Lip scrubs are a divisive product category. We all know that exfoliating your lips is necessary — especially in colder months if you want your lipstick to look smooth and supple — but is it really worth it to buy an entire lip scrub product? Don't those DIY treatments suffice?
The real deciding factor is if you're willing to hand over that cash. But there's also this to consider: Not all dry lips need a scrub. In fact, using lip scrubs incorrectly can make matters worse.
"There's a difference between chapped lips and flaky lips," says Sara Happ, founder of her eponymous lip-care brand. According to Happ, 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, a 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's the final verdict? 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.