Never underestimate the power of a lip scrub. Though the product may seem optional in comparison to the rest of your vanity, it's a necessary step if you're applying a statement lipstick —particularly if the color is a heavy matte formula.
"One downside to a matte lip is that it can bring out flaws, or make your lips look dry," says makeup artist, Elaine Offers, who works with stars like Julianne Moore. "The beauty of a statement color or matte lip also involves a smooth, hydrated appearance — the emphasis on this is important because it doesn't look great if your lips are dry and peely."
One solution? Using an exfoliant prior to swiping on your favorite color — and the best part is that you can make it on your own.
"Lip scrubs are great because not only do they remove dead skin cells and help exfoliate, but they also optimize the penetration of hydrating ingredients contained within the scrub itself, or applied after, by removing the outer layer of dead cells, called the stratum corneum," says Dr. Rachel Maiman, board certified dermatologist at Marmur Medical.
How Do I Make a DIY Lip Scrub?
When it comes to finding a good lip scrub, Offers says she has experimented with a few store-bought brands, but finds that her lips dry out pretty quickly. "I prefer to mix a jar of my own lip scrub using coconut oil and sugar," she tells us. "I take a small amount of coconut oil, put it in a jar, add a little sugar, then mix it in." The makeup artist recommends adding the sugar little by little, depending on how gritty you want your mixture to be. "If you find the lip scrub is too aggressive, add a little more coconut oil," she adds.
What’s the Proper Way to Use a Lip Scrub?
Prior to applying any hue for a red carpet event, Offers applies a coat of her DIY scrub to her client's pout and rubs it in. After wiping away the formula, she layers a lip balm over the top, then proceeds with either a lip liner or lipstick.
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My Lips Are Flaky and Dry. Any Tips?
If you're looking for a lip scrub that provides deep hydration and exfoliation, Dr. Maiman recommends a brown sugar, shea butter, and jojoba oil lip scrub. "I have loved Fresh Sugar Lip Polish for as long as I can remember, but you can make a similar (and cheaper) version at home," she says.
To create your own hydrating formula, mix 1/2 teaspoon of shea butter with two teaspoons of brown sugar and two to three drops of jojoba oil.
"The exfoliant in this scrub is natural brown sugar crystals which are gently used to buff away dry skin," explains Dr. Maiman. "Not only are sugar crystals an optimal choice because they possess natural humectant properties, but they are also natural granules that do not have the detrimental environmental impact like artificial microbeads. The granules are also small with minimal abrasion, so they do not cause potentially harmful microtears, as can occur with the use of crushed shells, like walnut and apricot pits."
In addition to brown sugar crystals, this polish also contains nourishing shea butter, which is rich in hydrating vitamins A, E, F and K, and jojoba oil; the perfect combination to lock in moisture post-buff.
I Don’t Have Time to Make a DIY Scrub. What Are Some Hacks?
If you don't have much time and just want a quick way to soften your pout, celebrity makeup artist Jaime Dorman recommends placing some of your favorite lip balm on a disposable spoolie and using the spoolie brush to scrub your lips, as you would do with a toothbrush. "I like LYS Beauty Speak Love Glossy Lip Treatment Oil and Kari Gran Lip Whip Perfector," she says. This quick hack only takes a couple of seconds but provides great results.
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