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This $4 exfoliator took my lips from dry and flaky to super soft

This beauty must-have will give you something to smile about.
Amazon / Courtesy Julie Ricevuto

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As someone who lives in a city where winters can be particularly cold and dry, I constantly suffer from chapped lips. Even now as we enter spring, they constantly feel dehydrated, so I always have to carry a few tubes of lip balm on me. But even with diligent applications, my lips still tend to crack and flake.

To make matters worse, I adore wearing liquid lipstick, but most of them seem to suck out whatever remaining moisture I have left on my lips. The result: A pigmented but crusty and unflattering pout.

Naturally, this brutal beauty issue has me on the hunt for a product that will make my mouth feel soft and supple at all times. Thankfully, I recently found one that gets the job done: The E.l.f. Lip Exfoliator.

E.l.f. Lip Exfoliator

It's a steal for on-the-go lip care

The sugar scrub is designed to gently slough off dead skin and condition your lips, according to the brand. The formula includes enriching ingredients like jojoba oil, shea butter and avocado oil, that are said to help revitalize the skin and lock in moisture after each use.

The first time I used the product, I started with a single coat. The scrub has a thick, waxy consistency and the exfoliating granules have a super-fine texture, so they don't feel harsh on the skin. After a few hours, my lips were left feeling naturally soft and more nourished. Clearly, a little product goes a long way!

To get a better idea of this product's exfoliating power, I waited to use it again until my lips were feeling extra chapped, complete with scaly patches of dry skin. For this second try, I decided to apply much more product to my lips. I followed the brand's instructions to rub the formula in circular motions and then gently wipe off any excess sugar granules. To my delight, this immediately got rid of those unsightly patches and even made the dry lines on my lips appear less prominent.

Shop TODAY contributor Julie Ricevuto's lips before and after using the E.l.f. Lip Exfoliator treatment.
Courtesy Julie Ricevuto

The exfoliator comes in four different scents: brown sugar, cherry, mint, and coconut. I opted for the Sweet Cherry option, and it ended up being the perfect scent for me. While some cherry-flavored products can have a medicinal smell, this one was light enough to be enjoyable without overpowering my senses.

It isn't messy or hard to apply

If you're prone to chapped lips, you've likely tried traditional lip scrubs that are housed in mini pots. While these can work well to eliminate flakes, I find them to be messy and a bit unhygienic since I have to dip my fingers into the product before applying it to my mouth. I much prefer the E.l.f. exfoliator's twist-up tube, which offers a mess-free application. Plus, I don't have to worry as much about transferring bacteria from my hands to my lips.

The granules are also smaller and don't flake off in tiny chunks like other scrubs I've used in the past, so I'm experiencing less product fall-out on my lap, or worse, in my mouth. Sure, larger crystals might help to get rid of dry flakes more easily, but I like how the E.l.f. formula errs on the smaller, gentler side. I just make sure to apply a little more product when my lips are looking the worse for wear.

Shop TODAY contributor Julie Ricevuto using the E.l.f. Lip Exfoliator treatment.
Courtesy Julie Ricevuto

I'm also happy to report that the exfoliator helped solve my liquid lipstick woes. Since my lips are clear of dry patches, the pigment has nothing to crack on after it dries down. Plus, there's no more flakes for the formula to accentuate.

When I'm not wearing lipstick, I do as the brand recommends and follow up the exfoliator treatment with a lip balm. I find that this helps to lock in moisture and gives my lips a long-lasting shine. Overall, my lips have a healthier-than-ever appearance and feel smooth to the touch.

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