You want lips as smooth and plump as a hotel pillow in winter? Pipe dream, you say? Not so much if lip scrubs have made their way into your beauty regime.
Back in the day, make-up artists swore by schmearing on lip balm, then whisking away flaky bits with the rub of a flannel or dry toothbrush.
The trouble is, both approaches are pretty abrasive, says Zoe Taylor, make-up artist and founder of the Tinker Taylor Lip Kit. ‘Your lips only have 3 to 5 layers of skin, while the rest of your face has up to 16 layers, so it is important to be super gentle to avoid damage.’
Your lips also have no oil-producing sebaceous glands.
‘This makes them prone to dryness,’ she adds. ‘Rubbing lips with a toothbrush or a flannel can be an OK short-term fix but they need some nourishing hydration, too.’
Enter lip scrubs. Most are powered by a manual exfoliator, such as finely milled sugar granules.
‘These are usually suspended in a nourishing blend of oils to give you more slip as you buff off any dry skin,’ says Taylor.
So you’re essentially exfoliating, softening AND moisturising your lips.
How to apply lip scrubs
One option is to prep your lips at the same time as your skin. ‘On set or backstage I’ll do this at the beginning of the day but also at the end to remove all traces of lipstick,’ says Taylor.
‘On myself I scrub once a day, when I cleanse. Using my finger, I rub in a circular motion over the lips for around 20 seconds, paying special attention to any dry areas. The buffing motion also increases blood flow making lips look bigger, plumper and naturally rosy. Then I wipe or rinse off, and apply the Tinker Taylor Lip Oil immediately afterwards to give my skin something to soak up. The final step is balm to lock all that goodness in.’
Scroll down for our pick of the best lip scrubs in the form of tiny pots and easy-to-apply-at-the-back-of-a-cab bullets…
The ultimate lip-perfecting kit. The Lip Scrub buffs with organic sugar and cinnamon; the Lip Oil absorbs quickly for cushiony plumpness and the Lip Balm supports healing.
With a sugar scrub on one side and tinted moisturising balm on the other, it’s the sweetest way to kissable lips. Oh and it comes in no fewer than 5 shades.
Like a caffeine jolt for thin, prune-like lips. Ground coffee beans, raw sugar, coffee seed oil and beeswax combine to keep your pout perky and plump.
One for natural beauty lovers. This free-from-nasties formula, powered by beeswax and honey crystals, polishes and deeply nourishes wind-whipped lips.
A backstage favourite to guarantee a super-smooth lipstick application. Exfoliating grains of sugar melt away, leaving behind a sheer pink balm to moisturise and give lips a just-kissed rosy glow.
Its twist-up stick is 100% mess free and packed with apricot seed scrubbers to gently exfoliate and re-hydrate with every swipe.
One of the original lip scrubs and a cult best seller. Brown sugar crystals buff away dry flakes while shea butter and jojoba oil are cosseting and leave lips perfectly primed.
Pucker up with a sloughing blend of Caribbean cane sugar, Hawaiian sea salt and hibiscus flower powder plus lip-loving sweet almond oil.