Did you know that skin of your lips is softer and more sensitive than the skin on any other part of the body?

We all want soft, smooth, and healthy lips, and for that your lips need extra care and pampering as the skin on lips is thinner and this can easily cause your lips to crack or tan. Lips have lesser oil glands thus it has no lubrication of its own and we need to nourish them to keep them happy and healthy.

Not all of us take care of our lips like the way we take care of our hands, feet, and face. Most of us neglect to take care of the lips and it results in cracked, dry, dull, and dark lips. They get dark and then we realize the need for lip care. Then we ask our friends or Google the tips to get pink lips or tips to get rid of dark lips.

Here you get to know the causes of dark lips, treatment of dark lips, and tips to get rid of dark lips at home.

woman with pink glossy lips

Causes of Dark Lips

1. Sun exposure 

If you are out in Sun for a long time or you work in an environment where you have to be outdoors for a long period of time then you want to make sure that you are applying sunscreen even on your lips.

Lips also tend to get tan.

3. Smoking

Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause dark lips. Smoking is the most common cause of the dark lips in males.

5. Licking Your Lips

Licking your lips, smacking your lips can also lead to dark lips.

4. Overuse of Lipsticks

Application of cosmetics such as long-wear lipstick, liquid Matte lipstick, or wearing lipstick which is very dark in color that can also lead to dark lips over time.

Woman applying lipstick to cure dark lips
Overuse of Lipsticks leads to dark lips

6.  Darkening Of Lips Due To Genes

It means, if the other members of your family have dark lips then even you can also suffer from it. This type of dark lips is slightly more difficult to treat.

7. Vitamin Deficiencies

Certain vitamin deficiencies such as B-12 deficiency or even iron deficiency can lead to dark lips.

8. Intake of Drugs

Intake of certain drugs such as antiMalarial drugs, tetracycline, or application of hydroquinone cream for a long time can also lead to dark lips.

There is a condition called fixed drug eruption where after intake of any drug you may have circular round regions all around your lip area. 

So if you develop these red regions after intake of certain drugs, you really have to avoid these drugs because these could be the reason for the dark lips.

There is a condition called lichen planus where there is a reaction under the skin, collection of cells under the skin between the epidermis and dermis and this leads to damage to the lower part of the epidermis. That causes the formation of more pigment so even lichen planus can be the reason for the dark lips.

9. Allergy

Darkening of the lips can also happen if you are allergic to any kind of toothpaste or allergic to any cosmetic product that you are using.

So before noticing darkening of lips if you notice that you develop a little bit of redness, itching or little bit of cracking of the lips, stop using these products. These cumulative injuries due to the use of certain cosmetics and toothpaste can lead to dark lips in the long term.

9.  Drinking Hot Tea or Coffee

Taking hot beverages can cause an injury to the skin so if you have a habit of drinking very hot tea or coffee then you really have to avoid.

Hot Tea
Hot beverages can also cause dark lips.

10. Sunburn and melasma can also cause lips to darken.

Tips To Reduce Darkening Of The Lips

  • To reduce the darkening of the lips you have to break all the bad habits first. So, if you are smoking or chewing tobacco, you have to stop doing that.
  • Also, if you have a habit of licking your lips or smacking your lips, you have to stop that immediately because that could be causing the darkening of the lips.
  • Also avoid using long-wear lipsticks or liquid matte lipstick over a long period of time. These have a higher content of lead in them that can also lead to dark lips overtime.
  • You have to make sure to remove the lipstick completely and all its remnants before going to bed at night. You don’t want to let the lipstick sit on your lips because this can irritate the skin and cause the darkening of the lips over time.

Treatment of Dark Lips

1. Sun protection

Whenever you buy a lip balm make sure that it has a sun protection factor and you have to reapply this lip balm regularly. You have to repeat applying this lip balm every 2-3 hours.

Having a little bit of cracked lips can also make your lips appear darker, so if you moisturize your lips regularly, it will give you a slight pinker look and it will appear better.

2. Peels

There are certain peels that can be done to shred the dark skin so that we can get a lighter color skin. So we can do either Arginine peel or mandelic acid peel, lactic acid peel, or even glycolic acid peels on your lips to make it lighter.

3. Laser Treatments

Dermatologists also try Q-switched NdYAG laser treatment to reduce the darkening of the lips. This laser breaks the pigment into smaller fragments and then these fragments can easily be removed by the cells in the body.

4. Fillers

Another very effective treatment for lightening the lips is filler injections. Filler injections are an expensive treatment but they add good modality to slightly plump up your lips and also make it pinkish and lighter colored.

These are hyaluronic acid fillers that are injected into your lips so the effect lasts for about 12 to 15 months.

Home Remedies For Dark Lips

Tips To Get Rid Of Dark Lips

Remember to moisturize your lips after using these remedies.

1. Lemon and Sugar Scrub

Take a slice of lemon and dip it in sugar. Sugar crystals will stick on the lemon and very gently rub it on your lips and this will help in exfoliating the lips and also the lemon will help in lightening the lips.

Do it for about 5 to 8 minutes and wash it off. Immediately after that apply honey on your lips.

Leave it for about 10 to 15 minutes and wash it off and apply lip balm.

So first you will exfoliate it with the scrub and then the honey will help in soothing the lips out and the lip balm will help in moisturizing it. These three steps will help in reducing the darkness of the lips.

Lemon and sugar to cure dark lips

2. Coconut Oil

If you have very dry cracked lips you can apply coconut oil on your lips every night before going to sleep. This has to be done regularly in order to see results. 

3. Sugar and Honey

Mix ½ teaspoon of white sugar with ½ teaspoon of honey and then massage your lips for 3 minutes, at night and during the day.

4. Mint Leaves and Lemon

Grind 5-6 mint leaves and mix 2-3 drops of lemon juice in them and then massage your lips with this mixture for 3 minutes during the day and also at night.

5. Cucumber

Take a small piece of fresh cucumber and massage your lips for 3 minutes, twice a day during morning and night. This is the easiest and the most effective method.

6. Vaseline and Strawberry

Mix 1 teaspoon of Vaseline (or petroleum jelly) with 1 teaspoon of fresh strawberry juice and simply massage your lips twice a day. This will also be effective in lightening your lip.

7. Castor Oil

You can also massage your lips with castor oil twice a day for 3 minutes, it is also an effective home remedy to lighten lip color.

Remember dark lips are very tough to treat. There is no single remedy that you can do at home and then your lips will magically turn pink. it is not possible. You will have to do these regularly and you will be able to notice changes slowly in about 4 to 6 weeks.

So even if you are using any kind of creams or you are going for any kind of treatment, you have to give it time of at least 4 to 8 weeks to notice improvement.

Nothing is instant, you have to give it time and you have to be very regular with treatment.

**These tips has been advised by Dermatolgist Dr. Aanchal.

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