Dry, chapped, scaly lips can be a pain to deal with, especially during cold, dry weather. Exfoliation can help remove the dry, dead skin on the surface of your soft lips. Make flaky lips become moist and plump by gently exfoliating with a scrub or common household items and moisturizing well. You can make excellent exfoliants just from items around the house!
Method One of Two:
Making a Natural Scrub
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Try a sugar-based scrub. Mix equal parts olive oil and sugar in a small bowl to get a paste. Stand over your sink so you don't make a mess. Use a clean, soft washcloth to gently massage the mixture onto your lips using a circular motion. Rinse the mixture off with warm, not hot, water – cup your hands and splash water onto your mouth until it’s clean. Pat your lips dry and apply petroleum jelly or hydrating lip balm to moisturize your lips.
You can use white or brown sugar, but not powdered.
Coconut oil is a tasty alternative to olive oil.
The longer (and harder) you rub the mixture on your lips the more intensely it will exfoliate. Do this for about a minute, maximum. Too much exfoliating can make lips sore or chapped.
Oil-based scrubs are great for dry skin because they're very hydrating.
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Apply a baking soda scrub. Mix baking soda with water to form a gritty paste; you may have to experiment with the ratio. Use a clean washcloth or old toothbrush with soft, straight bristles to rub the paste onto your lips in a gentle, circular motion. Rinse with warm water, gently pat dry, and apply lip balm or petroleum jelly.
Baking soda and water do not moisturize your lips at all, so be sure to apply a moisturizing lip balm when you’re done.
This scrub may be a good choice if you have oily skin around your mouth because it's non-greasy.
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Use a honey sugar scrub. Mix 1/3 honey and 2/3 sugar in a small bowl. Apply it to your lips in a circular motion. You can use your finger if you wash your hands first, or a soft toothbrush, clean washcloth, or cotton swab. Leave the paste on for 2-3 minutes. Wash it off with warm water – honey is sticky so it may take a few minutes of washing. Rub your lips gently with a cloth, then moisturize.
You can also leave this scrub on overnight if you wish. After you apply the scrub, put a strip of paper towel on your lips and lightly push it down – this will keep the scrub from getting all over your bedding and face. Sleep on your back and keep your head upright. Remove the paper strip in the morning, wash the scrub off, and moisturize your lips well.
Method Two of Two:
Using Simple Products to Exfoliate
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Use a toothbrush. Take an old toothbrush, preferably one with straight bristles that are very soft, and put a bit of petroleum jelly on it. Rub the toothbrush on your lips in a circular motion. Leave the petroleum jelly on to rehydrate your lips, or apply a little more if most of it gets rubbed off.
You won’t want to use this toothbrush to brush your teeth again. You can save it in a clean dry place to use for exfoliation, but don’t contaminate it by using it for other purposes.
For sensitive lips, try a children’s toothbrush. These are usually extra soft.
If you don’t want to use a toothbrush, you can do the same trick with a soft, clean washcloth.
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Exfoliate with lemon juice. Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with a tablespoon of castor oil or glycerin. Apply this to your lips and leave it on for an hour or so. Then, gently rub the mixture off with a soft washcloth wet with warm water. Moisturize as usual.
This works well for chapped, dry lips and skin.
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Nourish and soothe with oatmeal. Because of its grainy texture, oatmeal exfoliates well and can effectively absorb and remove dirt and impurities from your skin. Mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oatmeal with 3 tablespoons (44.4 ml) of warm water or milk, and rub the mixture onto your lips in a circular motion for 1-2 minutes. Afterwards, rinse your lips with warm water and then cold water.
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Use rose petals on your lips. Not only does it sound romantic, but using rose petals to exfoliate can moisturize your lips and add some red color to them. Soak some clean rose petals in raw milk for about 3 hours. When the petals are completely soaked, mash them up to make a paste. You can use a mortar and pestle or just the back of a large spoon. Once this is mashed to a paste, apply it to your lips in an even layer.
This is a gentle exfoliant and moisturizer and may be helpful for sensitive skin.
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Purchase a premade lip exfoliant. There are many lip scrubs on the market, such as LUSH lip scrub and e.l.f. lip exfoliator. Look for products with natural ingredients like aloe or shea butter, and avoid salicylic acid which can be too harsh. Proceed with caution with new products – use gentle pressure to avoid over-exfoliating.
If your lips feel irritated after using a product, stop using it.