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Perfect Your Pout: Learn How to Exfoliate Lips with These 3 Proven Methods

Get the perfect pout with our ultimate guide on how to exfoliate lips! Say goodbye to dryness and hello to a smooth, soft smile today.

11 min read
How to Exfoliate Lips
Photo-Illustration: Catchy Shopper

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Hey, loves! We've all been through it. Winter chills or sizzling summer heat leaving our lips feeling like sandpaper. I still vividly remember days when my lips were so chapped that even the simple joys of smiling or savoring my morning coffee became a painful task. Can you relate?

Well, beauties, it was in one of these less-than-glamorous moments that I had my lightbulb moment. Hydration is great (and oh-so-important as we've discussed before in How to Moisturize Lips), but sometimes your lips need a little extra TLC. Ready for a deeper dive into the world of lip care?

Let's talk lip exfoliation, my secret weapon for a camera-ready smile. It's simple but oh-so-effective. By gently sloughing off the dead skin cells, it reveals the soft, smooth, kissable lips hiding underneath. Trust me, it not only makes your lips look and feel rejuvenated but it also lets your favorite lip balms and glosses do their job even better.

Whether you're a fan of DIY remedies or ready-made solutions, incorporating exfoliation into your lip care routine can work wonders. I've seen it, I've felt it!

So, are you ready to join me on this journey to achieving that coveted JLo glow for your lips? I'm excited to share some of my go-to exfoliation methods, my favorite lip care products, and tips to keep your lips feeling as smooth as a velvet song. Let's get glowing, lovelies!

What is Lip Exfoliation?

Picture lip exfoliation like a mini facial, but just for your lips. It's about gently brushing away the little dry, flaky nuisances (we call them dead skin cells) that like to make our lips their home.

The magic of lip exfoliation lies in revealing the smooth, youthful layer of skin beneath, giving your lips a plumper, brighter look. But the benefits don't just stop there. Lip exfoliation is like a mini workout for your lips, stimulating blood circulation and keeping them looking full and lush. It's also the perfect prep step to let your favorite lip balms, lip oils, lip plumpers, lipsticks, or my personal favorite, a natural lip glow, perform their absolute best.

Think of lip exfoliation as your defense mechanism against chapped, cracked lips. Trust me, no lipstick or lip gloss looks good on dry lips. But here's my pro tip:

Pro Tip
After exfoliating, always remember to follow up with a nourishing lip balm to lock in the moisture. And remember, while we all love a good glow-up, over-exfoliating is a no-no. It can make your lips sensitive, and we don't want that, right?

If you're wondering how to get started, we've got you covered, darlings! Check out our blog posts on the Best Homemade Lip Scrubs, Homemade Lip Mask, and DIY Lip Balm for my secret homemade lip care recipes. If DIY isn't your thing, don't worry. Our posts on Best Lip Scrubs, Lip Masks, and Lip Products have some fabulous recommendations to help you achieve the same results.

Why Exfoliate Lips?

You've probably wondered why lip exfoliation is such a buzzword in the beauty world, right? Let's break it down starting with a little lip anatomy lesson. Unlike most of our skin, our lips lack oil glands. This means they can quickly turn dry and chapped.

So where does exfoliation come in? Well, this skin-loving process helps kiss goodbye to those stubborn dead skin cells, paving the way for new cell growth. The result? Lips that feel as good as they look - soft, smooth, and utterly kissable.

But that's not all, my darlings. Exfoliation also amplifies the magic of your favorite lip care products. By clearing the path, lip balms, and moisturizers can delve deeper, working more effectively.

So, if you dream of flaunting the best version of your lips, remember to exfoliate regularly. Trust me, your lips will thank you for the TLC!

Homemade Lip Exfoliator vs. Store Bought

Alright, now that we've got the 'why' of lip exfoliation down pat, let's dive into the 'how', shall we? When it comes to lip exfoliation, there are two main routes you can take: crafting your own homemade lip exfoliator or reaching for a trusty store-bought one. So, let's get into it and see how they compare.

Lip Exfoliators

Homemade Lip Exfoliators

✅ Pros:
Ingredients in Your Control: When you're the master chef of your lip exfoliator, you decide what goes in. You can customize it to your liking and skip any ingredients that don't play nice with your skin.
Wallet-Friendly: More often than not, the ingredients for your homemade lip exfoliator are already in your pantry, saving you both a trip to the store and a bit of moolah.
Fun Factor: There's something undeniably gratifying about using a beauty product you've made yourself. It could even become your new favorite self-care or friend-time activity.
❌ Cons:
Time-Consuming: Making your own lip exfoliator does take time, which may be a downside for those with a busy schedule.
Short Shelf-Life: Without preservatives, homemade lip exfoliators don't last as long as their store-bought counterparts.

For some inspiration on making your own lip care products, check out our posts below.

Craft Your Lip Care Routine: The Ultimate DIY Guide
Discover the joy of creating your own lip care products at home. Learn how to prepare a nourishing Homemade Lip Mask, Homemade Lip Tint, and DIY Lip Balm, or whip up a DIY Natural Lip Plumper for fuller, softer lips. Understand the importance of exfoliation with our tips on creating the Best Homemade Lip Scrubs at home.

Store-Bought Lip Exfoliators

✅ Pros:
Convenient: Store-bought lip exfoliators are ready to use, saving you time and effort.
Longer Shelf-Life: Thanks to safe preservatives, these products can be stored for longer periods.
Variety: You have a wide range of options to choose from, catering to different tastes, needs, and budgets.
❌ Cons:
Potential Allergens: Some products may contain ingredients that can irritate sensitive lips. Always check the ingredient list!
Cost: While there are budget-friendly options, some store-bought exfoliators can be quite pricey.

For more guidance on selecting a store-bought lip exfoliator, take a peek at our guides below.

Elevate Your Lip Care Regimen with Expert-Recommended Products
Find your perfect product in our curated selection of store-bought lip care essentials. Explore the Benefits of Using a Tinted Lip Balm, our Guide to Choosing the Right Tinted Lip Balm, and our picks for Tinted Lip Balms, the Best Lip Balm with SPF, and the Best Lip Scrubs. Discover the transformative power of Lip Pencils and Lip Oils and find the Best Lip Plumper for that perfect pout.

Whether you decide to DIY or buy, the important thing is that you're taking that extra step to care for your lips. Here's to softer, smoother, and more kissable lips!

How to Exfoliate Lips

Now let's get down to business: how to exfoliate lips at home. Here's a simple step-by-step guide that'll have you flaunting smooth, supple lips in no time.

exfoliate lips at home
How to Exfoliate Lips: 4 Steps
  1. Cleanse: Start by removing any lip product you may have on.
  2. Exfoliate: Depending on the method you choose (we'll delve into the specifics below), this step involves gently rubbing the exfoliator/lip scrubs on your lips in circular motions.
  3. Rinse: Wash off the exfoliator with lukewarm water.
  4. Moisturize: Always follow up with a hydrating lip balm to replenish moisture.

How to Exfoliate Lips with a Toothbrush

lip exfoliator brush
Exfoliating Lips with a Toothbrush


  • Take a soft-bristled toothbrush (a baby toothbrush works best).
  • Dampen it with a little warm water.
  • Gently rub it over your lips in small, circular motions.
✅ Pros:
It's quick and easy.
It doesn't require any special ingredients.
❌ Cons:
It may not be as effective as a scrub.
It can be harsh if not done carefully.

How to Exfoliate Lips with Sugar

exfoliating lip scrub
Exfoliating Lips with Sugar


  • Combine 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of honey or olive oil to create a paste.
  • Apply this mixture to your lips and rub it in circular motions for a minute.
  • Finish off with warm water.
✅ Pros:
Sugar is a natural exfoliant.
Honey and olive oil provide additional hydration.
❌ Cons:
It can be messy
It's not suitable if you're avoiding sugar.

How to Exfoliate Lips with Vaseline

exfoliant lips
Exfoliating Lips with Vaseline


  • Apply a thick layer of Vaseline to your lips.
  • Use a toothbrush or your finger to gently massage it in circular motions.
  • Wipe off the excess Vaseline.
✅ Pros:
Vaseline is highly moisturizing.
It's a gentle method, suitable for sensitive lips.
❌ Cons:
It may not remove as much dead skin as other methods.
Vaseline is a petroleum product, which some people prefer to avoid.

Whichever method you choose, remember to be gentle and listen to your lips. If it feels too abrasive, switch to a milder method or exfoliate less often. Happy exfoliating!

How to Avoid Over-Exfoliating Lips

Even though exfoliating your lips is essential for maintaining a luscious pout, there's a thing such as too much of a good thing. Over-exfoliating lips can lead to irritation, sensitivity, and even damage. So how do we strike the right balance? Here's your guide.

  1. Frequency: Depending on your lip's sensitivity and the climate in which you live, you should exfoliate your lips about 1-3 times per week.
  2. Gentleness is key: When you're exfoliating, remember it's not a scrubbing contest. Be gentle and use small, circular motions.
  3. Don't ignore pain: If your lips hurt while or after exfoliating, it's a signal that you're being too harsh or exfoliating too often.

Signs You're Over-Exfoliating Your Lips

If you notice any of the following signs, it might be an indication that you're overdoing it:

  • Increased sensitivity or pain
  • Redness or inflammation
  • Peeling or flaky skin
  • Dryness or tightness

What to Do If You've Over-Exfoliated

If you've fallen into the over-exfoliation trap, don't worry - your lips can recover. Here's how to heal them:

  • Pause the exfoliation: Give your lips a break from all exfoliation until they've healed completely.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: Apply a nourishing lip balm frequently to restore hydration.
  • Protect them: If you're going outside, use a moisturizing lip balm with SPF to shield your lips from sun damage.

Above all, remember that exfoliating is about caring for your lips, not punishing them. Stay gentle, listen to your body, and keep your lips happy and healthy!

Dry, Chapped Lips: Dermatology Tips

Lip Exfoliation FAQs  

Why exfoliate lips?

Exfoliating lips helps remove dead skin cells, leaving your lips soft and smooth. It also enhances the effectiveness of lip balms and treatments, allowing them to penetrate deeper and hydrate better. Plus, it can help your lipstick go on smoother and last longer!

What do lip exfoliators do?

Lip exfoliators gently scrub off the dead skin cells on the surface of your lips, revealing the fresh and soft skin underneath. This not only improves the appearance of your lips but also boosts their health by stimulating blood flow.

How often should you exfoliate your lip?

The frequency of lip exfoliation depends on your lips' sensitivity and the climate you live in. However, generally, it's good to exfoliate your lips 1-3 times per week.

Can I exfoliate my lips after fillers?

Post lip-fillers, it's essential to wait until your lips have fully healed before exfoliating. This typically takes about 2 weeks, but always consult with your dermatologist or the professional who administered the fillers to be sure.

What can I use to exfoliate my lips?

There are several ways to exfoliate your lips, from using a soft toothbrush to making a homemade lip scrub with sugar. Alternatively, there are numerous store-bought lip exfoliators available, which come in various flavors and textures to suit your preference.

When can I exfoliate after lip fillers?

As mentioned earlier, it's advisable to wait until your lips have fully healed before you exfoliate, which usually takes about 2 weeks. Always consult your dermatologist or filler professional to determine the right time for your personal situation.

What's the best lip exfoliator for dry lips? 

The best lip exfoliator for dry lips, especially for those with sensitive skin, will combine gentle exfoliation with deep hydration. A top pick is a lip exfoliator that features natural moisturizers like shea butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. Shea butter provides long-lasting moisture and creates a protective barrier on your lips, while jojoba oil closely mimics your skin's own natural oils for effective hydration. Coconut oil, a powerhouse moisturizer, works excellently to soften and nourish lips. These ingredients help ensure your lips exfoliation routine doesn't strip your lips but rather leaves them feeling soft, hydrated, and well cared for.

Remember, when it comes to skincare, everyone's skin is unique. Always listen to your body and adjust your routine as necessary for the best results!

Key Takeaways

Remember, healthy lips don't just happen—they require a bit of TLC. So, incorporate these tips into your routine and get ready to enjoy soft, smooth, and utterly kissable lips!

1. Importance of Lip Exfoliation: Exfoliation plays a vital role in maintaining the health and beauty of your lips. By removing dead skin cells, it reveals fresh, soft skin underneath and allows for better absorption of lip balms and treatments.
2. Homemade vs. Store-Bought Exfoliators: Both homemade and store-bought lip exfoliators have their advantages. Homemade options allow you to control the ingredients and can be economical, while store-bought versions offer convenience and a variety of formulations to suit your specific needs.
3. Methods of Exfoliation: There are several methods to exfoliate your lips, including using a toothbrush, sugar, or Vaseline. Each has its unique benefits and choosing one over the other depends on your personal preference and comfort.
4. Avoiding Over-exfoliation: While exfoliation is beneficial, overdoing it can lead to lip damage. Be sure to exfoliate only 1-3 times per week, be gentle during the process, and always follow up with a hydrating lip balm.
5. Post-Fillers Exfoliation: If you've had lip fillers, it's critical to wait until your lips have fully healed before exfoliating, typically around 2 weeks.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, my beauties! A little peek into the secret world of lip exfoliation. Isn't it incredible what a touch of self-care can do to transform our lips from good to gorgeous?

Whether you choose to go the homemade route or pick up something from your favorite store, remember it's all about being consistent and listening to your body, or in this case, your lips. Stay with it, and I promise you'll start to see a remarkable change in your lips' texture and appearance.

But don't let the journey stop here. There's so much more for us to explore together! If you're anything like me and enjoy getting hands-on, you'll love our DIY Beauty Series for Face and Body.

Dive Into the DIY Beauty Series for Face
Embark on a journey to radiant skin with our enriching DIY Beauty Series featuring Homemade Makeup Removers, Face Mists, Makeup Setting Sprays, Face Toners, Face Oils, Hydrating Face Masks, Natural Exfoliants, and DIY Pore Strips. Explore these guides and discover beauty secrets you can whip up right in your kitchen!
Dive Into the DIY Beauty Series for Body
Immerse yourself in the world of homemade body care with our DIY Beauty Series. Delve into Homemade Body Wash Recipes and Homemade Coffee Scrub Recipes, and discover the satisfaction of crafting your own body care essentials!

At the end of the day, beauty is all about celebrating and caring for the unique, fabulous self that you are. So keep discovering, keep trying new things, and most of all, keep smiling!

Can't wait for our next beauty adventure together!