No? Just me? Well, that's awkward ... But even if you don't share my bizarre dried lips tendencies, I'd still bet you suffer from some chapping or roughness during colder months. All that lip-licking and cold-wind-blowing and severe temperature changes as you go from the bitter elements outside to the warm embrace of indoor artificial heat ... none of it is good for your mouth.
And while you can layer on as much balm as humanly possible, it won't be able to do its job without a properly exfoliated surface to adhere to.
There are plenty of ways to exfoliate your lips: a toothbrush, whatever you're using as an exfoliator for your face, even a washcloth in a pinch. But the cure I've fallen hard for lately comes in a tiny black tub, smells like morning on a citrus farm and tastes like an amazing cup of coffee.
Oh, and it's great at smoothing and softening my lips.
And now for the part where I explain the joys of lip scrubs, specifically Demitasse Lip Scrub from JAVA Skin Care.
This little wonder contains organic cane sugar and two types of organic roasted coffee to slough off dead skin without causing irritation. Paired with organic argan oil, it leaves your lips considerably hydrated. And rounding out the five-item ingredient list is lemon rind, which means that when I use the scrub, a lot of it ends up (not accidentally) in my mouth.
Not only is this stuff hyper-effective at exfoliating and smoothing — never before has my lipstick gone on so smooth or my lip balm penetrated so well — but it's basically dessert.
Upon gifting her a free brown sugar body scrub, a former coworker once admitted to me that sometimes while using the product in the shower, she'd furtively sneak a fingertip-full into her mouth. The JAVA Lip Scrub is no different, except that it's actually supposed to go in and on your mouth. Just think of it as a sweet tooth-satisfier/exfoliator hybrid. After all, shouldn't the best products pull double duty?
If you're still on the fence about whether a separate scrub is actually necessary for your beauty routine this winter, just think about that one person you know who always has chapped lips. It's hard to focus on anything other than those trembling skin flakes just begging to be exfoliated away. Don't be that person! You're welcome.
JAVA Skin Care Demitasse Lip Scrub, $9, javaskincare.com
EWG Score: 0 — low hazard
Illustration by Chloe Bulpin, mbg creative; photo courtesy of brand