I have seen numerous blogs and health sites advising their visitors to use a toothbrush to scrub their lips and it just staggers me to think people are out there actually doing this. There are a multitude of problems which could arise from this sort of abuse to your lips which is only going to worsen the problem of having chapped or cracked lips.
- Toothbrushes are designed for teeth which are hard and resilient. Our lips on the other hand are soft and fragile, more so than regular skin, and easily become sore.
- Toothbrushes are available in various bristle stiffness and even the soft variant is too rough for lips.
- Toothbrushes will harbour bacteria from out teeth and small deposits of food, all of which can cause chelitis if applied to an open wound on the lips. This can be a major problem if you have cracked lips.
- Dentists advise that you don’t even use your toothbrush to clean your tongue, let alone your lips which are less resilient to abuse.
No Toothbrush I have even come across some blogs advising people to use an old mascara brush to scrub your lips with. That is just madness! Many health authorities advise that makeup should be regularly replaced due to build of bacteria which can cause infections, especially with regard to eye makeup, so why take this nasty old brush to your lips?
So how can we scrub or exfoliate our lips if we do not use a brush?
I highly advise that you consider using either a commercially available lip scrub specifically designed for the purpose or make your own homemade sugar scrub out of sugar, olive oil, honey (optional) and essential oils (also optional). To begin with you wash your lips with warm water and a face cloth, then take a small amount of the scrub onto a clean finger and using a circular motion work across each lip. Be careful not to apply too much pressure and work slowly. If you have any cracks, cold sores or chelitis be careful around these areas or avoid them completely until the wound has healed. One you have completed both lips, wash with warm water and apply a generous amount of your favourite lip balm (organic of course and not petroleum jelly based).
A routine as described above should ensure you remove all the old, flaky skin on your lips without damaging them with the abuse of a toothbrush. Over the period of a week or so you should see and feel your lips become smoother and more luscious.