How To Get Rid Of Dark Lips Naturally

Medically Reviewed By Vd. Naveen Sharma, BAMS
Written by Shaheen Naser

The color of the skin on the lips differs from person to person, and no shade is healthier or superior to the others. However, sometimes, the color of your lips may indicate that they need more attention.

Some people develop discoloration on the lips. This discoloration or pigmentation can be the result of medical as well as certain lifestyle factors. In this article, you will learn about the causes of dark lips and how you can lighten them naturally.

What Causes Dark Lips?

Dark lips may be a result of the following factors:

  • Increased exposure to the sun can increase the melanin production in your skin, thereby causing pigmentation.
  • Excessive smoking can cause a type of pigmentation known as a smoker’s melanosis (1).
  • An allergic response to certain products like toothpaste, lipstick, etc. may also cause hyperpigmentation in your lips.
  • Medical therapies for conditions, such as Laugier-Hunziker syndrome and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, and posttraumatic pigmentation can affect your lips and cause them to look dark (2).

Natural Remedies To Lighten Dark Lips

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has emollient and moisturizing properties (3). These properties can help keep your lips soft and supple and prevent them from getting dry and darker, which usually happens with skin dehydration.

What You Can Do: Take a little virgin coconut oil onto your index finger and apply it to your lips. Leave it on to dry. You may do this 1-2 times daily.

2. Lemon And Honey

Citrus fruits like lemons are known for their skin lightening properties (4). When combined with honey, lemons can not only lighten your lips but also help soften them.

What You Can Do: Take a teaspoon each of lemon juice and honey. Mix well and apply it to your lips. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse with water. You may do this once daily.

Note: Lemon juice can cause a stinging sensation on your skin. Please do a patch test before trying this remedy.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains aloin, a compound with depigmenting properties (5). This may help fade the pigmentation on your lips.

What You Can Do: Take half a teaspoon of freshly extracted aloe vera gel and apply it to your lips. Rinse with plain water. You may do this 1-2 times daily.

4. Cucumber Juice

Cucumber contains antioxidants and silica-rich compounds (6). These compounds may help fade pigmentation and lighten dark skin tone.

What You Can Do: Take a few slices of cucumber and grind them. Apply the paste to your lips and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with water. You may do this 1-2 times daily.

5. Turmeric

Curcumin is a major constituent of turmeric. This may help inhibit melanogenesis (the formation of melanin) (7). This, in turn, can lighten your lips.

What You Can Do: Prepare a thick paste by mixing a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little water. Apply this paste to your lips and allow it to dry. Rinse with water. You can do this once daily.

Note: Turmeric can cause an allergic reaction to skin contact in some people. It can cause an outbreak of rashes on your skin if you are allergic to it. Hence, do a patch test before you proceed with this remedy.

6. Sesame Oil

Sesame oil contains an active lignan called sesamol, which was found to inhibit the biosynthesis of melanin in animal studies (8). Hence, sesame oil may also help in lightening dark lips.

What You Can Do: Apply sesame oil on your lips and leave it on until it dries. You may reapply the oil as necessary. You can do this 2-3 times daily.

Note: Sesame oil can cause an allergic reaction upon skin contact in some people. Hence, do a patch test.

7. Pomegranate

Pomegranate extracts were found to reduce tyrosinase activity and melanin production (9). These properties may eventually lighten dark lips.

What You Can Do: Take a teaspoon of pomegranate powder and make a paste using water. Apply this paste to your lips and leave it to dry. Rinse off with plain water. You may do this 1-2 times daily for best results.

Note: Pomegranate powder can cause an allergic reaction like skin irritation and rashes in some people. Hence, do a patch test.

Treatment For Dark Lips

  • The common treatment options for dark lips include the use of lasers (10). Laser treatment does not have severe side effects.
  • Chemical treatments may also be used to lighten dark lips. They often involve the use of hydroquinone and kojic acid that can inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme (11).
  • Certain treatments also work by inhibiting the production of melanin. But most of them may cause adverse side effects (increased sun sensitivity, flaking skin, or an uneven skin tone).

Prevention Tips

  • Exfoliate your lips regularly.
  • Drink plenty of fluids daily to stay hydrated.
  • Use a lip balm with SPF 40 or above.
  • Do not use low-quality lip cosmetics.
  • Avoid using products you are allergic to.
  • Avoid sucking on your lips constantly as it makes them very dry.

These tips, along with the remedies, may help lighten your lips. However, talk to your doctor before using any of these remedies so that they can also treat the underlying cause of the darker lips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best lip balm to make your lips pink?

You can use lip balms with skin lightening agents. You may also use any lip balm with SPF 40 or above to prevent your lips from darkening further.

Does toothpaste make your lips pink?

Toothpaste may help lighten your lips to a small extent, but if left on overnight, it can burn your lips and cause scarring.

Does lip scrub lighten lips?

Using natural lip scrubs like beetroot, lemon, and honey scrub, or sugar scrub can help gradually lighten your lips.

Why are my lips turning dark even though I don’t smoke?

Smoking is one of the many factors that may contribute to darkening lips. Other factors can include increased exposure to the sun, lack of hydration, an allergic response to products like toothpaste, lipstick, etc., and treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

Why are my lips dark around the edges?

One of the primary triggers of dark lips around the edges is hyperpigmentation. This can be caused by increased sun exposure or even an inflammatory skin condition.

Can I use petroleum jelly to lighten my lips?

There is no scientific claim confirming that petroleum jelly lightens lips, but you can use it to moisturize your lips and keep them supple.


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Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.