8 DIY Lip Scrubs to Soothe Dry, Cracked Lips
Experiencing dry, flaky, and cracked lips? You’re not alone. Especially during those winter months, sandpaper lips are pretty much inevitable. Sure, lip balm comes in handy, but a bad formula can set you right back to square one once it dries. What you really need is a lip scrub, so we've picked these DIY lip scrubs to get you started.
- Any damage or dryness on your lips may be a result of excess UV radiation from the sun, cold air, incorrect care of the lips, or even stress.
- Exfoliating the lips once or twice a week prevents dehydration of the lips to avoid swelling, bleeding or dryness alongside removing dry skin.
- You can make DIY lip scrubs using a variety of natural ingredients like honey, coconut oil, sugar, salt, finely ground nuts, and oats.
Unlike our face, our lips don't contain sebum-releasing oil glands that keep the skin soft and moisturized (1). To avoid textured lips, you can look to lip scrubs to really help eliminate dead skin cells on your lips that make them look rough and dry to make them smoother, softer, and a lot more comfortable throughout the day. Plus, lip scrubs are incredibly cheap and easy to make yourself with all-natural ingredients.
Before you start on making DIY lip scrubs, it’s crucial to know how to make them efficiently and properly, what ingredients to use and avoid, and how the ingredients can help your lips. On the other hand, it’s also important to consult the experts so you know how to avoid over exfoliating and harming your skin barrier.
The Benefits of Exfoliating
The best way to keep your lips feeling and looking their best is to exfoliate properly. Any damage or dryness on your lips may be a result of excess UV radiation from the sun, cold air, incorrect care of the lips, or even stress (1). By exfoliating once or twice a week with homemade exfoliators like DIY lip scrubs, you can moisturize and nourish the lips to leave them looking fuller, supple, and more hydrated.
Overall, the reasons for exfoliating the lips include:
- Removing dry skin to improve texture
- Making the lips soft and smooth
- Keeping the lips moist
- Helping lip products and makeup look better on and stay on for longer
- Preventing dehydration of the lips which may cause swelling, bleeding, or dryness
How to Exfoliate the Lips
Now that you know the benefits of exfoliating, you should also know the three main steps of properly exfoliating your lips so you don’t cause harm with abrasive tools or ingredients (more on that below):
- Cleanse the lips of make-up, dirt, sweat, oil or any other pollutants from the outside
- Gently exfoliate lips using a toothbrush or a gentle fabric to get rid of dead skin
- Wear a lip balm with SPF if you’re exfoliating in the morning, or a hydrating moisture lip balm at night
Harmful vs Helpful Ingredients in DIY Lip Scrubs
When it comes to making DIY lip scrubs, knowing which ingredients to reach for and which to avoid will help you prevent irritation on your lips. Luckily, a lot of ingredients that can be added to DIY lip scrubs can already be found in your pantry or refrigerator, but you don’t want to go overboard.
As always, using any fragrances, artificial colorings, or potentially harmful ingredients like essential oils is not recommended. These ingredients may disrupt the outer skin layer leading to dryness, irritation, and rashes. No bueno.
Instead, the key to creating a great DIY lip scrub is combining a gentle exfoliant with natural oils and fatty acids. You can make DIY lip scrubs using a variety of natural oils like olive, almond, coconut, or jojoba oil. Honey is also antibacterial, has skin hydrating and natural healing properties, so it’s often used as a liquid base for DIY lip scrubs as well. When it comes to the exfoliant, sugar, salt, finely ground nuts, and oats are often used as they are not too abrasive on the skin.
If you’re looking for your lips scrub to add fullness and suppleness to your lips, you can also add plumping ingredients to the mixture that will not add too much irritation or swelling. Ingredients like cinnamon, peppermint, or cayenne chili powder are great options. However, be sure to use these ingredients in small quantities to avoid over irritating your lips and the surrounding skin.
To prevent skin damage while exfoliating, dermatologists recommend the following tips:
- Consider the products you already use: Some medications and skincare products may cause your skin to be more sensitive. Exfoliating while using these products may worsen dry skin, cause acne breakouts, or lead to increased trans-epidermal water loss (2).
- Be gentle to your skin: Apply the scrub gently using small, circular motions for about 30 seconds, and then rinse off with lukewarm (NOT HOT) water. Never exfoliate if you have open cuts or wounds or if your skin is sunburned (3).
Recipes for 8 DIY Lip Scrubs
Below are eight super easy homemade DIY lip scrubs made with natural and delicious ingredients you likely already have!
1. Honey-Sugar Lip Scrub
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
2. Vanilla Latte Lip Scrub
- 1 teaspoon unbrewed coffee grinds
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
3. Piña Colada Lip Scrub
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/8 teaspoon pineapple flavoring
- 2 drops Vitamin E oil
4. DIY Popcorn Lip Scrub
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond oil
- 1/2 teaspoon buttered popcorn flavoring (omit if you're sensitive to flavorings/scents)
- 3 drops Vitamin E oil
5. Strawberry Daiquiri Lip Scrub
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 4 drops of strawberry extract
- 2 drops of lime flavoring
- 1 drop of Vitamin E oil
6. Mint Lip Scrub
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8-10 drops of peppermint flavoring
- 1/2 teaspoon grapeseed oil
7. Chocolate Lip Scrub
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
8. Cinnamon Scrub
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tablespoon raw honey
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Written by Selena Ponton