We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
If your dry lips have you layering on lip balm for what feels like the fiftieth time in one day, it's time to rethink your plan of attack. While it may sound counterintuitive, an exfoliating lip scrub can help moisturize your lips and smooth away flaky skin, giving you an opportunity to start fresh. But just like you want to avoid too-harsh exfoliants for your face and body, the best lip scrubs for dry lips use gentle physical exfoliants to smooth and buff your lips without causing irritation. Fine sugar crystals (like the kind you put in your coffee) are the most common exfoliating ingredient you’ll find in most lip scrubs. You'll also want to be sure to choose a scrub that contains nourishing ingredients like sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, and vitamin E — this way, your lips won’t be left feeling dry after you’ve scrubbed all the dead skin away.
How To Use A Lip Scrub
To get smooth, plump lips, follow these three simple steps:
- Use your ring finger to gently massage a pea-sized amount of your lip scrub onto clean, dry lips in a circular motion (and don't skip the corners).
- Gently wipe away the excess product with a tissue or washcloth.
- Apply your favorite lip balm (try a thicker overnight treatment before bed to tackle extremely dry lips).
Shop The Best Lip Scrubs For Dry Lips
In a hurry? Here are the top three best lip scrubs for dry lips:
1. Best Luxury Lip Scrub For Dry Lips: Sara Happ The Lip Scrub Confetti Cake Tube
2. Best Drugstore Lip Scrub For Dry Lips: e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Exfoliator
3. Best According To Amazon Reviewers: Handmade Heroes Cocolicious Luscious Lip Scrub
1. Writer’s Pick: Best Luxury Lip Scrub For Dry Lips
To my knowledge, Sara Happ's The Lip Scrub was the first lip scrub on the market, and it was certainly the first one I tried. While you can't go wrong with the OG pot, if you're not into scooping the granular product out with your fingers, The Lip Scrub Confetti Cake Tube makes exfoliating your lips slightly less messy (plus, it smells like Funfetti cake). Ultra-fine sugar crystals help to buff away dry skin without feeling too gritty, and a blend of sweet almond oil, castor seed oil, and vitamin E softens and conditions dry lips.
Relevant Review: "I have a lot of lip exfoliators, and this is by far the most fun. I grabbed this because I was intrigued by the flavor, because c'mon, who doesn't like confetti cake? All of the other lip scrubs [that] I have are in tins, and I like that this one is in a tube as it seems more sanitary. […] This really does a great job at both exfoliating my lips and leaving them soft after."
Scent: Confetti Cake Key Ingredients: Sucrose, Sweet Almond Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Vitamin E Cruelty-Free: Yes
2. The Least Messy Lip Scrub For Dry Lips
For an even less messy — and on-the-go friendly — way to exfoliate your dry lips, this e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Exfoliator lets you apply your lip scrub straight from the bullet, just like a lipstick. Sugar crystals suspended in the formula evenly coat your lips as you swipe the exfoliator across them, and as you massage the product in, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and shea butter work to restore moisture. Plus, the drugstore lip scrub costs less than $5 (and comes in several scented options).
Relevant Review: "I will start by saying [that] my lips are always dry. I carry around chapstick like my life depends on it. Since I started using this once or twice a day, my lips are so much softer, and I don't have to apply chapstick constantly."
Scent: Cherry Key Ingredients: Sucrose, Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Vitamin E Cruelty-Free: Yes
3. A Handmade Lip Scrub That’s A Best-Seller On Amazon
A traditional lip scrub that you scoop right out of the jar, this Handmade Heroes lip scrub has more than 10,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. You'll find the usual ingredients in this formula, like sugar, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E. But the plant-based scrub is also entirely free from synthetic chemicals, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. And if you're sensitive to added fragrance, you'll be happy to know that this scrub's coconut-y scent is thanks to coconut oil only.
Relevant Review: "This scrub is wonderful for exfoliating dry lips, especially during the winter months. I use it at night before I shower and apply a balm afterward. The results are amazing."
Scent: Coconut Key Ingredients: Sucrose, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Vitamin E Cruelty-Free: Yes
4. A Luxe Sugar Scrub Made With Hawaiian Botanical Ingredients
The Hawaiian Islands and all of their botanical ingredients were the inspiration behind this beauty line. Hanalei’s Sugar Lip Scrub uses two island ingredients in its formula: turbinado sugar crystals made from Hawaiian sugar cane to exfoliate, and fatty acid-rich kukui nut oil derived from Hawaiian kukui trees to restore hydration. To complete the tropical vibes, you'll also find shea butter and lemon peel oil in here, which work to further condition dry lips and provide a citrusy scent.
Relevant Review: "I absolutely love this product! My lips get dry very easily, so to get my lipstick to look good and not feather and clump, I have to use some type of lip exfoliant daily. I have used a large number of them, but each time I finish, I move on to another brand, trying to find the 'perfect' product for my lips. I have finally found it!"
Scent: Tropical Key Ingredients: Hawaiian Sugar Cane, Jojoba Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Kukui Seed Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Vitamin E Cruelty-Free: Yes
5. An Exfoliating Lip Brush That You Can Use Solo Or With A Scrub
You can use this handy tool with your lip scrub of choice or on its own to exfoliate dry lips. This best-selling exfoliating brush gives you smoother lips with its double-sided silicone head that's textured (one side has a smaller, bristle-like texture and the other has bristles that are larger and spaced further apart). Like most traditional lip scrubs, you can use this tool as frequently as you like, and you can keep it clean by just rinsing it with water and mild soap.
Relevant Review: "Bought these on a whim because I was tired of having dry lips every morning when I wake up. Oh my goodness, best impulsive buy ever! Rub some lip scrub on your lips, use this little wand to rub over your lips for a bit, wipe off the lip scrub, rub a little pure coconut oil on your lips until it's pretty much absorbed, and quickly apply Aquaphor over your lips to seal in the coconut oil. Results? Very plump, pink lips. I actually got compliments all day after this simple routine (someone even asked if I had gotten a little filler)."
About The Author:
Marissa DeSantis has worked as a beauty writer for nearly 10 years across print and digital publications like Bustle Digital Group, Evening Standard, Teen Vogue, and InStyle. She is a firm believer that using a lip scrub is essential prior to applying a matte lipstick (a tip she picked up from multiple makeup artists she’s interviewed throughout the years).