It's important to take care of your lips because it's one of the more sensitive parts of our body. The sun and whatever sits on or passes through your lips affect their appearance, so you must be careful if you want to keep your puckers even-colored and smooth throughout your life!
Here are a few do's and don'ts on how to keep your lips in tip top shape.
Exfoliate your lips gently and regularly. There's no need to use harsh scrubs; indeed, a home-made scrub is the best thing you can use! Just combine honey, lemon, and sugar then gently massage the mixture on your lips. The sugar removes the dead skin, the honey moisturizes and smoothens, and the lemon helps lighten the skin.
If you don't have time to play DIY goddess, you can exfoliate your lips easily after a shower. Your lips are usually softened after a bath so it's easy to wipe the dead skin with just the damp tip of any towel. You can also brush your lips gently using a soft-bristle toothbrush. ;)
Wear a lip balm with at least SPF15 during the day. A lipstick with SPF works too! Like any part of your skin, you lips darken when you expose them to the sun. So, make sure you're wearing a layer of protection and to retouch every three or four hours.
Wear a moisturizing lip balm before you sleep at night. The common lip balm is petroleum-based - they're ok for maintenance - but if you're after conditioning too you should pick balms with essential oils. I've listed some of my favorite lip balms here. You must try Lucas Papaw, it's the best! It heals chapped lips and keeps them plump n' moist.
Remove lipstick or lip stain completely when you're done with them. Some stains, when left unattended, can penetrate the skin of your lips deeper and cause them to darken over time. So always remember to leave no trace of lipstick before you sleep! Use a makeup remover or wipe your puckers with a towel dampened with hot water.
Drink too much coffee, tea, or wine. These drinks can darken your lips! I'm not saying you should deprive yourself (I love a cup of coffee or tea every morning, myself) but you can lessen your intake or just use a straw.
Smoke. Nicotine darkens the lips and makes them look more brittle.
But what if my lips are already dark? Is there a remedy?
You can try to naturally bleach them by wiping on a cotton ball soaked with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Let the acid sit on your lips for a minute or so, then wipe off. Don't attempt this if you have chapped or wounded lips okay! Wait for them to heal first.
A quick band-aid solution is to just line your lips with a nude lip liner. Nude lip liners are more pigmented, natural-looking, and longer lasting compared to lipsticks. They are especially handy on lips with dark rims!
So there you go, hope this helps! If you have your own tips and remedies, do share them in the comments. ;)