Brace Yourselves: Dermatologists Don't Want You to Use Lip Scrubs

My lips are always categorically dry and chapped in the wintertime (or—who am I kidding?—all other seasons too) so over the years I've invested in lip scrubs to first slough away the flaky skin, then, I'll follow up with a deeply hydrating lip balm. At first, the idea of lip scrub seemed inconvenient. They're a bit messy, and if they come packaged in a pot, you'll need to dip your finger inside, which is hardly hygienic. But then, E.l.f. and Beauty by PopSugar came out with lip scrubs in stick form for less mess and germs, and I'd figured I'd gotten my lip repair down to a perfect science. But recently, a press release from Dr. Dennis Gross discredited my entire routine.

"Lip skin is very different from the skin on your face—it's actually more similar to the skin inside of your mouth," the release reads. "The skin on your lips has a special top layer that doesn't accumulate dead skin cells and is very thin (approximately one third of the thickness of skin on your face). In order to heal dry, chapped lips, you need to repair that barrier, not scrub it off. When you use a scrub, you're removing the protective outer layer of the lips, leaving them even more compromised."