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15 DIY Lip Scrub Recipes & How To Use Them For A Soft, Plump Pout

Hannah Frye
Author:
June 15, 2023
Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
By Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
June 15, 2023
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One way to save money on your beauty collection: Strategically choose products to make yourself. While you shouldn't experiment with SPF or retinol from home, simpler products can be whipped up in your very own kitchen, with little to no downsides. 

One prime example: lip scrubs. Sure you can buy these at the store, but you can also make them yourself, sans filler ingredients. Plus, the whole process takes about five minutes, if that. To come, our favorite recipes to try and why you should consider making them a part of your routine. 

What goes into a DIY lip scrub?

When crafting up your lip scrub, you'll want to have a gritty exfoliating ingredient and a rich emollient to soften the skin. You may opt for add-ons such as essential oils, hydrating botanical oils, or herbs and spices to shake it up.

Here are a few examples of the ingredients you can work with: 

Exfoliants:

  • Brown sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Vanilla bean powder
  • Cinnamon 
  • Coffee
  • Ground oats

Emollients for lips:

Extras for lips:

Now that you know the general recipe, scan these DIY lip scrubs to find your next favorite combo, or use them as inspiration to make up your own. We have plenty of the below!

Cut Open Coconut with Coconut Milk and Sugar
Image by Tijana Drndarski / Unsplash
1.

Basic coconut lip scrub

"Coconut oil has antimicrobial and soothing properties," says Spectrum Skin and Laser's Corina Serban. This one is as simple as it gets, for those on a time crunch with sensitive skin. Not only is this simple, but it's great for vegans.

  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Mix & apply
2.

Cinnamon sugar lip scrub

Next, you have a basic cinnamon sugar scrub. Anyone who loves the aromatics of cinnamon sticks will adore this super-simple combo.

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Mix & apply
How To Best Store Coffee Beans For Freshness & Flavor
Image by Darren Muir / Stocksy
3.

Coffee lip scrub

Now a simple coffee scrub. "Coffee stimulates blood circulation," says Serban, so this one is great for plumping your pout. When selecting your grounds, be sure to go for finely ground coffee rather than large chunks to protect the delicate lip skin. 

  • 1½ teaspoons jojoba oil
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon fine coffee grounds
  • Mix & apply
4.

Chocolate vanilla lip scrub

If you want your lip scrub to smell like a dessert, this one is perfect. 

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • Mix & apply
5.

Lip scrub for sensitive skin

For those with sensitive skin, a simple, fragrance-free scrub is the way to go. Here, a gentle and hydrating blend. The key here is the base: "Shea butter is an emollient rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that is great to heal and protect lips," says Serban. Plus, it's free from harsh exfoliants and fragrances.

  • 1 teaspoon shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground oats
  • Mix & apply
Image by Melissa Rosenthal / mbg Creative
6.

Honey vanilla lip scrub

Another great-tasting blend for those who order honey lattes at their local cafe. However, you should avoid honey if you follow a vegan lifestyle.

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean powder
  • ½ teaspoon jojoba oil
  • Mix & apply
7.

Oats and honey lip scrub

Another oat blend, this time with a honey base for extra flavor and hydration. Again, avoid for vegans.

  • 1 tablespoon ground oats
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Mix & apply
8.

Pure coconut scrub

This one is perfect for the die-hard coconut lovers out there. 

  • 1 teaspoon coconut butter
  • ½ teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • Mix & apply
9.

Gentle olive oil scrub

"Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, fats, and vitamins that have great anti-aging benefits," says Serban. For gentle exfoliation mixed with hydrating power of olive oil, try this blend. 

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground oats
  • Mix & apply
10.

Cooling eucalyptus lip scrub

For a spa-like experience, you may even try mixing in essential oils like eucalyptus oil to your scrub. 

  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 to 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil 
  • Mix & apply
11.

Tropical fruit lip scrub

Want to feel like you're on a tropical beach? Apply this lip scrub. 

  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mashed papaya
  • Mix & apply
Batch of Fresh Strawberries
Image by Thalia Ruiz / Unsplash
12.

Strawberry honey lip scrub

If you have an extra strawberry on hand, why not use it in a fruit scrub?

  • 1 mashed strawberry 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Mix & apply
13.

Fresh mint lip scrub

Apart from fruit and essential oils, you can also toss some finely chopped herbs into the mix. Here, a refreshing mint scrub.

  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1 drop eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon shea butter
  • Mix & apply
14.

Pineapple lip scrub

One perk of including fruit in your scrubs is the natural enzyme-exfoliating properties they bring—especially pineapple. 

  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mashed pineapple
  • ½ teaspoon melted coconut oil 
  • Mix & apply
15.

Vanilla latte lip scrub

For coffee lovers who crave a touch of sweetener, this one is the blueprint. 

  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
  • 1 teaspoon coffee grounds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • Mix & apply

Should you exfoliate your lips? 5 benefits

Not everyone will need to use a lip scrub on a regular basis, but they are valuable to have on hand if your lips just won't hold moisture or run smooth. 

"If lips are particularly dry or flaky, it may help to aid in the exfoliation process through the use of a gentle lip scrub," says board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp, M.D., FAAD. Here are a few benefits of exfoliating this delicate area: 

  1. Removes excess dead skin cells: The flaky skin on your lips will eventually slough off without help, but a scrub will accelerate this process so you can have smooth lips ASAP.
  2. Temporarily plumps them: On a more cosmetic front, exfoliating the lips gives them a slightly plump look. To enhance their shape even more, apply a lip balm with hyaluronic acid in it afterward. 
  3. Moisturizers can sink deeper: If you have loads of dead, flaky skin on your lips, topical hydrators like nourishing lip balms won't be able to penetrate into the skin. Once the dead skin is clear, those ingredients can get to work. 
  4. Helps lipstick application: If you're planning on using a highly pigmented lip product like a stain or lipstick, then you may want to exfoliate the lips beforehand. This way, your product can glide on without getting caught up on dead skin. 
  5. Eases temptation to pick: Plenty of people have a tendency to pick at their lips, whether it be a nervous habit or a minor addiction. Luckily, exfoliating the lips will eliminate the flakes you'll be tempted to pull at, in part helping you quit lip picking. 

How to use a lip scrub in your lip care routine

Before you start scrubbing away, know these important usage tips: 

  • Don't overdo it: To prevent over-exfoliation, only scrub your lips until the dead skin has come off and they feel smooth to the touch. This might be just 10 seconds for some and a bit more for others. 
  • Hydrate after: You wouldn't want to use a face scrub and skip moisturizer after, and the same rule applies here. When you're finished scrubbing, rinse off your blend and apply a hydrating formula like the mbg lip balm
  • Don't use scrubs on damaged lips: "​​Do not use a lip scrub if you have an active infection, such as a cold sore," says Camp. Also stay away from exfoliation if your lips are cracked, itchy, or sunburned. Instead, stick with a healing balm. 
  • Always patch-test a DIY recipe before using: If you're unsure of your blend, try patch-testing it on your inner arm to ensure you're not allergic to the ingredients first. 
  • Toss after a month: Many of the formulas will last up to a month if stored in an air-tight container and cool place. "The use of fresh ingredients or produce will put the scrub at risk of spoiling earlier than recipes that do not include them," says Camp. So if you opt for a fruit-based scrub, toss it after a day or two (or just make enough for one use!).

How to store it:

DIY ingredients do not include preservatives, and so won't have the same shelf-life as your store-bought products. While there's many benefits to making things at home (cost! fresh ingredients! having fun!), this is a downside. Here's how to store your DIY lip scrub.

  • The DIY scrubs should go in an air-tight container, preferable in a cool or even chilled environment (like the fridge.) Do not leave out in sunlight or a damp space.
  • Most standard formulas will last one month. However, those containing fresh fruits or purees will go bad much quicker. Toss those after a day or two.
  • If all else fails, make it a single use product. Or make a big batch and share with friends!

FAQ

How do you make a 3-ingredient lip scrub?

When crafting your lip scrub, you'll want a gritty exfoliating ingredient like coconut sugar, vanilla bean powder, or ground coffee and a rich emollient like shea butter, coconut oil, or honey to soften the skin. You may opt for add-ons such as essential oils, hydrating botanical oils, or herbs and spices to shake it up.

Is DIY lip scrub safe?

DIY lip scrubs can be a safe and gentle way to exfoliate dead skin on the lips. Be sure to patch-test your recipe before applying it to your lips, and never use a scrub on broken, cracked, bleeding, infected, itchy, or sunburned lips. 

Is salt or sugar better for lip scrub?

Fine sugar is better than salt for lip scrubs. Sugar is slightly more gentle than salt (which typically comes in large crystals), so it sloughs off dead skin without causing any irritation or overexfoliating the delicate lip skin.

The takeaway 

If you have a free five minutes, that's enough time to whip up your very own lip scrub. Pair a gentle gritty ingredient with a rich emollient and top off with mashed fruit, essential oils, or herbs should you feel inclined. Now if your lips just won't stay hydrated post-scrub, it may be due to one of these common causes

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