When lips become chapped or discolored, it’s important to know why in order to remedy the underlying cause. Cold weather is one cause of chapped lips or, alternatively, sun exposure in hot weather. Other contributors may include smoking, dehydration and even breathing with an open mouth — due to allergies, asthma or a cold, for example. If your lips are discolored, it can also be due to smoking or drinking coffee, tea or red wine. Exfoliation can help all of these causes by removing dry skin covering your lips. Regular exfoliation combined with a moisturizing ingredient is the one-two combo that will make dry lips moist and plump. Here are 23 homemade lip scrubs you can DIY.

What is it about lip scrubs that makes them so effective? Let’s break down the benefits of some of the most common ingredients:

Sugar. Sugar is a natural abrasive, so it scrubs away dead cells easily. For best results, good lip scrubs mix equal amounts of sugar with an emollient such as olive oil, creating a paste. Slather it on your lips for a minute, then wipe it off with a damp cloth. Repeat every few days.

Honey. Honey is an active ingredient in many natural cosmetics due to it’s hydrating qualities. Add a teaspoon of honey to a few tablespoons of sugar and apply the paste on dry lips. Leave it for a few minutes until the paste dries, then wipe it off with a damp washcloth. You can add flavor with rose water or an essential oil.

Rose Petals. Rose essence and petals have been natural remedies for centuries. Soak rose petals in your refrigerator overnight. The next morning, make a paste out of it and apply on the chapped or dry lips. This not only moistens, it also adds natural color.

Baking Soda. Like sugar, baking soda is a natural exfoliator. Add baking soda to water to form a paste. Apply it in a circular motion to gently scrub lips. After a minute or so, wipe it off with a damp cloth. Baking soda will only exfoliate, so remember to moisturize afterward with coconut or olive oil.

Lemon Juice. Lemon juice is a natural acid, so it exfoliates dead skin cells. It’s great for chapped lips. Before bed at nigh mix a tablespoon of lemon juice equal amounts of coconut oil and glycerin, which are both natural moisturizers, and apply it to your lips. The next morning rub your lips with a warm washcloth. The lemon juice will have removed the dead skin cells and the glycerin will moisturize your lips.

Toothbrush Technique. While not strictly an “ingredient,” brushing is a great way to exfoliate — but it comes with a warning. You want to use a very soft toothbrush. A soft-bristled children’s toothbrush is ideal. You don’t want to use your regular toothbrush for this, but one specifically set aside for scrubbing lips. First, apply a thick layer of moisturizer, such as coconut oil, then brush lips in circular motions to scrub off dead skin. When finished, reapply moisturizer.

Now that you know some of the essential ingredients and how they work, you can experiment by mixing ingredients to your desired taste and consistency. Regular exfoliation combined with common-sense habits — drinking enough water and limiting smoking and drinking discoloring liquids will keep your lips looking plump and beautiful. How often is “regular?” Once a week in normal weather and twice a week in colder months or when lips are especially chapped. You don’t want to over-exfoliate. The skin on the lips is delicate and over-exfoliation will lead to … chapped lips. If this happens, stop exfoliating for a few weeks and apply only moisturizing balms.

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