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What is Lip Scrub?

By Lisa O'Meara
Updated May 21, 2024
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Lip scrub is an exfoliating product designed specifically for removing dead skin cells from the sensitive lip area. While there are numerous body exfoliating creams on the market, they tend to have a strong odor, unpleasant taste, and may contain ingredients that should not be used in close proximity to the mouth. By focusing specifically on exfoliating this area, lip scrubs offer the benefits of body sloughing creams without the unpleasant attributes.

The purpose of using a lip scrub or any other exfoliating agent is to remove dead skin cells that tend to dull the natural glow of the skin. When the skin on the lips gets excessively dry, the dead skin cells can begin to flake off, which results in peeling or chapped lips. At this point, lip balm will not help to remedy the problem unless the dead skin cells are removed first. A scrub can be used for this action; gently rubbing the lips with a toothbrush or a washcloth could produce the same results.

Lip scrub is used by applying the product all over the lips and gently rubbing in a circular motion before rinsing thoroughly. If the product contains natural ingredients, then it is generally safe to add lip exfoliation to a daily beauty routine. A scrub containing chemicals may need to be used less frequently but it can be important to be consistent with the application in order to achieve the maximum benefit.

In addition to maintaining the appearance and the texture of lips, regular use of a lip scrub may help increase the staying power of lipstick, lip liner, or lip stains. This can help provide a smooth surface to which the product can adhere. For lips that are showing signs of aging, some scrubs also contain vitamins, minerals, or retinols that are intended to make the tiny lines around the mouth less visible.

While there are a variety of products available on the commercial market, a lip scrub can be made at home with natural ingredients. One simple recipe uses sugar as the abrasive element and olive oil for moisture, while some add honey for flavor and possible anti-bacterial benefits. Sometimes, baking soda is used for the scrubbing agent and water is the only added ingredient. Whether using a commercial product or a homemade one, it typically is important for a person to always scrub the lips gently, as the skin in that area is generally the thinnest and most sensitive on the body. Applying a lip moisturizer after treating the lips with a lip scrub can help to protect the newly uncovered skin cells.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By fBoyle — On Sep 26, 2013

@anamur-- You don't have to buy a lip scrub, I don't. I make my own! I make a natural lip scrub at home with coconut oil and coarse brown sugar. It's so easy to make and works perfect!

You can basically use any natural oil and any natural exfoliant and make your own lip scrub with them. You can use salt instead of sugar and any type of oil. You can even add some shea butter or beeswax for extra protection.

By bluedolphin — On Sep 25, 2013

@anamur-- No, it's not a scam. If you keep your lips moisturized all the time, you might not have this issue. But the lips can become dry and flaky with dead skin just like the face and body. I don't pay too much attention to my lips and I get these flakes all the time. If I try to wear lipstick on top of it, it looks patchy and ugly so I have to use a lip scrub.

I tried using my face scrub on my lips once before I had a lip scrub. I didn't realize that face scrubs are too harsh for the lips. It looked like it was cleaning my lips well at first, but then, my lips became red and chapped.

After this incident, I invested in a moisturizing lip scrub and I'm glad I did. It works well and it doesn't damage my lips. My lips look smooth and feel soft afterward, I love it. If you ever decide to give this product a try, make sure to buy one with moisturizers. The best lip scrub is one that won't dry out your lips afterward.

By serenesurface — On Sep 25, 2013

What an odd product! I've heard about face scrubs and body scrubs, but why would lips need a scrub? It sounds like a scam to make money to me.

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