The DIY Lip Scrub

Baking Soda

The perfect lipstick application (let alone the testing of multiple lipsticks—and here at the Gloffice, we try on a lot of lip colors) requires a smooth, even, flake-free lip.

Repeated lipstick application and removal means a lot of stained cotton pads and eventually, the kind of mouth-surrounding slight redness (from rubbing with the aforementioned pads) that you get when you've been making out with someone. Not in that cute lip stain way, but in a "this person has been trying to eat my face and might have stubble" way. It also means a lot of lip dryness.

We've talked about Fresh's Sugar Lip Polish before, and a few of you have told us about making your own sugar/honey concoctions for curing chapped lips. We've been feeling more DIY-friendly as of late (it's Fall! Maybe we're nesting?), so when Nick said there was a recipe in the Ben Affleck-covered October issue of his oft-referenced Details magazine for a lip scrub, our ears perked up. Under “Health & Fitness,” the mag quotes Dr. Francesca Fusco (Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine):

“Dip your toothbrush into a small bowl filled with baking soda and sugar. Gently brush your lips with the mixture to exfoliate dead skin." then dab on Aquaphor Lip Repair to keep them hydrated and smooth.”

Note: First of all, we would not use our regular toothbrush for this, nor would we advise  you to do so (although some hardy types out there probably use that Arm & Hammer baking soda toothpaste, so do as you like). Second: Vaseline or any ol' lip balm will probably do as far as hydrating/smoothing, but Aquaphor is a good bet. But, what do you think? When it comes to lip scrubs, do you DIY or buy?

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  • The Neemly

    DIY! Readymade lip scrubs are tempting but I can't justify spending $10 for something I could dupe for $0.10 at home. I like the toothbrush method but also do a good rub with some Kiehl's lip balm on a Q-tip every now and then - moisturizes + takes off dead skin at the same time!

  • Maria

    I tried DIY-ing a lip scrub and wound up with a sink full of ants (left-over sugar :P). But I do use the toothbrush method, and then load up on lip balm. Super effective

    • amber

      all you have to do in order to avoid that is to clean up after yourself.

      • Caitlin

        Saucer with cream at table 2

  • Sabena

    I make my own, brown sugar and honey mixed together. I follow with a generous application of EOS vanilla bean lip balm and my lips are super soft.

  • Bonnie Clyde

    I will try this asap!!

  • Francesca

    I use brown sugar & honey mixed together (also sugar & olive oil works)!

  • PrettyInsideOutside

    DIY here too! Why would you buy an expensive exfoliator when you can use baking soda? Safe, effective, cheap. I do it with my finger, not with the toothbrush, so I can be more gentle. I mix baking soda with coconut oil, make a little paste, and scrub my lips. Than I just use a lip balm (I like the Badger Balm lip balms), or a bit more of coconut oil.

  • Caroline Evertz

    I do this with just sugar and Vaseline but will definitely try adding baking soda. What I want to know is how often this is recommended? Weekly? Monthly? Is it possible to do it too frequently that you're rubbing your lips dry?

  • Guest

    I use the corner of a damp wash cloth, if it can gently exfoliate the face it can do the same for lips

  • Srta Sam
  • gigi

    I was just thinking of purchasing some sort of product like this since my lips get so dry during winter time. this is such a great homemade method! cannot wait to try! GIGI. food and beauty blogger @

  • andrea

    I LOVE the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish. When I use it I taste the sweetness of the sugar and it's like a treat! Use it every morning and night. I also have used Bliss Fabulips which also gets the job done but the Fresh wins.

  • Vivian

    I like to do it the easiest way possible - towards the end of my shower, after I have washed my face, I swipe the back of my hand across my lips applying a little pressure. The dead skin rolls right off!

  • Farhan

    Blistex DCT at night, after brushing your teeth. the moisture helps it soak in, and then in the morning i jump in the shower, and the heat and steam literally makes all the dead dry skin flake right off. i don't think i could live without it!

  • Nomadic D.

    Ugh, just the thought of baking soda in my mouth makes my insides shrivel up, I don't know how people brush their teeth with the stuff! Aquaphor, on the other hand, may just be the best lip balm ever.

  • kimberlyloc

    DIY — super easy. But I don't use baking soda on my lips. Just brown sugar, jojoba oil and a toothbrush (different from my regular one, as you mentioned!).

  • Danielle

    I love all combinations that include sugar, oil, honey, etc. Or just nudge over a bit of my facial scrub while working on my face. Absolutely love following with Boiron Homeoplasmine for super softness.

    • Heather

      That's what I do...just include my lips while I'm using my face scrub. Or I use the Body Shop lip exfoliator that's packaged like lipstick.

  • Jill

    I wouldn't even spend the time to make a homemade scrub. A few swipes with a washcloth in the shower is typically all I need to keep my lips smooth. Cost: $0.


    Definitely DIY! Almond oil and and wash cloth for my lips. I make home made sugar and salt scrubs with oils, vitamins, essential oil for body, hands, and feet :)

  • Carina

    I say DIY - Fresh's lipscrub is nice and all, but $20 bucks for a tiny jar? Nu uh. I actually did honey and brown sugar the other day on my lips and it was fantastic. Brown sugar in particular is great because is adheres together more than white.

  • Behind the Mirror

    Love! Not sure if you read all the comments, however I just started a beauty blog ( I would love to know the ITG teams thoughts!!!

  • Soraya

    Lush has the most amazing lip scrubs, they're made of sugar and come in different favors, you just lick them off your lips when you are done!