Everything You Need to Know About Exfoliating Your Lips and DIY Lip Scrubs

Everyone has suffered from dry, chapped lips at least once in their lips. Nothing feels worse than having the skin of your lips peeling off and having them bleed. While everyone knows about lip balms and moisturizing their lips, most don't know that it's important to exfoliate their lips as well.

Exfoliating means you strip away all the dead skin cells from your lips. This process promotes new skin cell regeneration, which is essential to keep your lips healthy. Plus, exfoliating your lips will make them softer and more kissable. Read on to learn everything you need to know about exfoliating your lips.

Lip Scrub Ingredients Do's and Don'ts

Yes, you can make a natural DIY lip scrub with products from your pantry. But no, you shouldn't just go ahead and raid your pantry. Read on to learn more about what ingredients you'd want in your lip scrub and which ones you should stay away from.

Do: sugar & Don't: cinnamon powder

Sugar is the classic ingredient for lip scrubs. Sugar crystals are good enough to strip away all the dead skin, yet gentle enough for your lips' thin skin barrier. Brown sugar works even better than white sugar because it has a softer texture that won't leave your lips raw or sensitive.

You may have seen DIY lip scrub recipes that include cinnamon powder. Sure, this ingredient can exfoliate your skin and even make them look plumper. However, cinnamon can cause adverse side effects in most people, irritating their lips and causing tingling or even burning.

Do: natural oil & Don't: essential oil

Natural oils, such as coconut oil and olive oil are fantastic ingredients for lip scrubs. They work nicely as an emollient, helping the exfoliant ingredient move around your lips. Plus, they can also hydrate, moisturize, and nourish your lips, making them softer and healthier.

Essential oils are another ingredient you'll encounter a lot in lip scrub recipes. Yes, they smell nice, but try your best to avoid them. They usually don't do anything except giving your scrub a nice scent. Plus, they need to be diluted by a lot. Using a concentrated amount of essential oil may irritate your lips or even cause allergic reactions.

Do: coffee grounds & Don't: lemon juice

Coffee grounds' texture is softer than sugar, making it the perfect exfoliant for those with more sensitive lips. Plus, you can always use leftover coffee grounds from breakfast to scrub your lips. So, you get soft lips and you get to reduce food waste, yay!

If anyone advises you to use lemon juice in your lip scrub, don't listen to them. Lemon juice has a pH level of 2. It's highly acidic and will definitely irritate your skin. In the worst-case scenario, lemon juice can chemically burn your lips and leave permanent damage.

How to Make Your Own Lip Scrub

Already know which ingredients to avoid? Great! Now let's move on to the next step, making your own lip scrub. First, you'll need two basic components, the exfoliant and the emollient. Here are some excellent ingredients you can use:


  • Sugar

  • Brown sugar

  • Coffee grounds

  • Sea salt


  • Honey

  • Oils (olive, coconut, jojoba)

  • Shea butter

  • Petroleum jelly

You can make any combination you like with the exfoliants and emollients listed above. However, to help you get started we'll provide you with a basic sugar-based lip scrub DIY recipe.

Coconut and Honey Lip Scrub

You'll need: 1 tbsp coconut oil; 1 tsp honey; 2 tbsps brown sugar; 1/2 tbsp lukewarm water


  • Combine the coconut oil and honey in a small pot or jar

  • Add in the brown sugar

  • Add the water to achieve a thick but easily spreadable consistency

Your lip scrub is done! Use it and store the rest in a cool and dark place

Applying the scrub

After making your DIY lip scrub, here's what you need to do to properly exfoliate your lips.

  • Always wash your hands before touching your lips

  • Wet your lips with lukewarm water to soften the skin

  • Put the lip scrub mixture on your finger

  • Apply the lip scrub onto your lips using a gentle, circular motion

  • Scrub for 1 to 2 minutes

  • Leave the lip scrub on for 2 more minutes to moisturize your lips

  • Rinse with lukewarm water

Alternatively, you can also use an old toothbrush with soft bristles to exfoliate your lips. Simply wet the toothbrush, apply some emollient, and gently scrub the toothbrush across your lips.

Ready-Made All-Natural Lip Scrub

While homemade lip scrubs are rather easy to make, not all of us have the time to whip one up. Plus, DIY lip scrubs tend to have a shorter shelf life. Not to worry, you can still exfoliate your lips using ready-made natural lip scrubs. Here are our top recommendations.

Burt's Bees 100% Natural Conditioning Lip Scrub

We all know and love Burt's Bees' amazing lip balms. But don't forget to check out their 100% natural lip scrub as well! Made with nutrient-rich beeswax and gently exfoliating honey crystals, this product will lift dead skin cells and nourish your lips, leaving them soft and smooth.

Henné Organics Lip Exfoliator

Henne's lip exfoliator is made with 96% clean and organic ingredients. Its coconut oil and beeswax base will hydrate and nourish your precious lips. Meanwhile, its rose diamonds exfoliating sugar will strip away all the dead cells, leaving behind soft and glowing pink lips.

More Lip Care Tips

While lip exfoliants can work wonders, even the best ingredients couldn't help you if you're not using your lip scrub properly. Here are some awesome tips to get the most out of your lip scrub.

Don't over-exfoliate

Don't exfoliate your lips more than three times a week. Give your lips some time to regenerate new skin cells or you risk ruining your lips' natural protective barrier. Additionally, use gentle motions only, harshly scrubbing your lips will leave them raw, sensitive, and even bleeding.

Store your lip scrub properly

Homemade DIY lip scrubs have a short shelf life, most of them will not stay good for up to two weeks. And that's only if you store them properly. Always store your lip scrub in a cool and dark place and keep the jar perfectly shut to prevent germs from proliferating in there.

Always use lip balm afterward

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from your lips, leaving them more vulnerable. Always apply a generous amount of lip balm after scrubbing your lips to make sure they stay moisturized and healthy. Also, try to use lip balms with SPF to protect your lips from sun damage.

Don't lick your lips

If you feel like your lips are dry, never lick them! Licking your lips may moisten them for a second, but the moment your saliva evaporates, your lips will be even drier than before. Lip balms are your best friend when it comes to avoiding dry and flaky lips.

Closing Thoughts

We wish you learned a lot from this article about exfoliating your lips. Hopefully, this has encouraged you to exfoliate your lips regularly to keep them healthy and soft. That said, be careful when choosing your lip scrub ingredient and never over-exfoliate your lips. Good luck!