The 9 Best Lip Scrubs of 2022, Tested By Our Experts

Our favorite is the French Girl Rose Lip Polish

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Lip Scrub Test

Byrdie / Janelle Jones

Every lipstick-wearer knows the frustration of swiping on their favorite hue and quickly realizing it’s dull or uneven due to a dry pout. Like the skin on the rest of your body, your lips can dry out and, as a result, become cracked or flaky. The solution? A special scrub formulated specifically for lips.

Byrdie Tested & Approved

Our top pick is the French Girl Rose Lip Polish, which earned perfect scores from our testers. For something more budget-friendly, we recommend the ultra-hydrating ChapStick Natural Lip Scrub.

Nearly everyone can benefit from buffing away the dead skin cells on their kisser—even if you don't have your sights set on a long-wear matte lip color. Dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, says non-irritating exfoliants are ideal. "You want to use lip scrubs that are made with ingredients like sugar or natural exfoliants like citrus, which will be more gentle on the skin," she tells Byrdie.

To help you narrow down your options, we tried almost two dozen formulas in The Lab. They were rated based on feel, exfoliation, and hydration—you want something that not only removes flakes but also replenishes lost moisture.

These are the best lip scrubs tested by Byrdie.

Best Overall: French Girl Rose Lip Polish

5
French Girl Rose Lip Polish

Macy's

What We Like
  • Eliminates dry flakes

  • Very moisturizing

  • Contains organic ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly messy

After trying today's top-rated formulas, French Girl Rose Lip Polish was a clear winner. It earned perfect scores in all our tests, and considering the jar contains a full ounce of product, it's a really good deal too. Though finger application was slightly messy, this scrub was easy to scoop out of the container.

Our tester said it felt nice on the lips, like a high-end treatment. Thanks to a heaping dose of coconut, castor, and sunflower oils, it was a little greasy, but not in a bad way. The formula calls on organic sugar to gently slough off dead skin cells, then replenishes dry lips with shea butter. Every last flake on our tester's lips was gone after buffing it in. She said this scrub would be a great pre-lipstick treatment to prevent overdrying or patchiness.

Key Ingredients: Organic sugar, shea butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, castor oil | Size: 1 ounce | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

What Our Testers Say

"My lips look and feel noticeably softer than before I used the scrub. It would be a great first step before lipstick because I would feel confident that my lips wouldn't dry out immediately."—Kiara Timo, Product Tester

Best Budget: Chapstick Total Hydration Conditioning Lip Scrub

4.7
ChapStick Total Hydration Conditioning Lip Scrub Fresh Peppermint

Amazon

What We Like
  • Gentle yet effective

  • Dissolving formula

  • Very moisturizing

What We Don't Like
  • No granular exfoliants

If you're on a budget, ChapStick is your best bet. The tried-and-true brand's Natural Lip Scrub was a hit with our tester. While it doesn't have any granular particles to physically exfoliate the lips, the ultra-fine sugar crystals definitely get the job done.

Our tester was pleasantly surprised by how well the dissolving formula gets rid of dead skin. Her lips were left feeling smooth and supple but not sticky or overly greasy. And the plant-derived moisturization lasted long after the scrub was applied.

Key Ingredients: Sugar, shea butter, coconut oil, maracuja oil | Size: 0.3 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No

What Our Testers Say

"This lip scrub was very hydrating, even long after putting it on. My lips felt like I had moisturized them without the oiliness or tackiness."—Gianna Rodriguez, Product Tester

Best Splurge: La Mer The Lip Polish

4.3
La Mer The Lip Polish

Sephora

What We Like
  • Sanitary application

  • Leaves lips smooth

  • Lasting hydration

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Inconvenient applicator

  • Slightly rough exfoliants

La Mer's take on lip scrub is undoubtedly expensive, yet with this brand, luxurious indulgence is the name of the game. Our tester said it went on smoothly with the included scoop. But while this may be more sanitary than using your fingers, washing and storing the applicator isn't very convenient.

This exfoliator left our tester with noticeably smoother lips, though she found the scrubbing crystals to be a bit coarse. Still, she loved how hydrating the formula was and appreciated that the moisture remained long after applying it.

Key Ingredients: Miracle Broth, micro-marine crystals, sugar, shea butter | Size: 0.2 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Drugstore: Burt's Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub

4
Lip Scrub, Burt's Bees Exfoliator for Dry Lips

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • High-end feel

  • Smooths and hydrates

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly clumpy

  • Almost too slippery

Our favorite drugstore option is Burt's Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub. It was easy to scoop out of the container and had a nice consistency reminiscent of a higher-end product.

Although this lip treatment became slightly clumpy after rubbing it in and felt almost too slippery to effectively exfoliate, it seemed to do its job in the end. Our tester's lips were left smooth, supple, and hydrated.

Key Ingredients: Honey, lanolin, castor oil, shea butter | Size: 0.3 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Burt's Bees Lip Scrub Test

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Best Vegan: Handmade Heroes All Natural Vegan Coconut Lip Scrub

4.7
Handmade Heroes All Natural, Vegan Conditioning Coconut Lip Scrub

Amazon

What We Like
  • Generous amount

  • Leaves lips soft

  • Lasting hydration

What We Don't Like
  • Almost too thick

  • Slightly rough exfoliants

  • Slightly messy

If you prefer vegan formulas, this one's for you. Handmade Heroes Ultra Sexy Lip Scrub has a thick consistency and a natural coconut scent. Describing it as "a bit sandpapery," our tester wasn't thrilled about the rough exfoliating sugar particles. And applying the scrub was a slightly messy process, so it's not ideal for on-the-go use.

Still, it eliminated all dead, flaky skin and left our tester with noticeably softer lips and lasting hydration. Not only that, but it comes in a generously sized jar with over an ounce of product (most contain less than half an ounce).

Key Ingredients: Sugar, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut | Size: 1.2 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Homemade Heroes Lip Scrub Test

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

What Our Testers Say

"Because of the thick consistency, I felt this product did a great job at exfoliating, and there is no dead skin left on my lips."—Katherine Moran, Product Tester

Best Texture: Fresh Lip Polish Exfoliator

4.7
fresh Sugar Lip Polish Exfoliator

Sephora

What We Like
  • Smooth consistency

  • Eliminates dry flakes

  • Leave lips soft and supple

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat sticky

  • Not very hydrating

Of all the options we tested, Fresh Sugar Polish had the best texture. While the brown sugar makes it somewhat sticky, the consistency is relatively smooth, with fewer granules than other formulas.

This exfoliator tackled dry flakes like a champ, leaving our tester with soft, supple lips. And although it replenishes some lost moisture with shea butter and jojoba oil, it wasn't the most hydrating formula we tried.

Key Ingredients: Brown sugar, shea butter, jojoba oil | Size: 0.4 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Fresh Lip Scrub Test

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

What Our Testers Say

"The texture and feel are great, but the brown sugar is sticky, which I would expect. The formulation isn't very grainy compared to other lip scrubs I have tried. It is nicely blended."—Nikki Berryman, Product Tester

Best Hydrating: Sara Happ The Lip Scrub

4.3
sara happ The Lip Scrub

Amazon

What We Like
  • Smooths and softens

  • Replenishes lost moisture

  • Four flavors

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly rough exfoliants

  • Pricey

For parched lips, we recommend Sara Happ. Available in four flavors (vanilla, brown sugar, peach, and grapefruit), this luxury lip scrub leans on a blend of plant oils to replenish lost moisture.

While the sugar granules were a bit too rough for our liking, our tester said they did a good job exfoliating. She was left with smooth, soft, exceptionally hydrated lips.

Key Ingredients: Sugar, jojoba oil, grape seed oil | Size: 0.5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Sara Happ Lip Scrub Test

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Best Value: Dr. PAWPAW Scrub & Nourish Duo Pot

4.7
Dr. PAWPAW - Scrub & Nourish Duo Pot

Amazon

What We Like
  • Two-in-one product

  • Grainy yet gentle

  • Softens and smooths

What We Don't Like
  • May sting if left on

We also liked this two-in-one product from Dr. PawPaw. The dual-ended container has a conditioning lip scrub on one side and a protective balm on the other. Our tester liked the gentle, slightly grainy texture of the scrub, noting that it exfoliates well without feeling too rough.

Since it exfoliates with both sugar granules and papaya enzymes, you'll want to wipe it off before applying the balm to avoid a stinging sensation. The balm was hydrating and soothing, leaving our tester with incredibly soft, smooth lips.

Key Ingredients: Sugar, papaya enzymes, olive oil, castor oil | Size: 0.5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Dr. PAWPAW Lip Scrub Test

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Best Overnight: Beauty Bakerie Sugar Lip Scrub

4
Beauty Bakerie Sugar Lip Scrub

Ulta

What We Like
  • Comfortable, soothing formula

  • Not rough or harsh

  • Softens and smooths

What We Don't Like
  • Not the most exfoliating

Beauty Bakerie's Lip Scrub can be used as a quick polish or left on overnight for even better results. Noting that a little goes a long way, our tester said she liked the smooth consistency. She could feel a few sugar granules, but it wasn't overly rough or harsh.

This treatment has a comfortable, slip-like feel that soothes the lips while you get your beauty rest. While it didn't end up being the most exfoliating, our tester woke up with softer, smoother lips.

Key Ingredients: Sugar, castor oil | Size: 0.2 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Beauty Bakerie Lip Scrub Test

Byrdie / Janelle Jones

Final Verdict 

Our top pick is French Girl Rose Lip Polish. Eliminating all dry flakes and replenishing lost moisture, this lip scrub earned perfect scores from our testers. For something more budget-friendly, we recommend ChapStick Natural Lip Scrub, a hydrating lip exfoliator that won't run you more than a few bucks.

How We Tested

Byrdie editors considered a wide range of brands and formulas before narrowing it down to 23 lip scrubs to try in The Lab, our product-testing facility in Manhattan. Each product was applied according to the instructions, then carefully evaluated for its texture, moisture content, and ability to slough off dead skin without irritation.

The lip scrubs then received scores from one to five for feel, exfoliation, and hydration. With price and overall results taken into consideration, those with the highest scores were selected for this roundup.

Lip Scrub Test

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

Other Options We Tested

Dior Addict Lip Scrub 

This product comes in a convenient lipstick-style tube and has a slightly grainy yet soft texture that glides on like silk. It left our tester with moisturized, buttery-soft lips and no tackiness whatsoever. But in the end, we think the steep price is hard to justify.

Dior Addict Lip Scrub

Byrdie / Janelle Jones

Kylie Skin Sugar Lip Scrub 

This scrub had a crumbly texture on account of the high sugar content. We appreciate the included spatula, and although it definitely exfoliates, the formula might be a little too harsh for those with particularly dry or sensitive lips. Considering the price, we also wish it came with a bit more product.

Kylie Cosmetics Lip Scrub Test

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

iS Clinical Lip Polish 

We loved the lightweight, whipped consistency of this scrub. It was easy to apply and did a good job removing dead skin from the lips. However, while our tester's lips were noticeably smoother, they didn't feel very hydrated.

iS Clinical Lip Scrub

Byrdie / Janelle Jones

Meet the Expert

What to Look For in a Lip Scrub

Opt for sugar or natural exfoliants

To achieve the best results, Dr. Engelman recommends picking a lip scrub that’s made with gentle ingredients. “You want to use lip scrubs that are made with ingredients like sugar or natural exfoliants like citrus, which will be more gentle on the skin.” 

Avoid harsh ingredients

Since we’re looking to buff away dead skin cells, it’s imperative to avoid harsh ingredients that can exacerbate chapped lips. “If your lip scrub is made with harsh ingredients or contains preservatives, it may irritate your lips or be overly abrasive and create small tears in the skin.”

FAQ
  • What are the benefits of lip scrubs?

    “A good-quality lip scrub improves the overall texture and health of your lips by both exfoliating and hydrating,” explains Dr. Engelman. It works to add moisture while removing dead skin cells to stimulate cell turnover, improve texture, and help reveal soft skin. ”If you’re going to apply lipstick, lip scrubs can also be a great first step to ensure that you’re working with a smooth canvas that won’t crease, crack, or flake off over time.”

  • How do you apply lip scrubs?

    Dr. Yadav advises grabbing a pea-sized amount with clean fingers. “Massage it onto your lips with medium to firm pressure for up to a minute for a thorough exfoliation,” she says. If you’re in a rush, you can also just rub your lips together, but doing it with your fingers will likely be more effective.

  • How often should you use a lip scrub?

    Dr. Engelman recommends not using a lip scrub more than two times a week. “If you overuse a lip scrub, it may result in irritation or cracks on the lips.”

What Is Byrdie Verified?

Did you notice the Byrdie Verified seal of approval at the top of this story? This seal means that our team has researched and tested every product on this list using a unique methodology that’s designed to focus on what our readers really want to know—and to deliver insights that you can’t find anywhere else. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us samples for coverage consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are fully our own. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations. In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Theresa Holland is a freelance beauty writer. For this story, she compiled notes from two board-certified dermatologists who offered insight into the best formulas for exfoliating lips. She has tried products from several brands on this list, including ChapStick, Burt's Bees, Fresh, and Sara Happ. Theresa covers skincare, makeup, and at-home beauty treatments at Byrdie.

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