How to Care for Your Lips

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I posted on Instagram yesterday about having a pamper session at the end of a long but fun weekend (which I'll be recapping later this week). Having a weekly bath is one of my favorite times to chill out, relax, and take care of myself, and I'm trying to get in the habit of taking care of parts of my body that don't normally get a lot of love or attention and that tend to show signs of aging early. That especially includes my skin and—most importantly—my lips.

Lips tend to show the signs of aging early on (as do your neck and hands), so lately I've been trying to take extra care of them. Here are my tips on how to care for your lips:

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1. Drink More Water

What has made the number-one difference in the health of my lips is water. I've been trying to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day, and when I don't get it all in, I notice a huge difference in my lips. When I drink enough water, my lips never get that overwhelming need for lip balm.

2. Exfoliating is Key

Whether you use a traditional lip scrub or go the budget route of using a toothbrush to exfoliate your lips, scrubbing away those flakes will make provide a smooth base for any sort of treatment to sink into your skin. It'll also provide a renewed surface for your lip color to stick to. My favorite lip scrub is the Lip Facial Lip Scrub by Tarte, and I've used this sugar-based one by Lush in the past. Once I run out of the lip scrub, though, I'll be going back to my old habit of gently exfoliating my lips nightly with a toothbrush.

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3. Invest in a Treatment

I love a drugstore chapstick as much as everyone else, but the difference in my lips when I invested in a lip mask was incredible. I'd been using a Vaseline lip treatment (this one), which I liked but didn't love. It didn't quite seem to sink into my lips like other formulas did, so I found this applebutter lip mask from Nooni one day at Ulta.

This thing is incredible. Not only is the packaging genius with its little scoop to keep your fingers from dirtying the mask, but the mask stays on my lips throughout the night and well into the morning. It's incredibly moisturizing, and in my perfect world, I'd apply this Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in the morning to lock in what's left of the lip mask.

What's your favorite way to keep your lips soft and supple?