Homemade lip scrub

Because chapped lips suck.

Spring is just starting here in Slovenia and even though my lips are on the verge of chapped all winter, the transition period usually makes it even worse. So, what do we do with dead dry skin? Use a peeling and scrub it off. It only makes sense to do the same with your lips, but I’ve noticed that lip scrubs a.k.a lip peelings somehow managed to stay off the radar of many regular, non-super-beauty savvy people I know. Luckily, lip scrubs are one of the easiest, fastest and cheapest cosmetic products to make at home (read my take on DIY cosmetics here).

All you need to make a lip scrub are some abrasive particles and a greasy liquid to carry them – wow, what an engineering approach to cosmetics, but this is what you get. You can easily make a great lip scrub with everyday household and this is a general recipe for about 10 ml:

DIY lip scrub

  • 1 teaspoon of something grainy and abrasive: sugar, ground coffee, salt etc.
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of something greasy: oil (olive, argon, coconut, almond etc.), honey, butter (mango, shea etc.)

The final product should have the consistency of a thick, grainy paste. Apply it on your lips with your fingers, rub in a circular motion, wash off and follow up with a lip balm. Alternatively you can also use an old toothbrush to scrub your lips, but I really don’t like that feeling.

Make sure that whatever particles you use for your lip scrub are gentle, because the skin on your lips is very sensitive. That’s also why you shouldn’t overscrub – it is recommended to use a lip scrub only about once per week or when your lips are really chapped.

You can mix and match your ingredients and you don’t need to have any fancy cosmetic stuff on hand, because even a basic honey and sugar scrub will do a great job. It all comes down to personal preferences: you’ll see people adding active ingredients like vitamin E, pigments for colouring, essential oils for smell and even cinnamon or cayenne pepper for increased blood circulation. Be aware though that essential oils can be really irritating for sensitive skin and that spices will sting, so I don’t recommend using either on your lips. Personally, I don’t even see the point of adding colour or smell to something you will literally use for 2 minutes. I also don’t like to use salt, because it has a drying effect, which is the opposite of what you want.

Here are 3 different options I like, but I encourage you to experiment with your own combinations:

Coffee lip scrub

  • 1 teaspoon ground coffee
  • 1-2 teaspoons argon oil
  • Optional: 2 drops liquid vitamin E

Why these ingredients? Ground coffee makes a great gentle scrub and contains caffeine, which helps reduce inflammation and puffiness, while argon oil is one of the most nourishing, hydrating oils out there. Vitamin E is strong antioxidant that I usually have at home as an ingredient for herbal salves and sometimes add to lip scrubs as well.

Honey lip scrub

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoon honey
  • Optional: 0.5 teaspoon shea butter

Why these ingredients? Honey has anti-bacterial properties, is a great moisturiser and tastes nice, so it’s perfect for lip scrubs. I also like to add shea butter when my lips are extra chapped, because it’s another strong moisturiser and I can leave the whole thing on for a few extra minutes as a mask.

Green tea lip scrub

  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • Optional: green tea powder from 1/2 teabag

Why these ingredients? Olive oil is the go to cosmetic ingredient for pretty much everything in my part of Europe and is of course a good moisturiser, while green tea is packed full of antioxidants. To be honest, the only reason I like to add it to my lip scrubs is because we still have lots of regular teabags at home, but I’m a snob and prefer to drink loose leaf tea, so I need to find some use for them. You could of course also use dried used loose tea leaves, but you’d need to grind them into a powder first.

Simple, effective, cheap and best of all, zero waste and straight from your kitchen. Any of these mixtures will keep for up to a month in a sealed container, but I generally prefer to make my lip scrubs fresh often. What do you think? Do you make any cosmetics at home?

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