How To Use A Lip Scrub The Right Way

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Last Updated on 05/29/2022

If you suffer from dry, rough and flaky lips, a little exfoliation can go a long way. Lip scrubs are a great way to exfoliate and hydrate your lips at the same time. However, many people neglect to use them correctly which can lead to complications such as chapping and dryness. Here’s how to use a lip scrub correctly for smooth, soft and hydrated lips.

What Is A Lip Scrub?

how to use a sugar lip scrub

A lip scrub is a type of physical exfoliant specifically formulated for the delicate skin on the lips. It’s used to remove dead, flaky and dry skin and helps smooth out the lips. They typically use sugar as the physical exfoliant, plus moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter or other plant oils. They can also use plant seeds, like strawberry seeds, crystals or even coffee grounds to exfoliate the lips. 

Lip scrubs are typically thick and packaged in small jars, but there are also lip scrub sticks and lip scrub brushes that can also be used to exfoliate the lips. Lip scrub sticks are usually formulated the same as traditional ones. Lip brushes are kind of like a toothbrush, but more gentle. 

Why Should You Exfoliate Your Lips?

Like facial skin, skin on the lips needs exfoliation to be healthy. While chemical exfoliants are ideal for the face, the lips are different and a lip scrub is the perfect physical exfoliant to smooth and moisturize the skin on the lips. 

Lips tend to easily become dried out, chapped and flaky, especially in the winter. A good lip scrub a few times a week will help to get rid of any dry skin or flakes on the lips and will help to keep them hydrated, moisturized and healthy. 

Best Ingredients For Lip Scrubs

When it comes to finding a good lip scrub, it’s important to look at the ingredients list, as some lip exfoliants may have irritating and drying ingredients like menthol or camphor which can cause even more irritation and chapped lips! 

Here are some good ingredients to look for:

  • Shea butter – shea butter is often found in lip scrubs because it’s moisturizing, nourishing and provides a nice slip and texture to the product. It’s rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin E which can provide antioxidant protection and help with anti-aging
  • Mango butter – mango butter is similar to shea butter, but it’s rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin C which can nourish and protect the skin
  • Cocoa seed butter – cocoa seed butter is rich in fatty acids which help to hydrate and moisturize the skin. It also provides antioxidant protection to help protect the skin from environmental damage
  • Almond oil – a favorite among skincare lovers, almond oil is rich in Vitamin E, which not only nourishes and soothes the skin, but it also helps protect against damage. Almond oil is also rich in minerals like magnesium, phosphorus and copper
  • Jojoba oil – Jojoba oil is also another favorite because it’s lightweight, yet nourishing. It’s also rich in Vitamin E to soothe, nourish and protect
  • Grapeseed oil – grapeseed oil is a lightweight oil that’s great for those with oily or acne-prone skin types. It also has high levels of Vitamin E which makes it a great choice to moisturize and nourish the sensitive skin on the lips
  • Sunflower seed oil – sunflower seed oil is rich in fatty acids which help to hydrate and moisturize. It’s also anti-microbial and can protect against acne or other skin issues, so it’s a great choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin types and are worried about using something heavy around the lips
  • Olive oil – olive oil is an incredible plant oil that’s rich and nourishing. It’s packed with fatty acids which help to keep skin moisturized. It’s also rich in antioxidants which can help to prevent and repair damage from UV rays, pollution, etc. 
  • Coconut oil – coconut oil is rich in antioxidants which can help repair and prevent damage to the delicate skin on the lips. It can also be highly comedogenic, so if you’re acne-prone, be sure to cleanse around the lips well afterwards if using a lip scrub with coconut oil
  • Hyaluronic acid – HA is a type of sugar that can hold up to 1000x its weight in water, which helps to keep the skin moisturized and healthy. HA can also help to plump the lips, making them look fuller
  • Glycerin – glycerin is a popular humectant that’s great for those with dry skin. Not only can it help attract moisture and keep the skin hydrated, but it can also help to soften the skin and reduce any rough patches or flakiness
  • Honey – honey is a natural humectant that helps to draw moisture into the skin – this will help to keep your lips hydrated and soft. Honey is also rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals and more

How To Use A Lip Scrub

When it comes to using a lip scrub correctly, it’s pretty simple and almost impossible to mess up!

  1. Wet lips – when using a lip scrub, you should also start with wet or damp lips. This ensures that the scrub can glide across the skin and avoid any friction that can cause irritation scrapes
  2. Scrub, scrub, scrub – once your lips are damp, take a small amount of the product using the tip of your finger and evenly apply to your lips. Gently massage your lips in circular motions using the tip of your finger. You can also rub your lips together to massage the scrub around. Exfoliate your lips for about 30 second, being careful not to over-exfoliate
  3. Rinse – after exfoliating, simply rinse with lukewarm water to remove the lip scrub. You can also use a wet washcloth to gently remove the scrub. Remember not to wash or cleanse the lips, as you want those moisturizing oils and butters to stay on your lips. If you’re acne-prone, you can gently cleanse around the lips to remove those oils and butters.
  4. Moisturize – Now you want to lock in all of those moisturizing and hydrating ingredients! Use your favorite lip balm, lip mask or other lip treatment. 

Related Post: CeraVe Vs Aquaphor Healing Ointment For Lip

How To Use A Lip Scrub Brush

Lip scrub brushes are a great way to gently exfoliate the lips and are not as messy as traditional lip scrubs. However, you can still use a brush with a regular lip scrub to get even more exfoliation.

To use the brush simply wet your lips and apply the lip scrub to your lips, then use the brush to massage the product in. Use circular motions for about 30 seconds. Then rinse your lips and apply a lip balm (I like this one). Be sure to clean and dry the brush after each use.

How To Use A Lip Scrub FAQ’s

how to use an exfoliating lip scrub

Can I Use A Lip Scrub Everyday?

Once you use one for the first time, you’ll probably be wondering “is it ok to use a lip scrub everyday?” because of how soft, smooth and wonderful your lips feel.

Unfortunately, it’s not safe to use a lip scrub everyday. The skin on your lips is very sensitive and can become irritated, dry and cracked if you use it too often.

How To Use A Sugar Lip Scrub

You can use a sugar lip scrub just like any other lip scrub. Just follow the directions above or the directions on the package. Most are formulated with sugar because the sugar dissolves as you use it, which helps to avoid over-exfoliation. 

How Often Should You Use A Lip Scrub?

A lip scrub can safely be used 2-3 times a week and no more than that. Remember, the skin on your lips are pretty delicate, so it’s easy to go overboard. If you exfoliate them too often, then you’ll risk damaging the skin and causing chapped lips or even cracks and irritation. 

Do you leave lip scrub on?

No, you should not leave a lip scrub on. They use physical exfoliants like sugar to exfoliate the lips and physical exfoliants need to be massaged in to work – simply putting a lip scrub on leaving it there without massaging it in will not do anything. If you want to leave it on to help moisturize, simply use a good balm or lip mask like this one.

When should you use a lip scrub?

You can use a lip scrub any time! I personally like to use them at night and then slather on a good lip mask and keep that on overnight to really help to hydrate, soften and moisturize the lips. It’s also a good idea to use them after a shower or bath as the steam helps to soften the skin and it will be easier to remove. 

Do you wet your lips before using a lip scrub?

Yes, you should always wet your lips before using a lip scrub as this helps to avoid any friction which can irritate the sensitive skin on your lips. 

Is lip scrub bad for your lips?

No, lip scrubs are great products to use and can help keep the skin on your lips healthy! The skin on your lips is different (and more sensitive) that the skin on your face, but your lips do still need exfoliation. A buildup of dead skin cells on the lips is not only unappealing, but it can cause issues if they start to build up. 


They are also hydrating and moisturizing which is also key to healthy lips. 

Best Lip Scrubs

    How To Make A Lip Scrub

    how to properly use a lip scrub

    If you want to make your own DIY lip scrub, it’s incredibly easy! Not only is homemade one cheaper, but it’s also easier. You’ll simply need a physical exfoliant like sugar, coffee grounds or plant seeds and whatever moisturizing ingredients you like. You can simply use olive oil or avocado oil if you have that in your house already. You can also order other ingredients like shea butter, glycerin, etc. if you want to use other moisturizing ingredients as well. 

    How to make a lip scrub at home:

    For the recipe, you’ll simply need 1 part exfoliant and 1 part moisturizer. For example, you could do 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. You can also add vanilla extract or other plant extracts to add flavor and scent. 


    Simply combine your products in a bowl and store in an airtight container. It will stay good for about 30 days, so it’s important to not make a huge batch because you truly don’t need a lot of product and you don’t want to waste it if you end up not using it all. 

    Wrap Up

    Lip scrubs are a great way to keep your lips healthy, smooth and moisturized. While the skin on our lips is delicate, it’s important to exfoliate them regularly. Using a brush or other exfoliant can help to keep your lips from getting rough and dry and can also help with lipstick application.

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