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Dry winter lips can be painful, especially if they’re dehydrated enough to break open. This, in turn, invites bacteria and viruses into the open wounds. One popular way to beat chapped winter lips before this happens is to use a sugar lip treatment. These gentle exfoliating treatments rub away dead, dry skin and reveal the healthy skin underneath. Most sugar lip treatment recipes also contain a moisturizer to help protect the mouth from further damage. When choosing a lip scrub, individuals should consider how damaged their lips are, as well as the oils and scents in the scrub itself.
Examining the lips is one of the first steps to choosing a sugar lip treatment. Lips that are just slightly chapped may just need a mild scrub, while severely dry and flaky lips may require a moisture-fortified formula. Those with cracked lips that are open and bleeding should not use a scrub at all, instead, they should gently clean their lips and apply a medicated lip balm until the skin has healed and shows no signs of scabbing. After the lips are healed, they may be treated with a sugar lip treatment to help reduce any scarring and prevent further damage.
Consumers should always read the ingredients on a sugar lip treatment, especially if they have sensitive skin. Scrubs containing ingredients with the suffix '-cetyl' usually contain fatty alcohols that may draw moisture out of the lips instead of infusing them with it. A few favorable ingredients include oils like olive, safflower, grapeseed, and jojoba. The mix should also contain sugar, not apricot pits or some kind of granulated sugar substitute. Real sugar dissolves slightly on the lips, making it gentler than hard fruit pits or sweetened granules.
Other ingredients to look for in a sugar lip treatment include the essential oils. Lavender and rose are usually very hydrating, while chamomile and green tea sooth inflammation and smooth the skin. Sugar lip treatment formulas containing honey, lemon zest, and mint usually help tone the lips and help them look young and fresh. Consumers typically also have the choice among white, raw, and brown sugar scrubs. Any of these is acceptable as a lip scrub, so this choice depends mainly on the flavor.
Some argue that the best sugar lip treatment is one made at home. This is usually cheaper than purchasing a scrub and allows the maker to make just enough for a single use, eliminating the need to store extra scrub. The maker may also make a different batch each time, mixing and matching ingredients to discover the perfect scrub ingredients. All the maker needs to do is mix one spoonful each of sugar and oil, along with up to five drops of any essential oils they want to use. Rubbing the scrub lightly over the lips for about 30 seconds should leave the mouth feeling smooth.