that it is a quick and easy process that includes gently scrubbing, rinsing and moisturizing your lips. Don’t forget to follow up with a lip product containing SPF to protect your lips from sun exposure.

Woman's red lips cover in sugar lip scrub

If you have trouble with dry or peeling lips, a lip scrub is for you. You can either buy a lip scrub (most are very affordable), or you can even make your own!

Gently scrubbing your lips with a lip scrub makes them look better under lipstick or lip gloss and will also give you soft, smoother, healthier-looking lips!

This post on how to use a lip scrub contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.

What Is A Lip Scrub?

A lip scrub is a skincare product that removes dry, flaking, and peeling skin on the lips.

It consists of sugar or another physical exfoliant that sloughs off dead skin cells to reveal fresh skin underneath and a base to suspend the exfoliant. This base is often an oil or plant butter that hydrates and moisturizes the lips.

How Do You Exfoliate Your Lips?

To exfoliate your dry lips, use a lip scrub like the ones below or create your own. There are many different brands of lip scrubs on the market that contain a variety of exfoliating and moisturizing ingredients, such as sugar, coffee grounds, or dried orange peel powder.

A lip scrub made with fine-granule sugar is effective at exfoliation and not too harsh on the skin. Experiment with what type of exfoliant works best for you.

Due to the thick nature of the product, lip scrubs are often packaged in a small jar or pot but sometimes come in easy-to-use squeeze tubes.

How To Use A Lip Scrub To Exfoliate Your Lips:

1. Get Scrubbing*

Take a small amount of the lip scrub, apply it to clean damp lips (to avoid friction on dry lips), and gently rub your lips in circular motions. You can also use your index finger to massage your lips gently. Do this for about 30 seconds or so.

2. Wipe Away

Wipe away the scrub with a warm, damp washcloth or tissue.

3. Moisturize (And Don’t Forget SPF)

After using a lip scrub, be sure to moisturize your lips with a lip product such as lip balm, like this Bioderma Atoderm Lip Stick for very dry lips. Don’t forget to use a lip product during the day with SPF to protect your newly exfoliated lips from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

You get extra points if you follow with a lip sleeping mask like this one, which is an overnight lip treatment that helps reduce dryness and flakiness while you sleep.

Do not use any products with harsh ingredients on your lips after exfoliating since your skin will be even more sensitive than usual. You will end up with dry, cracked or flaky lips instead of the smooth, soft lips that you wanted. 

That’s all there is to it. Applying a lip scrub regularly will produce results every time. You should now have softer, smoother lips!

*Avoid using a lip scrub on broken or sunburned skin on your lips.

Why Exfoliate Your Lips?

Did you know that our lips are lined with the same mucous membrane that is inside our mouths? As a result, we don’t have the same glands and moisture retention as the rest of the skin on our faces.

Given that the lips have poor moisture capacity and a low functioning skin barrier, it is no surprise that it could be one of the first places on your face that you experience dryness. Your lips are particularly prone to dryness as the seasons change, or when you experience windy, cold, or even extremely hot weather.

Dry skin on your lips can lead to irritation and cause rough, flaky skin. Your chapped lips may become cracked, uncomfortable, and even start bleeding. Licking or biting your lips can make them even worse.

Exfoliating your lips removes built-up dead skin cells for softer and healthier lips. Exfoliating your can also lift away patchy discolorations. Exfoliating your lips will also temporarily leave your lips looking plumper, as the exfoliating scrub draws blood flow to the surface of your skin.

Most lip scrubs are formulated with emollient ingredients that restore moisture and replenish the lips. After exfoliating, your lipstick and lip gloss will also adhere better to your lips and last longer.

How Often Should You Use A Lip Scrub?

You can use a lip scrub a few times a week to prevent dry, flaky lips. It is important not to overdo it, though, as the skin on your lips is very sensitive and will become dry and irritated.

Remember that you can make your chapped lips worse if you scrub them too much.

Lips Scrubs To Try

Hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub

Hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub

Hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub is formulated with natural Hawaiian sugar cane to smooth and brighten the look of the skin on your lips. It uses pure Hawaiian kukui oil to hydrate and relieve dryness.

Derived from the Hawaiian kukui tree, kukui nut oil contains moisturizing essential fatty acids and Vitamins A, C, and E.

Hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub Sampled on Cosmetic Spatula

Turbinado sugar crystals act as a gentle exfoliant that removes dry, dead skin, petrolatum (petroleum jelly) lubricates your lips, and shea butter provides additional moisture. It has a delectable tropical scent.

Burt’s Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub

Burt's Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub

Burt’s Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub is a 100% natural lip balm that uses honey crystals to gently buff away dry skin. Honey naturally moisturizes your lips and leaving them feeling soft and having a sweet taste.

Burt's Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub Sampled on Cosmetic Spatula

The scrub also contains responsibly sourced beeswax, filled with replenishing nutrients, as well as castor seed oil, vegetable oil, and cocoa seed butter.

Handmade Heroes Cocolicious Luscious Lip Scrub – Coconut Sorbet

Handmade Heroes Cocolicious Luscious Lip Scrub - Coconut Sorbet

Handmade Heroes Cocolicious Luscious Lip Scrub – Coconut Sorbet exfoliates your lips with sugar, coconut oil, coconut meat, sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, avocado oil, and vitamin E.

Handmade Heroes Cocolicious Luscious Lip Scrub - Coconut Sorbet sampled on cosmetic spatula

100% naturally derived, this lip scrub exfoliates with rehydrating your lips while providing an aromatic coconut fragrance.

DIY Lip Scrub

You can create your own lip scrub at home with ingredients that you might already have in the kitchen. For a very basic lip scrub, use 1 part oil (or plant butter or honey) and 1 part exfoliant like white granulated sugar.

You only need a small amount of sugar and oil and can adjust the concentrations to your liking. Recipes often call for a tablespoon of each, but you can use less if you don’t want to have any leftover.

Moisturizing Ingredients To Look For In A Lip Scrub

Look for plant-based oils and butters that replenish the skin’s moisture levels and improve hydration:

Shea Butter: Shea butter is rich in antioxidants like vitamin A and E. This makes it an excellent moisturizer that can help protect your skin from damage due to environmental aggressors. Its emollient properties make it ideal for use in lip scrubs.

Cocoa Butter: Cocoa butter is an edible fat extracted from cocoa beans. Perfect for the dry skin on your lips, cocoa butter contains moisturizing fatty acids and is solid at room temperature. It also contains skin-protective antioxidants like vitamin E.

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a rich moisturizer for not only your body but for your lips as well. You can use it to treat chapped, dry lips by locking in moisture. It has a sweet, nutty flavor. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid.

Avocado Oil: Avocado oil comes from the avocado fruit and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids like oleic acid, making this oil rich, nourishing and ideal for dehydrated and dry skin.

Olive Oil: Olive oil is a plant oil and natural emollient, which means it can help keep your skin hydrated. It also contains antioxidants, which can help prevent damage due to oxidative stress.

Sweet Almond Oil: Derived from almonds, sweet almond oil contains fatty acids like oleic acid, linoleic acid, making it a great moisturizer for dry lips. It also contains antioxidants like vitamins B and E that help protect your lips.

Grapeseed Oil: Grapeseed oil is a non-comedogenic oil that is excellent for sensitive and acne-prone skin types. It contains fatty acids to nourish the skin and vitamin E to protect against free radical damage due to sun exposure.

Honey: Honey is a natural humectant, making it an excellent moisturizer for your skin. It has antibacterial properties and contains a host of other skin-loving ingredients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and proteins.

Can You Exfoliate Your Lips With Vaseline?

Yes, you can exfoliate your lips with Vaseline (petroleum jelly). Mix a small amount with a gentle exfoliant like sugar to create a lip scrub that gently removes dead skin cells and dry, flaky skin.

Related Post: Aquaphor vs Vaseline: Which is Better?

Can You Exfoliate Your Lips With A Toothbrush?

Brushing your lips with a toothbrush may help get rid of dead skin cells and flaky skin, but remember that your lips are much more sensitive than your teeth. The bristles on the toothbrush may irritate your lips, causing them to redden or swell.

Instead of using a toothbrush, you consider exfoliating your lips with a lip scrub made from sugar and oil (i.e., coconut oil or almond oil ) that will massage away rough skin without irritating your delicate lips.

Final Thoughts On How To Use A Lip Scrub

As you can see, learning how to use a lip scrub is pretty simple. Apply, scrub, wipe away and moisturize! Just be sure to apply an SPF with broad-spectrum sunscreen protection on your lips (and your face) during the day to protect your freshly exfoliated lips from UV damage and sunburns.

Thanks for reading, and until next time, here’s to your good skin health!

Related Posts:

Lip Balm vs ChapStick

Carmex vs Blistex