Welcome to "Product Of The Week." Just like the name suggests, we'll spotlight one product every week that not only does what it promises to do, but that also upholds the green, natural approach to beauty and skin care we value so much. Trust us when we say you can trust our beauty editor, Allie White — in her time here, she's sampled upward of 400 different products. These are her favorites.
You know that thing where your lips get really dry and chapped, and instead of just letting them heal, you can't stop yourself from compulsively trying to pick the dead skin off with your fingers and teeth, which then results in a weird scab on your lip that's a different color than the skin around it, that gets stained maroon if you drink red wine and kind of stings when you run your tongue over it?
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