How To Exfoliate Your Lips Without A Scrub

Have you ever wandered down the lipstick aisle of a beauty store or flipped through a magazine and wished you could get that perfect tint on your lips that make them pop? No dry and patched skin, just a clean and glistening finish. Well, as it turns out, exfoliating your lips before applying any tint on them could be the saving grace, per Byrdie

Dry skin, especially on your lips, can be brought on by changes in weather and habits like smoking, according to Healthline. Picking and biting or licking your lips often plus not focusing on SPF protection on your lips can also contribute to lip damage. Exfoliating is one way to achieve a soft and smooth pout. Dermatologist Kristina Collins shares that your lips are built differently than the rest of your skin (via IPSY). "The outer layer of skin [the epidermis] is extremely thin on the lips. Lips also lack melanin and appear pink due to the hue of vessels underlying the very thin skin barrier," she explains. Your lips also don't have hair follicles, which means they become dry quicker than the skin elsewhere on your body, reports Nivea

Getting rid of dry lips can be done using scrubs that you can purchase from stores or even DIY concoctions you can make at home, per Byrdie. If you aren't a fan of scrubs or want to try something within your reach, here are some ways to exfoliate your lips without a scrub.

Use these everyday things you can find in your home to exfoliate your lips

Reach for a soft toothbrush in your bathroom to get the job done, says New York City-based beauty expert Bryan Cantor (via Byrdie). Wet the toothbrush and move in gentle, circular movements over your mouth, per Foundation Fairy. A micro-fiber towel can also be used in place of a scrub to exfoliate your lips. Just make sure to be gentle with both methods and to stop exfoliating if your skin feels irritated.

You can even use paper towels and spoolies to exfoliate the skin on your lips (via Foundation Fairy). Place a wet paper towel on your pout and wait for about 3 minutes before peeling it off. With the eye makeup tool, first make sure you wash any leftover product from it before taking it to your lips. Then gently brush up and down to remove dead skin cells. 

As for using AHA exfoliants, remember to use products that aren't too harsh, reports Procoal London. The skin on your lips is much thinner compared to other parts of your body. Lactic acid is typically the safest, but other AHAs you could use include mandelic acid and glycolic acid. However, you may want to watch out for irritation. 

How to care for your lips without damaging them

Getting rid of any dirt or grime from the surface of your lips and wetting them are good first steps to follow before you start exfoliating, recommends Nivea. With both the toothbrush and towel method, the softer the bristles and material, the better (via Foundation Fairy). It's also a good idea to put on some moisturizing lip balm after you're done.  

Board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo says there is such a thing as over-exfoliating, per Mind Body Green. "Over-exfoliating your lips can lead to redness, swelling, sensitivity, or bleeding," she adds. It's best to start with a once-a-week schedule and see how your lips respond to the exfoliation. 

Dermatologist Kristina Collins actually prefers regular hydration to exfoliation as a means of keeping your lips soft and supple, according to IPSY. A humidifier placed in your room can help during winter. "If the lips are not overly dry, sensitive, or chapped, then very gentle exfoliation could make them feel extra smooth and soft, but overall, I think hydration is the key to kissable lip care," she explains. When it comes to the best lip balms for your lips, Collins says fragrance-free options that have ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, or ceramides would be best. Applying a lip balm with sun protection while outdoors is another way to care for your pout (via Healthline). Getting enough nutrients from fruits and vegetables and steering clear of smoking and alcohol can help too, per Nivea.