Should You Use a Lip Scrub?

Two strawberries sit next to a glass jar of lip scrub.

Raise your hand if you love lip scrubs! Convenient, easy to use, yummy, and smell delicious, lip scrubs are used to remove flakey, chapped skin on the lips. There are even lip scrubs that don’t require a rinse after application—just lick your lips, and you’re good to go!

Before you run to your bathroom and reach for that lip scrub, though, you might be bummed to find out that lip scrubs aren’t that good for you. In fact, dermatologists actually don’t want you to use them at all. Here’s why.

Lip skin is very different than the skin on your face and body. Similar to the skin inside your mouth, lip skin is soft and sensitive.

Dr. Dennis Gross, dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, said in a press release shared by Byrdie that the skin on your lips is very thin (around one-third of the thickness of the skin on your face) and has a special top layer that doesn’t accumulate dead skin cells.

“In order to heal dry, chapped lips, you need to repair that barrier, not scrub it off.” Dr. Gross said in the release. “When you use a scrub, you’re removing the protective outer layer of the lips, leaving them even more compromised.”

Instead, it’s recommended that the first step toward repairing dry lips should be deep moisturizing serums and balms.

But if you must use a scrub, hydrate first and then go in with an exfoliant, as scrubbing dry skin can lead to inflammation and cracks that worsen the dryness. The same goes for body exfoliation, especially concerning severely dry skin!

There you have it — all you have to do now is choose the right lip balm. Get to applying this as necessary throughout the day, and you’ll have soft, supple lips in no time.

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