Even though it's most common to experience chapped lips in the fall and winter, they can make an appearance in any season or climate. They're definitely physically uncomfortable (no one wants to feel that tight sensation when they talk or smile), but they also have—shall we say—visual consequences. At the very worst, they can result in peeling and flaking. At the very best, they can result in thin, dull lips that have noticeable lines running across them. That's not what I want my lips to look like; I'm all about a healthy, rosy, and plump pout.
While lip balm is my first and most critical line of defense, there's another, often-overlooked product that can help revive my dry lips. I'm talking about lip scrubs. These contain grainy particles that slough off dead skin cells and allow subsequent lip treatments to penetrate deeper and work more efficiently. They also temporarily boost circulation, lending a plumper look to the lips. (That's an underrated yet highly beneficial effect.) Ahead, see the 14 best lip scrubs to use for soft, smooth, and lipstick-ready lips.
What to Look For in a Lip Scrub
We recommend choosing a lip scrub based on your goals and concerns. For example, if you have thin lips and you'd like more of a pout, look for lip scrubs that contain plumping ingredients. If your lips are extremely dry and flaky, look for lip scrubs that also contain safe-for-skin acids and enzymes for double-duty exfoliation. Finally, if your lips are lacking serious moisture, look for a lip scrub that contains moisturizing oils.
Best Overall: Fresh Sugar Lip Polish Exfoliator
To us, this is the perfect fuss-free lip scrub. It uses brown sugar crystals and shea butter and jojoba oils to gently buff away dry skin while moisturizing the lips.
Promising review: "Great for winter when your lips get all chapped and flaky!!! It just scrubs it right off to reveal soft and smooth lips!!!!" — Sephora customer
Best Drugstore: ChapStick Total Hydration Conditioning Lip Scrub
For only $10, this lip scrub does an incredible job of sloughing away dryness and roughness. Plus, thanks to coconut oil and vitamin E, it also moisturizes dry lips. We especially like that it has a refreshing peppermint scent.
Promising review: "It's a thin consistency and not too grainy, but you don't want an overly harsh exfoliant anyway. I use this, rinse it off, and finish with a little bit of pure castor oil as a moisturizer. It has a subtle sweet minty flavor/scent, but nothing very strong. So far so good, and even though it's a small amount, I'm quite pleased." — Amazon customer
Shop More of the Best Lip Scrubs
Yes, this is a splurge, but reviewers say it's well worth it. That's probably because it uses the brand's Miracle Broth, which is made from fermented marine ingredients, to moisturize the lips, while micro-minerals resurface the lips to reveal a smoother, softer texture. It even has a dual-sided applicator that boosts circulation in the lips and honestly just feels luxe in your hand.
Promising review: "My holy grail lip product. I have used just about every brand for lips and the new La Mer sugar scrub is the BEST of all. I use it as a sleeping mask every other night and my lips are just so soft." — Sephora customer
This is a lip scrub-serum hybrid. How cool is that? While the scrubbing head sloughs away dead skin, the hydrating formula plumps lips. It's all thanks to ingredients like aloe vera, amino acids, hyaluronic acid complex, and plant-based plumping agents.
Promising review: "I LOVE THiS!!! My lips often get dry and flaky and this is the only lip scrub that helps remove the dry skin. I have tried everything and I prefer this over anything else." — Sephora customer
If you hate how messy lip scrubs can be (we get it), then this one is our recommendation. It comes in a convenient stick form for easy, on-the-go use. It's packed with apricot seed scrubbers and oil for super-smooth lips.
Promising review: "I had scaly lips, due to winter and eczema! I used this and in less than a week I saw improvement! Seriously! I'm hooked!" — Ulta customer
Another scrub stick, this one has granules that are much smaller and softer than other lip scrubs on the market. So if you have sensitive lips, this would be a good option. While there are seven scents to choose from, we're partial to the one inspired by our favorite beverage, coffee.
Promising review: "The scrub is really gentle, but gets away what it needs to. If you have more 'problem areas', you can work it in circles there. I use it maybe once a week. After each use, my lips feel so hydrated, I rarely need to use the lip mask I bought with it!" — Ulta customer
Similar to the Refy product, this isn't a lip scrub in the traditional sense. Instead of using granules, it uses a scrubbing applicator to remove dead and dry skin. As for the formula itself, it contains papaya and pineapple enzymes, so it quite literally does exfoliation double duty.
Promising review: "This is truly the superior alternative to a traditional lip scrub. I have discovered how beneficial chemical exfoliants can be for my skin over the last several years, and I have often wondered why there weren't any/many chemical exfoliant products on the market that were specifically formulated for the lips. [...] This does not disappoint. Very gentle, and incredibly effective. I will never go back to the messy, ineffectual lip scrub again." — Ulta customer
Another budget-friendly pick, this lip scrub uses honey crystals to remove dry, rough skin, while castor oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax moisturize the lips. It's not as intensive as other lip scrubs on the market, but that just means you can use it more often on sensitive lips.
Promising review: "I like that this is gentle enough to use daily but does not leave my lips feeling dry after [...] It has a light hint of a honey scent but not overpowering." — Amazon customer
With smoothing sugar crystals plus organic cocoa butter, shea butter, and mint and rose geranium essential oils, this lip scrub is sweet and floral. Consider it a sophisticated Parisian take on lip scrub.
Promising review: "The product is gentle and the results are great. I have soft, kissable lips now. Other products have been harsh." — Amazon customer
With cherry seed, sweet cherry purée, and hibiscus flower extract, this lip scrub gently removes dead skin with both physical and chemical exfoliants, while antioxidants and vitamins protect the lips.
Promising review: "Wasn't a fan of lip scrubs until I tried this! Tastes great and the crystals are made of sugar, so they dissolve if you don't wipe all of them away. Leaves my lips super smooth afterward and feels more conditioned like I've used a lip mask as well." — Dermstore customer
This lip scrub does exactly what it promises—it buffs away dry, dead skin and makes the lips feel softer and smoother. What really makes it special, though, is the energizing, yet subtle, citrus oil blend that makes it a sensorial delight to use.
Promising review: "This makes my lips so soft. I use it once a week when I do my full body care, and it just makes my lips feel better overall as well as getting rid of unwanted crusties and making them nice and smooth and shiny." — Ulta customer
Another sugar scrub, this one stands out because it's packed full of antioxidants from vitamin E. The sugar particles are incredibly fine for gentle exfoliation, and shea butter and jojoba keep lips feeling soft and supple.
Promising review: "It is very expensive but a great exfoliating lip scrub that I really love! Once you start using this you'll have it as a holy grail skin routine!" — Dermstore customer
This is marketed as a two-in-one lip scrub and treatment hybrid, meaning it's so moisturizing that you may not feel the need to follow up with lip balm. A blend of creamy plant butter, including mango and shea, moisturizes lips for an ultra-soft feel.
Promising review: "A little dab is all you need. I'm a chronic lip balm user because my lips always feel a little dry and tight. Never thought of scrubbing my lips before but I wish I had [...] This scrub does the trick by leaving my lips feeling smooth and hydrated." — Ulta customer
The physical exfoliator in this lip scrub is a combination of bio-cellulose granules and sugar crystals. Meanwhile, sunflower seed oil strengthens and supports the lip's natural barrier.
Promising review: "This is one of the best, if not the best lip scrub I have ever put on my lips. My lips were so dry and chapped that they would occasionally bleed. Even though I tried lip balms and lip masks, the dry skin lingered and the chapped, overly dry feeling remained. But after one use of this scrub, my lips were completely smooth and hydrated. After several uses, I noticed that the dead skin was gone." — Sephora customer