Darkening of your lips is the result of hyperpigmentation, generally. This condition is harmless, although caused by excessive melanin. But a lot of people are bothered by the ungainly appearance of dark lips. So, what are the causes, and how can you prevent dark lips or eliminate them? While each of these home remedies and tips is tried and tested, learn about what suits you best using trial and error!
Firstly, excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation or the harsh sun is a problem. So is a lack of hydration. Dark lips can also be the outcome of excessive cigarette smoking or allergic reactions to lipstick or toothpaste. Too much caffeine or lip sucking can also trigger dark lips(1).
As can be seen, most of these causes are addressed through lifestyle changes such as changing toothpaste brands, lowering coffee intake, or even wearing sunblock. Sometimes, medical treatments like chemo or excessive fluoride use can also be the root cause of dark lips.
Anemia and vitamin deficiency are other reasons for this condition. Depending on the underlying cause, the treatment should be focused accordingly. However, there are some natural ways to lighten dark lips.
How to Lighten Dark Lips
1. Moisturize Your Lips
Dryness and damage to the lip can cause it to become dark. So, use top-quality lip balms. Check if the ingredient has a moisturizer such as cocoa butter or shea butter and binding agents like beeswax. Excellent moisturizing agents include cocoa butter, almond oil(2), and shea butter.
Shea butter is well known as a moisturizer and potent antioxidant. It is used to reduce discoloration due to scars. Almond oil is another positive choice to improve the appearance and health of the skin.
[Read: Get Dead Skin Off Lips Naturally]
2. Use Sunscreen
Protect your lips from the sun, using sunblock. Lips may not tan, but they do become dry and burn, which causes them to appear darker. Ensure your lip balm has sun-blocking material of SPF20 or higher. Use lipsticks with SPF 20, as well.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking also discolors the lips, as tar, nicotine, and tobacco darken the lips. The heat from cigarettes also produces melanin and darkens the lips. Quitting can be difficult, so talk to your doctor about medicines for stopping or nicotine patches or gums.
[Read: Natural Ways to Quit Smoking]
4. Massage and Exfoliate your Lips
Massaging your lips increases blood flow. It also brightens dark lips. Use almond oil to massage your lips and deeply moisturize them, before sleeping each night. You can even try ice packs to moisturize the lips and make them appear pink.
Another effective means of exfoliating your lips is a scrub or toothbrush. Try a sugar scrub by combining brown or white sugar with olive oil and honey for a paste. Rub this mixture over the lips and wash off with a damp cloth.
You can also use a soft brush to buff away the dry skin. Use lip scrubs like pomegranate seeds which combine with milk to create the perfect scrub for your dark lips.
5. Home Remedies for Dark Lips
Treating dark lips is a cosmetic process. Laser treatments or kojic acid or hydroquinone are also used to treat lip darkening. Most of these treatments inhibit melanin. However, home remedies can be equally effective as natural whiteners.
Citrus peel fruit can serve as a melanin inhibitor. Each night, before sleeping, rub lemon on your lips. The next morning, rinse the lips with cold water. It may take 30 days to repeat the routine until results are observed.
[Read: Home Remedies for Lip Lines]
Lime is another citrus fruit with anti-melanin properties. Mix fresh lime juice of around 1.5 teaspoons, along with one teaspoon of honey and glycerin each. Gently apply this mixture and wash the lips the next morning.
Another excellent remedy for dark lips is turmeric. It is also known to inhibit melanin. Take one tablespoon milk and add turmeric powder to make a paste. With a wet sponge or fingertip, apply the paste to the lips. Leave it on before rinsing it off with cold water. After the lips are dried, apply the moisturizer.
A compound in aloe vera inhibits melanin. So, apply the gel from the leaf on to your lips. Once it dries, rub it off with warm water.
Pomegranate extract lightens skin hyperpigmentation. Take one tablespoon pomegranate seeds; one teaspoon rose water, and some fresh dairy cream. Rub this paste onto your lips, let it dry, and then rinse the lips with fresh water, and repeat this daily for effective outcomes.
Coconut oil can also be gently applied evenly over the lips for lightening dark lips. It softens and moisturizes the lips, too.
Another great option is rose water. Mix 2 drops of rose water to 6 drops of honey. This mixture needs to be applied to the lips 3-4 times a day. Apply this mixture at night, too.
Another great home remedy for dark lips is olive oil which lubricates the lips, causing them to get less dark and more even-toned.
Another useful remedy is cucumber juice. You can cool this juice in the fridge before gently applying it using a cotton ball. Leave the cucumber juice on the lips for thirty minutes and rinse off with cold water.
Mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda with five crushed strawberries and applying the paste before rinsing it off with cold water the very next day.
In a small bowl, mix almond powder and dairy cream. Take this paste and coat it on your lips for 3-5 minutes. Dry it for 5 minutes. Rinse the lips using lukewarm water.
Another great lightening agent is beets. Using a blender or food processor, grind beet into a fine paste. Apply this paste twice a week and leave it on before rinsing off. Once lips are clean, apply cold cream for the best results.
Remember that the lightness or darkness of lips depends on individual factors like lifestyle and genetics or even skin tone. But if you suffer from lip hyperpigmentation or dark lips, it’s time to try these simple, but effective home remedies and strategies for the best results.