Sometimes our lips get so dry due to cold weather, for example, that they can become flaky when they recover. This is when lip scrubbing, or exfoliating the lips, can become handy to expose the healed, smooth lips under the dead skin cells. We gathered a few pointers for you on how to do lip scrubbing right.
Consider carefully when to scrub.
Don’t use a scrub if your lips are chapped to the extent of having cracks or wounds, as the rub and scrub will irritate them even further. At this point it’s better to just moisturize until the lips are healed.
Look at the ingredients.
A scrub should contain a mildly abrasive, exfoliating ingredient and a moisturizing emollient to help the scrub run smoothly. Sucrose (common table sugar) is a great exfoliation ingredient to look for, since it’s gently abrasive and highly humectant (moisture-retaining). This is found in Smileo’s lip scrub, for example. Other options could be finely ground coffee, seeds or salt. The emollient could be a type of balm, oil, wax, honey, butter or petroleum jelly, for example.
Wet the lips right before starting to scrub.
This prevents abrasive friction and gives the moisture-retaining ingredients in the scrub something to retain on the lips.
Use your fingers, a corner of a cotton towel, or a toothbrush for scrubbing.
Apply only minimal pressure if toothbrush is your weapon of choice. The brush is quite an effective mechanical exfoliator so if you’re not careful you can end up breaking the skin of the lips. With toothbrush you can apply just a layer of lip balm, oil, or honey instead of a scrub that also has an abrasive ingredient.
When your lips are flaky, part of the “flakes” may still be quite tightly attached to the lips, and rubbing them too hard may hurt and cause bleeding. Use small, circular motions without applying too much pressure when scrubbing for about 30 seconds or so.
Use repairing lip balm after scrubbing.
After rinsing or wiping off excess exfoliator, your lips are now rid of the dead skin cells and ready to absorb moisture better. That’s why it’s good to follow up with a lip balm to provide them moisture and a protective barrier.