The Best Lip Scrubs

Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub
The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ in Sparkling Peach
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish
Philosophy Kiss Me
Lush Bubble Gum Lip Scrub
Toucan Toothbrushes from GoodMouth

Welcome to the winter gauntlet known as Us Vs. Radiator. It’s dry out there, folks. Which means when we’re not rinse-and-repeating delicious lip balms, we’re licking our lips because they’re chapped (and not in the good way). Rather than slow-molting dead, flaking skin, we turn to exfoliants to make way for a new, lipstick-ready canvas. So, in the spirit of making your lips as (if not much more) memorable than a well-moisturized handshake, we’ve combed the best lip scrubs on the market, from the creamiest to the grittiest:

Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub: Fabulips has the highest butter-to-exfoliant ratio of all the scrubs, making it the most moisturizing and least abrasive polish we tried. Its mix of sugar, almond, and walnut shell shavings gently buffs, but it's not made for a heavy-duty lip rebirth (or for people with nut allergies). And the light strawberry-cherry fragrance is a dead ringer for the scented Cherry Merry Muffin dolls we used to huff as children (No? No one else?).

The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ in Sparkling Peach: Upping the exfoliant quotient, Sara Happ's version lets large granules of sugar do the scrubbing over a blend of peach-scented petroleum and jojoba and grape seed oils. It smells like peach pie, tastes delicious, and, upon further inspection, reads, “contact Poison Control Center right away if swallowed.” So... you know, try not to eat it. It'll feel oily at first, but will dry completely—Sparkling Peach is best served chased with a bit of lip balm.

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish: Recommended by Phoebe Tonkin, as well as ITG's Elizabeth and Emily (who uses this "brilliant" sugar scrub with Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream for optimal mistletoe-preparedness), Sugar Lip Polish is a stalwart because it strikes a balance between being really hydrating and really smoothing. It's made with brown sugar, to leave your mouth smelling like you're currently noshing on a warm oatmeal scotchie. Though you will be extremely tempted to, again, do not ingest; it doesn't taste as good as it smells, even if it's sulfate- phthalate- paraben- and GMO-free.

Philosophy Kiss Me: For something a little more sophisticated, Kiss Me is the only mouth exfoliant that calls itself a lip scrub and facial. Perhaps it's because in addition to its own signature blend of oils and butters, the sugar scrub is beeswax-based to really seal in moisture, but without ever feeling buttery. The sugar granules are smaller, making them just as effective, but less harsh than the larger-grained scrubs. And it's scented with peppermint to both cool and freshen your lips.

Lush Bubble Gum Lip Scrub: The most potent bubble gum scent you'll find in a beauty product this side of Justice (née Limited Too). Seriously, before you use this, be sure you really like bubble gum. And if you do, then Jackpot! because this is Bubble Gum-Flavored Sugar and you can totally lick it off your lips. The driest of all the formulas, the BGFS granules are loosely held together by the teensiest serving of cold-pressed organic Jojoba Oil. Your lips will be completely smooth, but not at all oily.

The Bonus DIY: Don't throw out that haggard old toothbrush—this is an ideal lip loofah. Especially if it's as brightly colored as the Toucan from GoodMouth—a toothbrush and floss delivery subscription service (because you're a busy woman and why not take one more thing off of your to-do list?). Aside from its obvious aesthetic appeal, we dig the Toucan for its soft bristles and modest head size—both qualities that provide a painless, detailed cleaning both inside and outside your mouth. Rub it against your lips with some Aquaphor like Harry Brant, or simply buff your lips gently with the dry brush.

Whether you're a little dry, or are currently contemplating smushing a piece of 20-grit sandpaper against the bottom half of your face (testimonials?), each of these scrubs will leave your lips hydrated, ridiculously smooth and ready to flaunt the fact that you actually scored a tube of Riri Woo.

Photos by Mathea Millman.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Talia

    20 grit would be very irritating better to start with a finer grit like 220. :)

  • Vesta Fosu

    I swear by the Lush Bubblegum, I try focus and not eat the scrub, lol. Also if I've been in the shower for long, a dry towel does the trick like a toothbrush would

    • ITGLacey

      I think I may be physically addicted to the Lush Bubble Gum scrub—Mackenzie was actually laughing the other day because I have such a hard time not eating it.

      • Jasmine Wang

        The Lush Bubblegum is ridiculously easy to DIY.

  • Cecily

    I highly recommend the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish. I love it! I do wonder if it is a waste to buy lip scrub. It seems like it would be super easy to make.

  • Traci J

    Im using the bliss and the sugar lip polish. I definitely agree that the one by bliss is not for the harshest of winter months - but I do like it on a regular basis!

  • Emma and Emily

    I honestly don't feel the need for lip scrubs, because my nuxe reve de miel keeps my lips hydrated for the whole day! I really recommend it!

  • lucinda veen

    I find it hard to believe that any of these lip scrubs perform more effectively than a paste of olive oil and sugar. (At least, I choose to believe they don't, for the sake of my wallet.)

    • heatheradair

      Yeah, I've always made my own with brown sugar and coconut oil -- makes a nice "paste" consistency, I keep it in a little travel "pill" container to drop in the purse, and: it's both ACTUALLY edible AND emollient. Wins the day, and cheap as hell.

  • Heather P.

    I'm finally getting to the point where a lip scrub might be a good idea. However, I'm snowed in - might have to wait until Monday!

  • Androbel

    I use the one from Mary Kay. First the lip mask and then the lip balm. works amazing.



  • tanya

    Here's a tip: before you step into the morning or night shower, apply a thin layer of Aquaphor. Let it sink while you shower and let humidity do it's thing. Then, after showering, use the old toothbrush or washcloth to slough off dead skin. Voila! The humidity softens up the dead skin.

    • keke

      totally trying that! thanks for the tip =)

      • Ashley

        Such a good tip, Aquaphor is my savior.

  • Beauty In A Snap

    I have been using Fresh Sugar Lip Polish for about 3 years now and I absolutely love it! It's a must during cold weather. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Julia

    I have been dying to try that Lush lip scrub! I've heard quite good things about the popcorn flavor as well, however that doesn't seem to appetizing. :D

  • TheGhostOfBonneBell

    Gosh, I'm old enough to remember when the only lip scrub out there was the Body Shop's peppermint lip scrub stick. That thing was brillo pad strength. You guys need to also try Jane Iredale's butter and sugar duo stick, one end a natural sugar scrub, the other a plumping (not really, but very good quality) glossy balm. You just want to apply the scrub over a sink, because it is crumbly.

  • Gina

    It's super cheap, but the lip exfoliator from E.L.F. works pretty great!

  • Georgina Fox

    You NEED the lush scrub in popcorn! It's gorgeous.

    Georgina at

  • Love Lana

    I love Mint Julips from Lush! My friend told me about it a few months ago and I am addicted. It is so yummy! Love licking the excess off my lips once they are well and truely scrubbed :)

    Love Lana xx

  • Abby Evans

    I love the Lush lip scrub and really want to try the Fresh Lip Polish.

  • Catherine Dream

    I've never tried a lip scrub! Gotta do it : )

  • Christina Noire

    This is so helpful! I have pouty lips so they get chapped constantly, especially in this cold weather!. I think I wanna try the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish....

  • Jennifer Monforton

    Great roundup! Lush Lip Scrubs are my fave- their Popcorn version is to die for! Salty and sweet :)

  • mara

    i LOVE the lush scrubs!!! the mint one is my favorite!

  • Kirstin Roides

    Fresh Sugar scrub is the messiest ever. The best lip exfoliate is Ole Henriksen Red Tea, but sadly, it's discontinued. You can find it occasionally but it's old inventory and has lost its granules.


Lush Bubble Gum Lip Scrub
GoodMouth Toucan Toothbrush
bliss 'fabulips' Sugar Lip Scrub
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish
philosophy 'kiss me' exfoliating lip cream
Sara Happ
Sara Happ Sparkling Peach Lip Scrub
Aquaphor Lip Repair