Dark Lips: Causes and Treatment for Dark and Pigmented Lips

Dark Lips: Causes and Treatment for Dark and Pigmented Lips

There can be several reasons for dark lips but these methods can help you get rid of dark lips easily. Continue reading to know more!

There are several things and habits that can contribute to darker lips. Pigmented and dark lips are common issues that people deal with and it is treatable using multiple ways unless the reason is purely genetic. Before we begin with the causes of dark and pigmented lips, it's important for you to understand the process of pigmentation. A pigment called melanin is responsible for giving colour to your skin. When your body produces less melanin, it results in a lighter skin tone. Similarly, more melanin creates a darker skin tone. So, if you are dealing with hyperpigmentation on your lips, it means your body is producing more melanin in that area. Hyperpigmentation causes patches on your skin to become darker than the skin around them. There can be various reasons for dark lips and we're here to tell you all about them:

What Causes Dark Lips

There are many reasons for dark lips. Here are some of them.

1. Sun Exposure:

When you overexpose your skin to the sun it triggers your body to create melanin in order to absorb the ultraviolet rays. This is because your body is trying to protect itself from sun damage, which results in the tanning of your skin and pigmented lips. Hence, it is always recommended to wear sun protection not only on your face and body but also on your lips. This is one of the reasons for dark lips.

2. Dehydration:

When there is a lack of hydration in your body, it can have many harmful effects. Lack of water in your diet can lead to dry, chapped and irritated skin and lips. Since the skin on your lips is sensitive, it becomes rough and starts to peel off, leading to small injuries. These scars can further contribute to a change in the colour of your lips.

3. Tobacco Smoking:

Smoking tobacco can lead to more melanin production in your lips and reason for dark lips. Smoking can have several other negative impacts on your health, but it will physically start dark pigmentation on lips. You might not notice this if you're new to smoking but it will gradually happen over time.

4. Allergens:

An allergic reaction to certain products or ingredients can also lead to discoloured lips. Possible irritants include - makeup, toothpaste, expired lip products, hair dyes, hair-lightening creams, etc. If you get an allergic reaction from any of these irritants, you should consult a doctor sooner than later.

5. Hormone Disorder:

Hormonal imbalances in your body can also lead to hyperpigmentation of lips or dark lips. If your thyroid hormone levels are low or high, it can dark pigmentation on your lips, or may even result in pigmented lips. In this case, it's better to see a doctor to get proper treatment.

6. Medication:

Certain medications can also be the reason for dark lips. Antimalarial drugs or oral antibiotic minocycline can be one of the reasons for dark lips. Generally, the skin returns to its usual colour once you finish the course of medication but in some cases, hyperpigmentation on lips can persist.

7. Vitamin Deficiencies:

Vitamins like B12 aid in giving your skin an even tone. However, if your body is deficient in these vitamins, it may result in dark pigmentation on the lips or uneven skin tone. This is when you should contact a doctor to diagnose the deficiencies. If it's an extreme case, the doctor may recommend vitamin injections.

Treatment for Dark Lips

1. Use an SPF on Lips:

The beauty market is now focusing on formulating lip products that focus on sun protection, considering sun exposure is one of the major reasons for dark lips. Trust us when we say this, wearing an SPF on your lips is one of the effective dark lips treatments you didn't know you needed. It's best to use a lip balm that is rich in vitamin C to help reduce discolouration on lips and protect them from the sun. One such product is the Pure Sense Grapefruit UV Protection Lip Balm. This grapefruit infused, chemical-free, and cruelty-free lip balm is a zesty treat for your lips. Packed with antioxidants, this lip balm contains a pure source of vitamin C that brightens the skin on your lips while exfoliating dead skin cells. It absorbs sunlight and protects your lips from sun damage. This natural lip care product can also effectively heal and hydrate chapped lips, along with preventing discolouration.

2. Scrub your lips:

You won't see a drastic change in your pigmented lips overnight through scrubbing. But it is still quite aprogressive lip lightening treatment that can work when used consistently. Make sure you use a lip scrub on your dark lips once every two to three days to remove the dead skin cells on your lips. Alternatively, you can also brush your lips with a toothbrush once you're done brushing your teeth. It promotes blood circulation and results in a rosy sheen on your lips. Remember to be gentle with lip exfoliation and do not overdo it. Also, make sure you don't brush your lips on the same day as you scrub them. Once you scrub your pigmented lips, follow it up with a lip balm for moisturisation and nourishment.

3. Improve your gut health:

Inflammation in the gut can also result in dark pigmentation on lips and a dark tongue. This is why it is recommended to improve your gut health by making some dietary changes. For instance, remove dairy, sugar, high glycemic foods, processed foods and non-natural foods from your diet. Start including dairy or lactose-free yoghurt, fermented coffee, mangoes, sprouted grains, coconut oil, garlic and high-fibre foods in your daily diet.

4. Try Topical Creams:

You can use retinol or retinoids on your lips thrice a week. If you're unsure of which topical cream to use, ask your dermatologist to prescribe you one and invest in that product only. Don't apply too many products on your pigmented lips in the name of dark lips treatment because it could go horribly wrong and end up doing more damage than good.

5. Get Chemical Peels:

Chemical peels help stimulate collagen deep within your skin. It basically helps remove the dark lines on your upper and lower lip. There are various kinds of chemical peels that can be used as pigmented lips treatment. Depending on your skin condition, a chemical peel can help maintain skin pH. It can also remove dead skin cells, causes cell renewal and increases the natural moisturising factors of your skin. You will require subsequent sessions at an interval of two weeks for long-lasting effects.

6. Switch to Safer Makeup Products:

Certain chemicals in lipsticks, lip liners or lip balms can also be counted under the dark lips causes. Hence, it is better to invest in makeup products made with natural ingredients to serve the purpose while taking good care of your lips. If we were to suggest one such natural product for your lips, it would be the Pure Sense Macadamia Nourishing Lip Balm, which is completely free of sulphates, parabens and carcinogens, and cruelty-free. Made with natural ingredients like macadamia nut oil, beeswax, almond oil and castor oil, this lip balm is sure to prevent your lips from chapping. 

It also prevents discolouration, premature ageing, and focuses on moisturising your lips to give them a fresh and rosy look. If you're looking for something that can take care of your dark lips and also protect them from the sun, Pure Sense also has a Luxurious Lip Care Duo. It consists of Grapefruit UV Protection Lip Balm and Macadamia Nourishing Lip Balm. This lip-care duo soothes and moisturises your lips. Both the products are made with pure and natural ingredients that protect your lips from harmful UV rays while preventing discoloured lips. Grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C that lightens the colour of your pigmented lips, while macadamia that is packed with vitamin E focuses on hydrating and nourishing the dry skin on your lips. These lip balms are free of chemicals, cruelty-free, earth-friendly, and suitable for all skin types.

Basic Tips to Follow to Prevent Dark Lips

- Keep your lips hydrated at all times. Drink enough water each day to keep your body healthy from the inside. 

- Make lifestyle modifications. For example, if you're a smoker or consume too much alcohol, quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake. If you drink too much coffee too, limit it to just once a day. 

- Avoid picking or licking your lips as it will only result in dry and flaky lips and can eventually lead to dark lips. 

- Use lip products that contain vitamin E as it promotes cell turnover, which brings new cells to the surface of your lips faster. 

- Never sleep with any makeup on. Make sure to clean your face as well as your mouth with a makeup remover and then clean it with a gentle cleanser. 

- Always carry a nourishing lip balm with you and apply it on your dark lips frequently throughout the day. You can also use it before and after using a lip tint or lipstick. 


Any person can experience dark or pigmented lips, and there's nothing to be ashamed of or worried about (unless nothing seems to be working on them.) However, your focus should be on what you can do to treat them and heal them. Hope these tips can come in handy in your fight against dark, chapped lips. Your lips should be as much of a priority as the rest of your body and taking good care of them should always be taken into consideration. Explore our blog section to read more about topics such as lip care tips , chapped lips to get beautiful, smooth, and healthier lips.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Why won't my lips heal?

These are some basic ways to help soften your lips: Keep your lips moisturised at all times Choose a lip balm with SPF Use a lip care product that has no flavours or fragrances Exfoliate your lips once or twice a week Avoid biting, peeling or licking your lips Use makeup products with natural ingredients |In serious cases, your lips might take longer to heal due to underlying conditions. If your chapped lips get infected and result in cheilitis, you must consult a doctor. If you notice that your dark lips are not healing despite you doing things to treat them, visit a doctor immediately.

  • How do you treat smokers' lips naturally?

|Smokers' lips are no different from dark or pigmented lips. If you wish to treat them naturally, here's what you can do - mix half a teaspoon of coarse salt or sugar with a few drops of almond oil or coconut oil. Gently massage this mixture onto your lips twice a week. You can even do this by using a soft-bristled brush or washcloth if you don't wish to use your fingertips. When you start exfoliating your lips regularly, it will promote blood circulation into your lips and reduce dead skin cells. Make sure to use a moisturiser or a lip balm right after you exfoliate your dark lips.