Picture the scene – you’ve applied a perfect make-up look and are just finishing off with a bright, on-trend lip colour but – horror – your pout has become all lumps, bumps and flakes.
If you can relate to this scenario, it might be time to consider adding an exfoliating product to your lip-care arsenal – especially with summer on the horizon (sunshine is no friend to dehydrated lips).
There are various benefits to adding a lip scrub to your routine. Most importantly, an exfoliating product not only makes a huge difference to the speedy healing process of cracked, parched lips – it also helps to increase blood flow supply to the surface of the skin. The result is a temporary plumping effect (sans surgery or scary-looking devices).
A great way to incorporate lip exfoliants is to use them for lip-colour prep. To get optimum wear out of your favourite products, use a scrub prior to applying liner and colour. This will help to slough away dead skin cells, resulting in a smooth and soft canvas, ready for long-lasting wear.
There are different types of lip-care formulations on the market, and while most are sugar based, we’ve also come across chemical-based exfoliations and rose extract-based scrubs – all promising to soften the driest of pouts. Need help finding the right one? We’ve got you covered.
How we tested
For a product to be included in this round-up, it had to be easy to apply, with minimal mess. We also sought out scrubs that left our lips feeling supple and smooth after exfoliation, without the need to apply a second balm-based product. Our preferences were with those products that absorbed into the lips rather than ones that had to be rinsed off.
Other key factors for each scrub to make the cut were product consistency and the overall condition of our lips after application. Whilst our tester has a penchant for a fun flavour and nice scent, we didn’t let this influence our picks, focussing instead on the all-important results. We tested each balm twice daily (once in the morning before make-up application, and again at night time) over a period of three weeks.
The best lip scrubs for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Mac lip scrubtious: £17.50, maccosmetics.co.uk
- Best fuss-free application – Ciaté raspberry burst exfoliating aha lip serum: £18, ciatelondon.com
- Best non-abrasive scrub – Avant Skincare velvet perfecting rose sugar lip scrub: £58, lookfantastic.com
- Best for clean ingredients – La Bouche Rouge lip scrub: £36, laboucherougeparis.com
- Best for plumping ingredients – Project Lip scrub me up lip scrub: £8.95, thefragranceshop.co.uk
- Best all-in-one treatment – Tinker Taylor little lip scrub: £12, tinkertaylorbeauty.com
- Best value for money – Anatomicals snog me senseless mint scrub and lip balm: £7, anatomicals.co.uk
- Best two-in-one – Dr. PawPaw scrub and nourish: £8.95, hollandandbarrett.com
- Best for night time use – French Girl Organic’s rose lip polish: £15, freepeople.com
- Best for a barely-there pink tint – Dior addict lip sugar scrub: £29.50, boots.com
- Best for full-on exfoliation – Morphe 2 prep polish lip scrub sweet lips: £4, uk.morphe.com