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How To Exfoliate Lips

Any healthy skin regimen should include exfoliation. Exfoliation helps rid your skin of dead skin cells that make your skin appear dull and lifeless. This...

How To Exfoliate Lips

Any healthy skin regimen should include exfoliation. Exfoliation helps rid your skin of dead skin cells that make your skin appear dull and lifeless. This tried-and-true method for better skin also applies to the delicate skin on your lips! Lip exfoliation if you want your lips to glow as your skin does after a good scrub.

None of us are strangers to dry, chapped lips, especially during colder months or in arid climtes; however, proper oper exfoliation and moisturization with the right products can help you remedy and avoid chapped lips. Read on to learn about our best suggestions for exfoliating your lips and how to optimize your lip care for a soft, supple pout!

How Can You Exfoliate Your Lips?

There are a few different methods to exfoliate your lips. Which way you should use depends on your skin type and specific needs. The most helpful forms of exfoliation treatment are as follows:

1. Mechanical Exfoliation

Mechanical exfoliation entails using a physical substance to scrub the dead skin off of your lips. Many common combinations of ingredients can be found right in your home, like granulated sugar and honey or coconut oil. Always start with clean lips; remove any traces of lipstick or other lip makeup first, then pat your lips dry. 

After mixing your chosen ingredients into a DIY lip scrub, dampen your lips, then apply the mix with your fingertips or cotton swab and gently scrub the surface using small circular motions. Be careful not to over-exfoliate. Wipe away any excess scrub with a soft cloth. 

Of course, you can choose from plenty of ready-made lip exfoliators. Just be sure you look for products with clean ingredients. For example, highly fragrant and dyed lip scrubs might smell good and look appealing, but they are more likely to irritate your lips. 

Some ideas for mechanical lip exfoliation include:

  • Using a soft-bristled, clean toothbrush and some warm water
  • Brown sugar lip scrub mixed with olive oil
  • Jojoba oil mixed with coffee grounds
  • A soft washcloth dampened with warm water

2. Chemical Exfoliation

Some skin experts might recommend chemical exfoliation for your lips. If your skin doesn’t seem to tolerate lip scrubbing or needs something that penetrates your skin deeper, chemical exfoliation may be a better choice. 

Chemical exfoliators help peel the layer of dead skin without the risk of over-exfoliation or breaking the skin. Here are some of the most common chemical exfoliants:

  • Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). The larger molecule size won’t penetrate as deeply into the skin, but it helps draw and preserve moisture. 
  • Mandelic acid is another AHA that is typically well tolerated by sensitive skin.
  • Glycolic acid is a super-effective moisturizing AHA. This has the smallest molecule size, so it absorbs at the deepest level. 

A great rule of thumb for chemical exfoliators is to gradually incorporate them into your skincare regimen while observing your skin’s tolerance level.

What Are Some Other Tips for Lip Exfoliation?

You likely only need to exfoliate your lips twice a week. If you're new to lip exfoliation, assess how your lips react to exfoliation before continuing treatment. Start with a weekly, then increase frequency. During colder or dry weather, you may need to exfoliate more often to better combat chapping.

Alternate Treatment Methods

Classic exfoliation and moisturization methods will generally get the job done, but if you want to take your lip care a step further, we recommend employing our NuFACE FIX® Serum. This serum is formulated to immediately brighten and smooth out lines for the ultimate blurring effect. 

To maximize treatment, pair this serum with NuFACE FIX® for an extra plumping effect in just three minutes without the pain of costly injections. Microcurrent is a low-level current that imitates the natural flow in your body. Our award-winning microcurrent device works virtually on the skin to address many skin concerns, including stimulating tissue recovery and enhancing product absorption. 

The line-smoothing serum conducts the microcurrent to enhance treatment. Not only is microcurrent treatment sub-sensory, but these products are FDA and aesthetician-approved so that you can pamper yourself with peace of mind.

For the best results, after you exfoliate your lips, follow up by gently feathering the FIX® Serum around your lips and proceed with your microcurrent treatment. Finally, smooth on your favorite lip balm to lock in hydration.

Choose the Right Ingredients

Whether you choose to DIY or storebought, thousands of lip products are on the market. However, select products with clean ingredients if you want to prioritize healthy lips. Exfoliators and moisturizers formulated with these ingredients may be helpful for lip care:

  • Oils like jojoba, castor, and avocado are good at penetrating deep into the skin, maximizing hydration, and repairing dry lips.
  • Natural butter like shea butter, mango butter, or cacao butter can nourish your skin. 
  • Beeswax or candelilla waxes are great for sealing moisture in your skin, otherwise known as an occlusive.

Avoid Potentially Irritating Additives

Some of the most popular lip products claiming to heal cracked and dry lips contain ingredients that may worsen your lip condition. The following elements are commonly found in lip care but have been known to irritate, especially for extra sensitive or already dry, chapped lips: 

  • Flavorings, such as cinnamon, mint, or peppermint
  • Camphor
  • Eucalyptus
  • Menthol
  • Octinoxate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Fragrance 

What Are the Benefits of Exfoliating Your Lips?

The skin on your lips is considered one of the most sensitive surfaces on your body. This is because lips do not have oil glands to self-moisturize and, therefore, are more prone to drying out, cracking, and peeling, known as chapped lips. 

Chapped lips, also medically referred to as cheilitis, result from overly dry, cracked skin on the lips. Whether from repeatedly licking your lips, dehydration, or environmental factors like exposure to sunlight or cold, dry weather, chapped lips can make your lips more susceptible to a rough, uneven texture and skin peeling, which can be bothersome and even painful. 

Keeping your lips consistently exfoliated and moisturized will stop them from chapping easily. In addition, exfoliation will soften the skin by removing the flaky, dry skin left behind by dead skin cells and smooth out the surface making your lips look shiny and healthy. Exfoliation is also helpful for stimulating blood flow, naturally making your lips look fuller.


Lip care should be regularly included in your skin care regimen and beauty routine. Since this skin surface is susceptible and unable to produce its oil, your lips need all the help they can get to stay smooth and full of life. Because of this, you want to adopt a regular exfoliation routine and follow up with a proper moisturizer. 

Certain ingredients will help your lips, while others might cause irritation or damage, especially if you are battling chapped lips. Therefore, your lip care should be invested, particularly during cold or dry seasons. Whether you go for mechanical or chemical exfoliation, you should be cautious of the products and ingredients contained to avoid over-exfoliating or irritating your lips. Sticking to a routine will give you the lips of your dreams!


How to safely exfoliate at home | AAD

7 dermatologists' tips for healing dry, chapped lips | AAD

Chapped Lips (Cheilitis): Causes, Treatment & Prevention | Cleveland Clinic.

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