While planning our skin care routine we tend to forget our lips. But if you want a gorgeous face, you can’t forget those sexy lips. Hydrated lips will boost your natural beauty and help you defy age. How do you keep your lips soft, plump and hydrated? Here’s how:

Hydrate
Lips don’t have any oil glands so it’s important to keep them well moisturised. Staying hydrated is primary, so use a lip salve or lip balm to keep them plump and healthy. While choosing a lip balm, look for hydrating ingredients like Shea butter, Vitamin E, jojoba and coconut oils, rose or lavender oil, and beeswax. Mini Sood Banerjee, assistant director & head of marketing, Innisfree India suggests, “We should use products according to the weather. Summer months need products that let your skin breathe naturally. Products that block pores can cause problems.” If you prefer some DIY stuff, Banerjee further says, “Glycerine moisturises the delicate skin of the lips, keeping it supple and smooth. It removes dead cells and lightens the lip colour, when mixed with lemon juice. Glycerine also prevents the skin from peeling and cracking.”

Exfoliate
Just like the rest of your body, lips too need mild exfoliation to remove the top layer of dry, dead, chapped skin in a gentle way. But don’t exfoliate too often because this can actually over-dry your lips. “To lighten the colour of your lips, you can gently scrub them with an exfoliator. You can even make your own, by mixing a little honey and sugar to remove the dead skin. Another way to do it is mixing a teaspoon of lemon juice with two teaspoons of coriander paste, apply it overnight and you will notice a difference,” says Banerjee.

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Lipsticks
Always apply lipsticks over balm, so they don’t have a drying effect on the lips. Matte lipsticks might be in trend, but they tend to over dry lips… so use them on well-moisturised lips. If good quality cosmetics are not used, it could lead to discolouration. Using a moisturising lip tint instead of lipstick also works well.

Dr Yash, principal surgeon and founder at ACSC Mumbai, says, “Discolouration of the lips can be due to allergies, sun exposure, iron deficiency, smoking, cyanosis and hemocromatosis. You must not use expired cosmetics. Avoid sucking on them as it causes dryness; also cut down or stop smoking. Use some exfoliating scrubs but remember to use them in proportion. Aloe vera can also be used to hydrate the lips.”

SPF for lips to prevent wrinkles
The skin on the lips is very thin, so they tend to get wrinkles faster. To prevent loss of collagen, it’s important to have a specific regime for lips. “Use a lip balm with a minimum SPF of 30. You can use over-the-counter products that contain tranexamic acid, kojic acid, glycolic acid, and retinol,” says Dr Yash, adding that if you don’t see any improvement after 1-2 months of trying these methods, you should consult a doctor to rule out any other medical conditions.