Technically, our skin is constantly subtly exfoliating. By hydrating the skin with lip balms or petrolatum-based products, the process of exfoliation is eased in that the lip skin is not left raw or sensitive. Read more...
Disclaimer: This page contains an affiliate link to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through this link.
Can you exfoliate lips without a scrub?
Technically, our skin is constantly subtly exfoliating. By hydrating the skin with lip balms or petrolatum-based products, the process of exfoliation is eased in that the lip skin is not left raw or sensitive.
Should you exfoliate lips?
Lip scrubs are becoming very popular. Lip scrubs often have a little grittiness to their texture that allow the delicate skin of the lips to gently exfoliate without leaving them feeling too raw or painful. Using a lip scrub perhaps once a week is not unreasonable. This dryness will incline some towards biting or pulling at this dry chapped skin. When this occurs there can be tender, open, raw areas left behind. Using a lip scrub can achieve a smoother surface without causing open, painful, or potentially bleeding wounds. If you decide to use a lip scrub, please follow this up with a lip balm or product. The slightly raw skin left over will need to be protected to allow healing to occur.
Why is it dry and irritated above my lipline?
There is a medical diagnosis referred to as Lip Licker’s Dermatitis that is relatively common. When the lips are dry, in an attempt to add moisture, repeatedly licking our lips is quite common to try. Unfortunately by doing so the temporary moisture achieved is quickly lost to evaporation that paradoxically dries out the lips and the lip margin. This leaves the skin pink, inflamed, dried, and irritated on and around the lips.
Can lips exfoliate themselves?
Do lips need to be exfoliated?
Technically, the manual removal of the peeling skin of the lip is not necessary. It will naturally occur in the course of hydrating and moisturizing the lips with lip balms or petrolatum-based products.
How frequently should you exfoliate your lips?
If you choose to manually exfoliate your lips, limit the process to once weekly to avoid excess irritation. Also, try to understand why your lips are drying out in the first place and address the underlying cause. Are you a mouth breather? Are you using acne or anti-aging products that can be contributing to excess lip dryness?
What products should you avoid when exfoliating your lips?
Avoid alpha and/or beta hydroxy acids that can contribute to chemical exfoliation of the lips. Avoid menthol-based products. Menthol gives a cooling sensation when applied and gives people the impression that their product is getting to work! This sensation is more of a marketing effect and less reflects the actual effect of the product. Patients often get “addicted” to need this sensation to “feel” like their product is working or do not think a product is effective if they do not feel the tingle! Menthol has been shown to contribute to some drying or irritation with long-term use.
What happens when you exfoliate your lips?
Exfoliating the lips results in the manual removal of the most superficial layer of the skin.
Can you exfoliate your lips if you've had lip injections?
Lip filler can expand and stretch the lip skin. For some, this will result in being more prone to dryness. It is safe to exfoliate the lips with lip filler as filler is placed in the dermis, well below the epidermis where exfoliation occurs.