exfoliatng lips

(GIF: Giphy)

I absolutely love winter. I love the snow, I love the colder weather, I love that I can wear sweaters and boots all day long—everything about it is simply the best. Well, almost everything. There are two main beauty problems every woman faces when the temperatures start to drop: frizzy, static-y hair, and dry, flaking lips. Since we already solved the frizzy hair problem (you’re welcome), I thought I’d tackle the latter, which is fitting considering it’s the one that plagues me the most. I always love it when the articles I write here actively help me with my own personal problems, don’t you?

(Related: In Case You Were Wondering, the New bareMinerals Skincare Line Is the Real Deal)

Smooth, exfoliated lips don’t just feel better (no one likes the feeling of when the cold hits dry, chapped lips), they make lipstick application smoother and easier, and you reduce the risk of having cracked lips year-round. Whether you’re going for a store-bought tool or a DIY treatment, these are the best ways to exfoliate your dry lips this season:

1. Buy a special exfoliating tool or product

lip exfoliants collage

Exfoliating tools can range from special exfoliating bullets to lip scrubs, and each is just as effective as the last. It really just depends on what kinds of flavors, brands, or price ranges you gravitate towards. My two favorites are the e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator ($3), which, incidentally, tastes and smells like brown sugar, and Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub ($18). They do all the exfoliating work for you. Oh, and you can’t forget to moisturize once you’re done exfoliating—my go-to lips balms are Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith’s Rosebud Salve ($6) and Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy ($26). You know, just in case you were wondering.

2. Grab a toothbrush

monster's inc brushing teeth

(GIF: Giphy)

This is the oldest trick in the book, but it works. Instead of brushing your lips dry, which is a (very painful) mistake that a lot of people make, apply a thin layer of lip balm or Vaseline first. Then, brush in light circles to slough all the dead skin away. It might not be a bad idea to pick up a separate, softer toothbrush for exfoliating, especially if you don’t want to brush your teeth with leftover Vaseline later that same night.

3. Mix up a DIY treatment


(GIF: Tumblr)

If you don’t want to spend money on a new product, or if you’re just feeling crafty and don’t have a ton to do on a Sunday afternoon, these DIY treatments are fun and easy. You can either mix equal parts sugar and honey and apply as you would any normal lip scrub, mix baking soda and water into a paste that you rub on, rinse off, and follow up with lip balm, or mix brown sugar (which is naturally a bit gritter than white sugar) with either olive oil or Vitamin E oil. Dealer’s choice.