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What Causes Dark Lips & How to Get Rid of It?

Lips enhance overall beauty, and they getting dark bothers everyone. However, there are various factors which lead to dark lips. It is necessary to know about the causes of dark lips and how to treat dark lips.

What Causes Dark Lips & How to Get Rid of It?

Causes Of Dark Lips

Some of the commonest causes of dark lips include the following problems.

  1. Dryness- Lips look good when properly moisturized and even lose moisture easily as the skin of lips is always open. Dryness of lips is mostly faced by smokers, mouth breathers, and people who have a habit of licking lips frequently. Cold and windy weather also dry up the lips. This leads to dead skin, darkness and dark spots on lips. These are the frequent causes of dark lips.
  2. Lifestyle and Habits- Lifestyle is another reason which can leave its dark imprints on the lips. Smoking, regular alcohol intake and frequent use of narcotics may discolor lips. Dehydration also attacks first the most sensitive skin such as the lips and face.
  3. Hyperpigmentation or Melasma– Hyperpigmentation means an excess deposition of melanin on the skin. Melanin is a pigment which gives skin its color which means more the melanin darker the skin. Melasma can lead to dark upper lips. Darkness caused due to melasma can lead to irregular patches on the lips.
  4. Cosmetics- Causes of dark lips also include the use of cosmetics. Some lip care cosmetic contains a high amount of chemical which can affect the sensitive skin of the lips and discolor it. Over or long term use of cosmetics, using expired products and not removing lipstick at night can leave dark tones on the lips. Also, fragrances and dyes used in cosmetic can cause allergy in some people, which can discolor the lips.
  5. Sun Exposure- Excessive sun exposure can result in discolored dark lips, as the continuous sun rays can burn the skin of both lips and face. The UV rays in sunlight trigger the melanin deposition, and the sensitive parts of the skin get affected the most. (4)
  6. Anemia– In anemia, the oxygen-carrying compound i.e. the hemoglobin is less than the normal amounts. Hemoglobin is responsible for imparting a red color to the blood, and its deficiency can lead to discoloration.
  7. Medications- The list of causes of dark lips also include the use of certain medicines. Different types of medications such as photosensitizing drugs, antidepressants, tetracycline, antipsychotic drugs, chemotherapy drugs, antimalarial drugs, and hydroquinone can lead to discoloration or hyperpigmentation on skin, lips, neck, and chin.
  8. Lack of Lip Care- Lips are the most sensitive part of the body and you need to take care of it properly and regularly. Lack of lip care is one of the popular causes of dark lips. In winter the lips tend to dry up very fast which if left uncared can leave dark patches on it.

How to Treat Dark Lips?

Various studies are in process to find the best ways to treat dark lips. While many alternatives are proposed, some studies have also shown that YAG laser shows great results.1

However, if you are wondering about how to treat dark lips naturally, you can use the home remedies too. If you want to get rid of the discoloration and want natural luscious lips, here is a list of few easy lip care tips.

Hydrate Yourself- Water is the best choice if you want your lips to stay hydrated. This is one of the simplest way to treat dark lips. Drinking plenty of water as it keeps the lips from getting dry, as it (dryness), can cause peeling and discoloration.

Honey and Lemon Therapy- Lemon has astringent properties which can help lighten dark lip and also honey act as a natural moisturizer which can keep dryness away. Mix a few drops of lemon in a teaspoon of honey and apply this mixture on the lips.

Beetroot– Beetroot is a superfood which offers various health and beauty benefits. Slice a piece of beetroot and rub it on the lips. You will see it leaving a pink tinge on the lips.

Almond oil– Almond oil is enriched with a high amount of vitamin E and vitamin B12, which plays a role in restoring the moisture and color of the lips. (2)

Exfoliate with Sugar- A scrub made with sugar helps exfoliate the dead skin from the lips and stimulate skin renewal. Add a few drops of almond oil to sugar to create a thick coarse texture. Scrub the lips with it.

Cucumber Juice- Cucumber is mostly made of water which helps in keeping the body hydrated. Also, it is rich in vitamin C which plays a role in collagen production and helps in getting rid of dry, dead skin. (3)

Aloe Vera– Fresh aloe vera can be applied directly on the lips. It helps restore moisture and keep the lip soft and supple.

Leaving all the habits which can discolor lip can be of big help in restoring the pink, natural color. Being comfortable with the light or dark color of the lips is a personal choice. But be sure when you smile, you have a wide and a beautiful healthy smile either way. Now that you know the causes of dark lips and how to treat them, you can surely take care of your lips.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11231240
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20129403
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283006.php
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321362.php

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 3, 2019

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