I needed to wear lipstick on the last week of December 2016, and abandoned my leave-alone routine for a few days. Got back on track on 6th January.
I let my lips peel by themselves and don't rub them or anything. I use a lip balm at night, one which will not cause the skin to come off (mainly Shea Butter based ones). I trim skin ready to come off. I don't wet them too much, but wetting them doesn't cause an issue if I let them dry back down instead of touching them. I dab lip balm on instead of rubbing it in to prevent skin coming off. I don't apply lip balm when my lips are wet.
I got a sinus infection recently and am on my 6th day of a course of antibiotics. I am also taking a Zinc, Iron, Folic Acid supplement. The cold has let me keep my lips looking ugly because if anyone asks I can just say it's because of my cold.
I'm on the third layer now. The first layer is most gone, a few remain on the very top. The second layer is still there on the outer thirds of my lips. They're stubborn and don't come off, and I'm letting them be. Top lip is being generally weird and less easy to trim and keep hard, but I'm trying my best. The lowest layer is the most susceptible to getting soggy and coming off so I try not to touch it.