Who does not wish to have rosy pink lips? Juicy pink lips are considered as the symbol of beauty, seduction, and feminine appeal. But just like the skin color, the color of lips also varies from one person to another. Our lips can even turn darker over time due to a range of factors including poor lifestyle habits and certain medical conditions. In fact, the problem of dark lips is so common that almost more than half the women population of our country suffers from it. If you are also one of those ladies who are desperately looking for some natural dark lip solution, this article is for you only. In this article, you will know about 11 simple and most effective home remedies for dark lips that will bring the pink tinge back to your lips naturally.
What Causes Dark Lips?
Dark lips is a harmless condition of hyperpigmentation in which the production of the pigment called melanin gets increased in the skin of the lips. Given below are some of the most common causes of dark lips:
- Lack of hydration can dry out the lips and make them look darker over time
- Too much exposure to the sun increases the production of melanin in the lip skin in order to facilitate the absorption of the UV rays, which eventually makes the lips darker
- Prolonged tobacco smoking can lead to a type of pigmentation called smoker’s melanosis as nicotine and benzpyrene in the smoke encourage the production of melanin in the skin (1)
- Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can change the color of the skin of our lips too
- Allergic reactions to lip cosmetics, toothpaste, etc. can trigger pigment production in the lip skin
- Excessive intake of caffeine and other hot beverages can steal the pink tint of the lips and turn them darker
- Some health conditions, such as vitamin deficiency, anemia, etc. can impact the health of your lips negatively and give them a darker appearance
- Certain medications like oral antibiotic minocycline and antimalarial drugs can cause hyperpigmentation of lips (2)
- A medical condition called Addison’s disease can darken our lips, gums, and skin by affecting the immune system, thereby preventing the secretion of essential hormones
Apart from these, other factors like continuous licking or sucking, overuse of lip products, genetic factors, etc. can also darken our lips gradually.
Treatments of conditions like Laugier-Hunziker syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, etc. need certain medical therapies that can cause hyperpigmentation of lips and give them a darker shade. (3)
11 Simple Home Remedies for Dark Lips
Luckily, you can always fall back on Mother Nature for some quick solutions to your lip problems. Here are a few home remedies for dark lips that are simple yet effective. Do keep in mind that you have to use them consistently in order to see the desired changes.
1. Lemon Lip Cream
Whisk together 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of glycerin to form a cream. Apply a thin layer of this cream on your lips every night before bed. In the morning, rinse off with warm water. Being a citrus fruit, lemon helps in lightening the color of the lips with its strong bleaching properties (4). It also helps in exfoliating the dead cells from the lip surface, thus revealing the fresh layer of skin underneath. Glycerin helps in moisturizing your lips and honey helps in nourishing your lips to give them a pinkish glow.
2. Yogurt Pack
Massage your lips with some yogurt twice daily – once in the morning and once in the evening. Yogurt moisturizes your lips and helps lighten them with consistent use.
3. Beetroot Juice
Beetroot juice is a natural bleaching agent. Crush some fresh beetroot and apply the juice to your lips daily before sleeping. Leave it on overnight and wash the residual off in the morning.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another natural stain remover that can help lighten your dark lips. However, due to its somewhat corrosive nature, it is not suited for overnight use. You can apply it during the day and wash it off after 10-15 minutes.
5. Turmeric Paste
Combine 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 2 teaspoons of milk cream or fresh lime juice. Apply this paste on your lips, leave it for 10-15 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water. This is a gentle paste and can be used 2-3 times a day. Turmeric contains curcumin, which inhibits melanogenesis i.e. the process of melanin production in the skin. This helps in lightening the lip color over time. (5)
6. Strawberry Petroleum Jelly
Strawberry juice has bleaching properties that naturally lighten your lips and make them pink. Petroleum jelly is a potent moisturizer, ensuring your lips are hydrated for hours. Create a paste with one tablespoon of petroleum jelly and one tablespoon of strawberry juice. Apply this paste on your lips before bed and wash off in the morning. You can also use the paste every few hours throughout the day for faster results.
7. Almond Oil
Almond oil is a great way to soften, moisturize, and brighten dark lips. Every night, gently massage your lips with almond oil for about 15 minutes. Do not wash it off. Go to sleep with the oil on, allowing it to act throughout the night. Wash off with warm water in the morning. Alternatively, soak a few almonds in milk cream overnight and grind them in the morning to create a fine paste. Apply this paste once or twice a day to naturally make your lips pink again.
8. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Ghee, or clarified butter, can naturally make your lips pink while simultaneously providing them with immense moisture. Before you go to bed, simply massage your lips for a few minutes with ghee. Leave it on overnight and thoroughly wash your lips in the morning to remove the residual.
9. Cucumber Juice
Cucumber juice is yet another natural ingredient that fades lip pigmentation effectively with the antioxidants and silica-rich compounds in it (6). Crush some fresh cucumber and extract the juice. Apply this juice to your lips daily using a cotton bud. You can use it overnight if you would like, as it is gentle enough to leave on for hours.
Milk contains lactic acid, which is known for its whitening effects. This can help to gradually reduce the darkness of your lips. Simply drink a glass of milk or apply some milk on your lips daily using a cotton bud.
If you are allergic to lactose or are lactose-intolerant, consult your doctor before trying milk for dark lips.
11. Papaya and Pineapple
Papayas and pineapples can also help you to get rosy pink, soft lips. The acidity of their juices helps bleach the darkened patches of your lips. Simply create a paste by grinding the peel of papaya. You can also optionally grind in some pineapple pulp with this to create a stronger potion with better effects. Apply this paste over your lips, leave it on for at least 30 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water.
Treatments for Lightening Dark Lips
The dark lip treatments can go beyond natural home remedies. Laser treatments, chemical peels, skin lightening creams, etc. are some common cosmetic and chemical treatments used for lightening the color of dark lips. Using lasers will not cause you severe side effects. Chemical peels mostly comprise compounds like hydroquinone, kojic acid, etc., which work by inhibiting the tyrosinase enzyme and hence, is not completely safe to use. Being loaded with elements like mercury, skin lightening creams are also considered as damaging to our health. (7)
How Can I Prevent Dark Lips?
After lightening your lips, it is important that you follow the steps below to keeping them healthy and prevent them from darkening again:
- If you smoke, you can never have natural pink lips. Try to cut down or stop the habit altogether to keep your lips attractive. Stopping the use of cigarettes and tobacco will significantly improve your overall health as well.
- Try to reduce the consumption of coffee, tea, and other caffeine-containing beverages as much as possible.
- Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and prevent your lips from drying out.
- Try to incorporate more fresh fruits into your diet. The juice in most fruits contains natural bleaching properties that will keep your lips from getting dark.
- Exfoliate your lips regularly to prevent the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface.
- Apply a sunscreen lip balm every time before you go out in the sun.
- Do not forget to remove the makeup from your lips at the end of the day.
Do try the above methods to get rid of dark lips and achieve a more attractive look. Brightening your lips is not difficult, but it takes a lot of determination and patience to achieve solid results. Good Luck!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Can I Clean My Lips?
Prepare a homemade lip scrub by mixing a teaspoon of honey with 2 teaspoons of sugar and massage your lips with it gently to get rid of the dead cells accumulated on it. It will clean your lips and give it a bright, pink tone.
Will My Lips Turn Pink If I Quit Smoking?
Smoking is one of the biggest reasons behind dark lips. If you quit smoking and start following a healthy lip care routine at the same time, you will certainly see some positive results.
Can We Apply Toothpaste on Lips?
No. Applying toothpaste can turn your lips chapped, which can make them look even darker.
Is Vitamin E Good for Lips?
Vitamin E comes loaded with antioxidants, which is really good for lightening skin tone. Hence, the application of vitamin E to the lips can reduce its pigmentation too.
- “Epidemiologic Study of Excessive Oral Melanin Pigmentation with Special Reference to the Influence of Tobacco Habits“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Minocycline-Induced Hyperpigmentation“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Oral Pigmentation: A Review“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Citrus Flavonoids with Skin Lightening Effects – Safety and Efficacy Studies“, ResearchGate.net
- “Curcumin Inhibits Melanogenesis in Human Melanocytes“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Invigorating Efficacy of Cucumis sativas for Healthcare & Radiance“, PharmaResearchLibrary.com
- “Skin Lightener Containing Mercury Can Cause Serious Health Problems“, AAD.org