The Right Way to Use a Lip Scrub, According to a Dermatologist

August 11, 2022
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
person applying product to lip

Dry, chapped lips can be a year-round problem: In the summer, dehydration and sun exposure can dry out your lips, while in the winter, bitter cold temperatures and high winds can cause the problem. If a lip balm isn’t doing the trick in smoothing your lips, consider a lip scrub.

Lip scrubs are powerhouse exfoliators that often contain sugar granules that can exfoliate the outermost layer of chapped, dead skin. To uncover easy ways to use a lip scrub properly, we consulted with Dr. Jennifer David, board-certified dermatologist and consultant.

Are Lip Scrubs Good for Your Skin?

According to Dr. David, lip scrubs are great for exfoliating dry flaky skin on the lips. “They are typically a finely granulated substance that mechanically removes dead cells from skin’s surface to help refresh and condition the lips,” she says. This system will allow lip balms and lipsticks to better penetrate the top layer of skin.

Do You Wet Your Lips Before Using a Lip Scrub?

Before using a lip scrub, clean your lips to remove any residue from lipstick or gloss. Don't dry your lips all the way, though: Leaving them slightly damp helps the scrub glide on and prevents the friction from becoming overly abrasive.

How Long Do You Leave Lip Scrub On?

When it comes to using a lip scrub effectively, it’s all about not overdoing it. Start by applying a pea-size amount of the product, such as Sara Happ The Lip Scrub, and massage it with your finger over your lips for one to two minutes in a gentle circular motion.

Do You Wipe Off Lip Scrub?

Yes! Remove it with a warm wash cloth and apply a hydrating lip serum or lip balm like the Kiehl’s Buttermask for a moisturized finish. This mask contains coconut oil and wild mango butter that helps replenish the lips’ moisture barrier with every use.

How Often Should You Use Lip Scrub?

It’s important to note that less is more when applying your lip scrub. “Avoid using them too often,” Dr. David warns. “Once or twice a week is usually enough!”

Kiehl’s Buttermask for Lips
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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