Want A Softer Pout? Try A Lip Peel Instead Of Harsh Scrubs

There's no doubt that having dry skin on your lips can be annoying and uncomfortable, if not downright painful when it gets to the point where it's splitting, cracking, and even bleeding. That's not to mention the fact that it can look as awful as it feels. Fortunately, you can exfoliate your lips to get rid of old layers of skin and leave a fresh, soft surface behind. One of the most popular ways to achieve that desired effect is to use a lip scrub. However, a scrub might end up doing more damage than good for a specific reason.

"Lip skin is very different from the skin on your face — it's actually more similar to the skin inside of your mouth," Dr. Dennis Gross explained in a press release (via Byrdie). "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."

Granted, there are times when the outer layer of skin simply can't be saved. In that case, you can opt to use a lip peel. An option that isn't as harsh as a scrub, it will still give you a softer pout that will look incredible and be oh-so-kissable.

Lip peels are a gentle option that won't cause damage

For a lip scrub to work the way that it's meant to, you need to do just what the name says. That means you have to apply the product and then scrub it off along with the dead skin. Since this can be somewhat rough on the delicate area, you may want to instead give a lip peel a try. Dr. Dendy Engelman, a Shafer Clinic Mohs surgeon and board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, told Coveteur, "Lip peels are a gentle method of exfoliation and don't risk injuring the delicate skin of the lips the way scrubs do."

If peels are new to you, then you should know that they often rely on a hydroxy acid to break down the chapped skin you want to remove. Engelman explained, "The acids in a peel gently remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover without the harsh and sometimes harmful rubbing associated with a lip scrub. [Lip peels] remove dead skin cells and improve lip smoothness and brightness."

Although using a peel may not be as damaging to the lips, you still need to be careful. Glo Skin Beauty's executive director of brand development and education Anna De La Cruz, who's also a licensed aesthetician, pointed out, "Make sure [you're using] a formula suitable for the lips versus something stronger designed for the face or body." Once you've used the right scrub, you can move on to the next necessary step.

Don't exfoliate too often and keep your lips hydrated

On top of knowing how a lip peel can benefit your potentially pretty pout, it's a good idea to also be aware of what causes your lips to become dry in the first place. With that in mind, you'll be able to give your lips the attention they need when it comes to peels, as well as the time between each exfoliation.

"Lips have a tendency to become dry and chapped because they do not contain sebaceous (oil) glands which can help condition as well as protect against the elements," Anna De La Cruz told Coveteur. "Mature/thinning lips will be more prone to these conditions. A gentle lip peel can be beneficial for these individuals, especially when followed with a product designed to hydrate, nourish, and seal in moisture."

Beyond that, you don't want to exfoliate your lips more than once each week — in the meantime, regularly moisturize the area with a balm and be sure to use SPF to protect the sensitive skin from the sun. Fig.1 co-founder and chief medical officer Dr. Courtney Rubin, who's also a board-certified dermatologist, offered Bustle a few other tips, saying, "Avoid picking the lips or pulling at flaky skin, and try to avoid the urge to lick dry lips, which can make them even drier when the saliva evaporates." Instead, give them the proper TLC, and your lips will be ready to form the perfect smile or smooch a sweetheart.