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16 Ways to Lighten Dark Lips


Jul 10, 2021

16 Ways to Lighten Dark Lips




Dark lips

Some people develop darker lips over time due to a range of medical and lifestyle factors. Read on to learn about the causes of dark lips and some home remedies to lighten them.

Causes of dark lips

Darkening of the lips can be the result of hyperpigmentation. This is a typically harmless condition caused by an excess of melanin. Lip hyperpigmentation may be caused by:

excessive exposure to the sun

lack of hydration

cigarette smoking

allergic reactions to toothpaste, lipstick, etc.

too much caffeine

lip sucking

Most of these causes can be addressed by lifestyle changes, such as wearing sunscreen, limiting caffeine intake, or changing toothpaste brands.

The following can also lead to darker lips:



vitamin deficiency

excessive fluoride use

How to lighten dark lips

Treating hyperpigmentation is often a cosmetic decision. Laser treatments and chemicals such as hydroquinone and kojic acid are often used to treat lip hyperpigmentation. Many hyperpigmentation treatments work by inhibiting an enzyme that produces melanin.

You might, however, find a natural lip lightener that suits your needs. Here are some to consider.


A 2002 study suggests citrus fruit peel may act as a melanin inhibitor. Every night just before going to sleep, cut a lemon and gently rub the juicy part over your lips. The next morning, rinse your lips with cool water. Repeat this routine every night until you see results. It may take 30 days.

Lemon and sugar

Before bedtime, cut a lemon wedge and dip it in sugar. Rub your lips with the sugared lemon. The next morning, rinse your lips with lukewarm water.


Lime is another citrus fruit that may have anti-melanin production properties. In a small bowl, mix together:

1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon of honey

1 teaspoon of glycerin

Gently apply the mixture to your lips before bedtime. Wash your lips the next morning.


According to a 2010 study, turmeric may act as a melanin inhibitor. In a small bowl, mix together:

1 tablespoon milk

enough turmeric powder to make a paste

With a wet fingertip, rub the paste on your lips. Leave it in place for about five minutes before gently rinsing it off with cool water. After drying your lips, apply your favorite moisturizer.


An older study Trusted Source suggests a compound in aloe vera inhibits melanin production. Once each day, apply a thin layer of fresh aloe vera gel onto your lips. Once it’s dried, rinse it off with warm water.


A 2005 study found that pomegranate extract may lighten skin hyperpigmentation. To make this remedy, mix the following into a paste:

1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds

1 teaspoon rose water

1 tablespoon fresh dairy cream

Gently massage the paste into your lips for about three minutes, then rinse your lips with cool water. Repeat daily.

Other natural remedies

Some people use the following home remedies to lighten darker lips. However, research is needed to explore their effectiveness. Keep this in mind if you try them out:

Coconut oil. Using your fingertip, take a very small amount of coconut oil and gently apply it evenly over your lips. You can do this multiple times during the day and also before you go to sleep at night.

Rose water. Mix together two drops of rose water to six drops of honey. Apply this mixture to your lips three to four times per day. You can also apply this mixture before going to bed at night.

Olive oil. Before bed, massage a few drops of olive oil onto your lips.

Cucumber juice. In a blender, juice half a cucumber. Cool the juice in the refrigerator. Once the juice is cool, dip a cotton ball into it and use the cotton ball to gently apply the juice onto your lips. Leave the cucumber juice on your lips for about 30 minutes, then rinse off with cool water.

Strawberry. Make a paste by mixing together five crushed, medium-sized strawberries and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Gently apply this paste to your lips at bedtime, then rinse off with cool water the next morning.

Almond. In a small bowl, blend 1 tablespoon of fresh dairy cream and enough almond powder to make a paste. Massage the paste onto your lips for three to five minutes. Let it dry for about five minutes. Rinse your lips with lukewarm water. Repeat this process daily.

Almond oil. Every night before bed, massage a drop or two of almond oil onto your lips.

Sugar. Blend together 3 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of butter. Three times a week, massage this blend onto your lips for three to four minutes. If you like, you can substitute olive oil for the butter.

Mustard oil. Once per day, gently massage one to two drops of mustard oil on your lips.

Beets. Using a food processor or blender, grind beetroot into a fine paste. Twice a week, apply the beet paste to your lips. Leave in place for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse off. Once your lips are clean and dry, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly.

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The takeaway

The lightness or darkness of your lips is often a personal cosmetic preference. There are a number of natural home remedies for lip lightening if you have lip hyperpigmentation.

Talk with your doctor before deciding which remedy to choose. They can help ensure the underlying cause of your darker lip pigmentation.

Looking to revamp your skin care routine?

Find the perfect facial and skin care products to meet your skin’s specific needs on Flipkart.

 8. sources collapsed

What Causes Black Spots to Form on Your Lips?

Angio keratoma of Fordyce

Allergic reaction





Vitamin B-12 deficiency

Certain medications

Dental treatments or fixtures

Hormone disorders



See your doctor

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Is this cause for concern?

Whether you’re dealing with slight discoloration, flaky patches, or dark, raised moles, you shouldn’t ignore spots on your lips. After all, the health of your skin reflects the health of your body.

Although dark spots usually aren’t cause for concern, it’s important to get a diagnosis from your doctor. They can check for any underlying conditions and ensure that nothing is amiss.

Keep reading to learn more about what may be causing these spots and what you can expect from treatment.

1. Angio keratoma of Fordyce

Dark or black spots on lips are often caused by angio keratoma of Fordyce. Although they can vary in color, size, and shape, they’re usually dark red to black and wart-like.

These spots are typically harmless. They can be found on any mucous-producing skin, not just lips. Angio keratomas usually occur in older people.

Treatment options

Angio keratomas can usually be left alone. However, they may look similar to cancerous growths, so you should visit your doctor or dermatologist to get a diagnosis. They can confirm whether these spots are angio keratomas and advise you on any next steps.

2. Allergic reaction

If you’ve used a new product lately, an allergic reaction may be to blame for your spots. This type of reaction is known as pigmented contact cheilitis.

The most common causes of cheilitis are:

lipstick or lip balm

hair dye, if applied to facial hair

green tea, which may contain nickel, an irritant

Treatment options

If you think an allergic reaction has caused your dark spots, throw the product away. Make sure your beauty products are fresh and have been kept in a cool, dark place. Old products can break down or grow bacteria or mold — and be more likely to cause a reaction.

3. Hyperpigmentation

Melasma is a common condition that can cause brownish patches to appear on your face.

These spots usually form on the following areas:


nose bridge



area above your upper lip

You can also get them on other places exposed to the sun, like your forearms and shoulders.

Melasma is more common in women than men, and hormones play a role in its development. In fact, these patches are so common during pregnancy that the condition is called “mask of pregnancy.”

Treatment options

You can prevent melasma from getting worse by protecting yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.

Melasma may fade with time. Your dermatologist can also prescribe medicines that you smooth on your skin to help lighten the spots.

This includes:

hydroquinone (Obagi Elastiderm)

tretinoin (Refissa)

azelaic acid

kojic acid

If topical medicines don’t work, your dermatologist may try a chemical peel, microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, or laser treatment.

4. Sunspots

If the spots on your lips feel scaly or crusty, you may have what’s called actinic keratosis, or sunspots.

These spots can have the following characteristics:

tiny or more than an inch across

the same color as your skin or tan, pink, red, or brown

dry, rough, and crusty

flat or raised

You may feel the spots more than you can see them.

In addition to your lips, you’re most likely to get keratoses on sun-exposed areas like your:







Treatment options

Because actinic keratoses are considered a pre cancer, it’s important to have your doctor look at the spots. Not all keratoses are active, so they don’t all need to be removed. Your doctor will decide how best to treat them based on their exam of the lesions.

Treatment may include:

freezing spots off (cryosurgery)

scraping or cutting spots off (curettage)

chemical peels

topical creams

5. Dehydration

Not drinking enough liquids or being out in the sun and wind can leave your lips dry and chapped. Chapped lips can start to peel, and you may bite off little pieces of skin. These injuries can lead to scabs, scars, and dark spots on your lips.

Treatment options

Make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. If you’re out in the sun or wind, protect your lips with lip balm that contains sunscreen, and avoid licking your lips. Once you’ve rehydrated yourself, your lips should heal and the dark spots fade with time.

6. Too much iron

If you have a condition called hereditary hemochromatosis, your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat and stores it in your organs. This can result in symptoms like discolored skin.

Your body can also be overloaded with iron if you:

have received numerous blood transfusions

get iron shots

take a lot of iron supplements

This type of iron overload can also cause your skin to take on a bronze or gray-green tone.

Treatment options

To reduce the iron in your blood and organs, your doctor may drain some of your blood (a procedure known as a phlebotomy) or have you donate blood on a regular basis. They may also prescribe medication to help remove the iron.

7. Vitamin B-12 deficiency

If you don’t get enough vitamin B-12 in your diet or through supplements, your skin may become dark. This could potentially show up as dark spots on your lips.

Treatment options

A mild B-12 deficiency can be corrected with a daily multivitamin or by eating foods that contain a lot of this vitamin. A severe B-12 deficiency may be treated with weekly injections or daily high-dose pills.

8. Certain medications

Some medicines you take can cause changes to the color of your skin, including the skin on your lips.

These medicine types include:

anti psychotics, including chlorpromazine and related phenothiazines

anticonvulsants, such as phenytoin (Phenytek)


cytotoxic drugs

amiodarone (Nexterone)

You can check with your pharmacist if you have questions about a specific drug you take.

Treatment options

Most medicine-related changes to skin color are harmless. If you and your doctor decide you can stop taking the drug, the spots will probably fade — but not in all cases.

Many drugs that cause skin pigment problems also cause sun sensitivity, so make sure you apply sunscreen daily.

Aspire you to exercise and eat well, we’ll send you our top health tips and stories, plus must-read news.

9. Dental treatments or fixtures

If your braces, mouth guard, or dentures don’t fit well, you may get pressure sores on your gums or lips. These sores can cause what’s called post-inflammatory pigmentation — dark spots left behind after the sore has healed.

These usually occur in people with darker skin types. The patches can get darker if exposed to sunlight.

Treatment options

If your braces or dentures don’t fit well, go to your dentist or orthodontist. Your dental fixtures shouldn’t cause sores.

Wear lip balm with sunscreen so the spots won’t get darker. Your dermatologist can also prescribe creams or lotions to lighten the lesions.

10. Hormone disorders

Low levels of circulating thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) can cause melasma, which is a blotchy brown pigmentation on the face. High levels of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can also cause your skin to darken.

Treatment options

To treat the skin discoloration caused by imbalanced hormones, you’ll need to fix the root problem. Your doctor will be able to talk through your symptoms and advise you on next steps.

11. Smoking

The heat from cigarettes can directly burn the skin on your lips. And because smoking delays wound healing, these burns could form scars. The burns may also lead to post-inflammatory pigmentation, which are dark spots left behind after the sore has healed.

Treatment options

Quitting smoking is the only way to allow your lips to heal properly. Talk to your doctor about your options for cessation, as well as any lightening creams that you may be able to use.

Is it cancer?

The lips are an often overlooked site for skin cancers. The two most common skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These are usually seen in fair-skinned men over the age of 50. Men are 3 to 13 times more likely to develop lip cancers than women, and the lower lip is about 12 times more likely to be affected.

Here’s what to look for if you think the spots on your lips may be cancer:

With basal cell carcinoma:

an open sore

a reddish patch or irritated area

a shiny bump

a pink growth

a scar-like area

With squamous cell carcinoma:

a scaly red patch

an elevated growth

an open sore

a wart-like growth, which may or may not bleed

Most lip cancers are easily noticed and treated. The most common treatments include surgery, radiation, and cryotherapy. When found early, nearly 100 percent of lip cancers are cured.

When to see your doctor

If you’re not sure how you got a black, discolored, or scaly spot on your lip, do see your doctor. It may be nothing, but it doesn’t hurt to check.

You should definitely see your doctor if the spot:

is spreading rapidly

is itchy, red, tender, or bleeds

has an irregular border

has an unusual combination of colors

Looking to revamp your skin care routine?

Find the perfect facial and skin care products to meet your skin’s specific needs on Flipkart.

What’s Causing My Blue Lips?

Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — Written by JC Jones — Updated on September 18, 2019





In infants

When to seek help


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Blue lips

Bluish discoloration of the skin may signal lack of oxygen in the blood. It could also indicate an abnormal form of hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells), such as in sickle cell anemia.

Cyanosis is the name for poor oxygen circulation in the blood that causes bluish discoloration of the skin. Central cyanosis affects the lips, but it can also affect the tongue and chest.

Blue lips may indicate a type of cyanosis caused by lower levels of oxygen in the red blood cells. Blue lips may also represent high levels of an abnormal form of hemoglobin in the bloodstream (similar to bluish discoloration of the skin).

If normal color returns with warming or massage, your lips aren’t getting enough blood supply. Blue lips might not be due to cold, constriction, or some other reason. If the lips remain blue, then there may be an underlying disease or structural abnormality. Either of these can interfere with the body’s ability to deliver oxygenated red blood to all areas.

Conditions that cause blue lips, with pictures

Many different conditions can cause blue lips. Here are 15 possible ca

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