Have You Been Using Lip Scrub Wrong This Entire Time?
Mi-Anne Chan & Erika Stalder
Lip scrubs fall under the category of things we don't really need, but throw our money at anyway. There's just something so damn great about a product that turns a gross chore (removing dead, flaky skin) into a fun and delicious experience. Sugar: What can't it solve?
But as with all things, moderation is key. Lip scrubs, although useful, aren't a cure-all for scaly lips. In fact, using them incorrectly can make matters worse.
"There's a difference between chapped lips and flaky lips," says Sara Happ, founder of the lip-care brand Sara Happ. According to her, chapped lips indicate dehydrated skin, while flaky, cracked, or bleeding lips indicate damaged skin. "Chapped lips should be scrubbed daily, but flaky lips need to heal," she says. "Exfoliating isn't going to give [flaky lips] the love and rest they need."
Dennis Gross, MD, NYC-based dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, agrees. "Because the skin is thin on the lips, it is a fine line one might walk when exfoliating," he says. "Over-exfoliating lips will throw them off balance and in turn, make them more dry. This can make them prone to cracking."
So what to do? If your lips are cracked and flaky, stick to soothing balms and treatments. If they're chapped, feel free to buff, but don't go overboard. Check out our favorite scrubs and treatments ahead.