While we may all have a collection of lipsticks in different shades and colors, not all of us remember to take good care of our lips. And when we do, it’s usually too late: our lips are already chapped or peeling. So before you get to that point, here are five simple ways to protect your puckers: 1. Stay hydrated. As that old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. In this case, eight glasses of water every day is better than having to deal with dry, flaking lips. Dry lips are often a sign that you’re dehydrated. 2. Do a lip scrub once a week. Your lips are a thin layer of skin, and like the skin on the rest of your body, they need a bit of exfoliation every now and then. So make sure to scrub your lips not more than once a week. Take note that you shouldn’t use the same exfoliant on your skin for your lips, and don’t scrub too hard; your lips are a thinner layer of skin. Stick to using a product that’s specifically made for your lips. 3. Go easy on the matte. Matte lipsticks stay long on your lips because they end up drying them. So make sure to rotate your matte with hydrating lipsticks, or put on a layer lip balm underneath to minimize dryness. 4. Stop licking your lips. This can actually dry out your lips in the long run, as the digestive enzymes from the saliva on your tongue can damage your puckers’ protective barrier. If your lips are feeling dry, just swipe on some lip gloss instead. 5. Get the right lip balm for your needs. If your lips are exceedingly dry, go for one that has moisturizing ingredients such as beeswax and shea butter. And if you have sensitive skin, avoid camphor-based lip balms as they can irritate your lips.