DIY Beauty: Olive + Sugar Lip Scrub

how to exfoliate your lips

lip exfoliating diy

lip scrub diy

diy lip scrub - to exfoliate your lips!

diy lip exfoliator

If dry winter skin wasn’t bad enough, I also find that this time of year wreaks absolute havoc on my lips. Despite my best efforts to apply lip balm like it’s going out of style, my lips still manage to get flaky. Instead of picking at them (which is what I’m prone to do absentmindedly when I’m sitting at home and watching TV or surfing the Internet…um, hi, I’m gross), over the weekend I played around with a homemade lip scrub and did some may-jah exfoliation! Like most of my homemade beauty remedies, this is one that you can easily recreate at home with just a few simple items in your pantry and — in this case — your medicine cabinet!

You’ll need: 

lip scrub ingredients

1 tsp olive oil (can be extra virgin or not)
1 tsp granulated sugar or brown sugar (granulated is gentler; brown sugar is more exfoliating)
1 tsp honey
clean (unused) toothbrush, something inexpensive with soft bristles
moisturizing lip balm of your choice

Combine the oil, sugar, and honey in a small bowl and mix together with a spoon. I used granulated sugar instead of brown sugar because I found the texture finer, and less abrasive (i.e., I tried this with brown sugar too, and it hurt my lips!). When it makes a loose paste, use a finger to gently spread it over your lips. You will not look attractive and it might be a little messy (my paste ran down all over my chin and I looked like I was drooling), so do this in the bathroom over the sink for sure! Try rubbing your lips together to help move the sugar around and encourage exfoliation.

If your lips are extremely chapped and flaky, I highly recommend you do a deep exfoliation with a toothbrush. Believe it or not, this is a trick I learned from a magazine when I was a teenager (remember YM? I’m pretty sure it was in that!). Use a toothbrush with soft bristles that aren’t too compacted. With the paste still on your lips, gently — GENTLY! — brush the bristles over your lips. This will sweep away any remaining dead skin flakes. Rinse out the brush and use it later for another exfoliation.

Use a washcloth or paper towel to wipe away the paste and any dead skin. Once your face and lips are clean, apply your favorite lip balm, and you’re good to go. Presto! Super smooth, flake-free lips that are totally lipstick ready.

Do you have a lip balm you swear by that keeps your lips soft and smooth?

Image Credits: Into the Gloss, here and here; Ilia lipstick images from Net-A-Porter; last image by Victoria McGinley for vmac+cheese

Leave a Comment


  1. 1.2.14
    Nina said:

    I definitely am going to try that tooth brush trick

  2. 1.2.14
    jillian said:

    great tips! i’ll def try this out :) xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  3. 1.2.14

    i love that this is a DIY that i actually already have all the ingredients for :)

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  4. 1.2.14

    I am addicted to the facial scrub from LUSH Cosmetics called Ocean Sea Salt. I also used to love the special lip scrub from Mary Kay back in the day. Not even sure if it’s still around now. LUSH also has special lip scrubs, but I haven’t tried them as yet… my bathroom is FILLED with little black tubs from LUSH, so I want to finish what I have before I buy anything else.

  5. 1.2.14
    Abby said:

    I’ve made a similar lip scrub before except it called for a little bit of lemon juice!

  6. 1.2.14

    oh, i gotta try this one! i personally swear by burts bees chapstick and smith’s strawberry lip balm. :)

    xo, valerie @ lily on fillmore

  7. 1.2.14
    Jade said:

    I highly recommend Lanolips or Paw Paw Lotion – both Australian lip miracles!

  8. 1.2.14
    Lindsay said:

    I love this! I too suffer from insanely dry lips in the winter despite applying copious amounts of lip balm! Perhaps over application of lip balm actually makes our lips worse? Excited to try this remedy at home! xo

  9. 1.2.14
    Sam said:

    Fantastic idea, my lips often suffer a little bit too =[

  10. 1.2.14

    I need to do this pronto! I may sub the olive oil for coconut oil. It’s been snowing for hours and the thought of anything tropical makes me smile. Great diy and perfect to counter the effects of winter weather.

  11. 1.3.14
    Tori said:

    I will definitely be trying this tonight. My lips are so chapped right now and I totally do the same thing by picking at the dead skin which makes it way worse!

  12. 1.3.14

    Thanks for sharing this DIY Victoria! More people should know about this cause it actually works! Way better than spending oodles of money on a lip scrub! Hope you had a great New Year! I look forward to viewing vmac+cheese in 2014 :)

  13. 1.3.14
    Rose said:

    I have tried SO many lip scrubs, including a few brown-sugar ones, but they never seem to work for me—it’s always temporary! Of course, maybe I just need to drink more water (like always!)

  14. 1.3.14
    Ellie said:

    I LOVED YM magazine!!

    I like the Eos lip blams, but my absolute favorite is the Vaseline Lip Therapy in rosy lips. I bought it in London when I studied abroad and kicked myself for not stocking up. Now they sell it here!!