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Hi,

Dumb question perhaps, but here goes. Recently, when I put lipstick on, I find that "bits and pieces of flesh hanging off" are pretty visible. If it were my face, like with foundation, I'd be exfoliating. But lips? I have never exfoliated my lips in my life! My question is twofold:

  • Should I exfoliate my lips?
  • If you do this, how do you do it?

Now it will turn out everyone does this and I've not known about a basic element of skin care all my life of course :). Seriously though, what's the deal with this, and also perhaps, what's causing my suddenly rough lips?

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Yes, exfoliating your lips is totally a thing, but if you haven't needed to do it until now, more power to you! The easiest way to do it is with a very soft toothbrush that you get just for that purpose. Then add vaseline or some sugar with oil and start brushing your lips. It works. Those pesky "bits of skin" will be a thing of the past.

Don't press too hard. Be gentle! And don't take longer than you would take brushing half of your teeth. If you repeat this process once or twice a week every week, smooth lips will be yours.
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I had cracked lips and peeled the skin off with my teeth because it's just what you do, I guess. Of course it just started bleeding and made the whole problem worse. I can't imagine actually exfoliating my lips. I mean, that is a very sensitive area and it sounds like a rather painful thing to do not to mention it might cause injury. Although I have never tried it I can't imagine it could possibly be a good thing to do. If you do have cracked lips, why not put some vaseline on them? That works best for me. I tried coconut oil and cocoa butter and you name it, but vaseline still works best.
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Yes you can exfoliate your lips. You can mix sugar and olive oil in pan and gently rub it on your lips or rub your lips with a tongue cleaner that is present behind your brush.

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Yes, this is what I do as well, though I might use argan oil instead. My lips routinely get rather dry in the colder months, and I do like to keep them looking fresh and healthy. These dry bits have absolutely nothing to do with dehydration as many people seem to think, not in my case anyway, as I drink plenty of water. I think it's just exposure to the elements that does this, and lightly exfoliating my lips every so often seems to get rid of that problem.

Rosie
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Honey and sugar is what I use to exfoliate my lips.

I will say though that I don't do it regularly, only if I notice that I need to because my lips are looking worse for wear, of course always at this exact time of year and often after bouts of flu or colds or things like that. When I do see lips looking like that, I take it as a sign that my immune system could do with a boost and make sure to eat extra healthy soups, loose fruit teas with lots of vitamin C, that kind of thing. I do increase my water intake as well.
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Thanks for the replies, people! I have obviously been living in the Middle Ages, because I really did not know a thing about exfoliating your lips. I have since looked it up and yes, it seems that this is quite a routine for many people to do. Now that my lips are drier than ever before for some reason (should I be concerned?) I will definitely start exfoliating my lips. Because it is such a sensitive area, though, it is a little bit scary. I guess I will be careful not to be too rough, and I should be fine?

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This is truly one of those "no big deal" questions. Yes, you can exfoliate your lips. Should you? Only if you see the need, because your lips look like they might do better with it for whatever reason. That said, when I've got a cold or something like that and my lips don't look optimal, of course I am not going to choose a matte lipstick but rather a clear or light gloss that hides the imperfections. After a while, lips exfoliate themselves, don't they? Loose bits come off and you are good to go.
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Yeah, it really is a good idea to exfoliate your lips regularly, especially if you are a fan of matte finish lipsticks, which have an advantage because they do keep their color so much longer. Their disadvantage is that every flaw shows up really well, not what you want if you have flaws. It can quickly look messy or unprofessional. So in addition to drinking lots of water, which of course does help hydrate every part of your body including your lips, that gentle exfoliation is a great addition to your general beauty routine if you do not already do this.

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Here's some lip scrubs you may enjoy:
- Sarah Happ "The Lip Scrub"
- Lush "The Kiss"
- Fresh "Sugar Lip Polish"
- Bliss "Fabulips sugar lip scrub"
- Clinique "Sweet Pots", which also features a balm

Sure, you can make your own lip scrub quite easily, but if you don't feel like experimenting with that or making a mess in your kitchen, there are plenty off the shelf options around for you as well. This really improves the look of your makeup, so it is worth it.
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