Dark Lips: Causes, Remedies, and Prevention

dark lips

Aside from dry lips, having dark lips is another unappealing occurrence. If you are having darker lips, read on to find the causes and what you can do to lighten dark lips.

Causes of Dark Lips

Dark lips can be due to any of the following:

Excessive Sun Exposure

dark lips due to sun exposure

When you constantly have sun exposure, it triggers melanin and thus can cause hyperpigmentation because of the harmful UV rays.


When your body is not hydrated enough, it will not only cause dry, chapped lips but can also cause dark spots on your lips.


Tobacco smoke contains benzyprene which causes melanin production, and hence, may cause darker lips. Furthermore, nicotine can also restrict blood flow and consequently, oxygen, to the lips that keep them from being soft and healthy, aside from causing blue lips.

Blue/Purple lips may also mean that your blood circulation is poor or a sign that you have been poisoned, so do take note of this.

smoking as a cause of darker lips

Allergic Reactions

Certain pigments in lipsticks can cause allergies that result in lip pigmentation. Watch out for lip products containing pentaerythritol fatty acid ester, ricinoleic acid, isopalmityl diglyceryl sebacate, ester gum, and other 1-phenyl azo-2-naphthol derivatives.

Another product that can cause darkening due to allergies include toothpaste, although even without such allergy, excessive fluoride itself can cause hyperpigmentation too.

Certain Medical Conditions

There are medical issues that can cause lip hyperpigmentation, the most common of which is Addison’s disease. It is an immune disease wherein the adrenal gland does not produce certain important hormones. This causes dark patches on the lips, gums, and skin.

Other medical conditions include anemia, cyanosis, and although uncommon, Laugier-Hunziker syndrome.

Certain Medications / Treatments

medications causing dark lips

The most common medication that causes dark lips is minocycline. although this discoloration goes away after treatment. Other medications that have lip-darkening as one of the side effects include cytotoxic drugs in chemotherapy and antipsychotic drugs such as chlorpromazine.

Nutritional Deficiency

Lack of Vitamin B12 may also cause dark spots on the lips. Lack of iron in our diet can also dark lips.


Pregnancy causes skin darkening of certain areas of the body and the lips as well due to hormonal changes.

While most of the time, increased lip hyperpigmentation is not a cause for concern and more often than not is temporary, it always best to see your doctor for medical advice.

Nevertheless, there are home remedies and other natural treatments to lighten lip pigmentation.

Natural Remedies to Lighten Darker Lips

Honey and Sugar Scrub

Because dead skin makes your lips appear darker, make a paste with 1 teaspoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Gently rub your lips with this paste then rinse off with warm water.

honey sugar scrub

Do this no more than twice a week. Doing it frequently can make your mouth sore as it only has 3-5 layers of skin. Then finish off with a natural, good quality lip balm to keep it protected.

Massage with Natural Oil

On alternate days between exfoliating with your honey and sugar paste, gently massage coconut oil or almond oil on your lips. Massaging also increases blood flow.


pomegranate for healthy lips

Pomegranate extracts help reduce melanin pigmentation to lighten dark lips. To use pomegranate powder, simply make a paste by adding water. Gently massage. Do this once a week alternating with the scrub or coconut oil. It will gradually make your lips lighter in color.

You can also mix pomegranate juice mixed with honey. 1 teaspoon raw, organic honey, and half a teaspoon of pomegranate juice. It is rich in antioxidants and helps in giving you a nice lip color.

Lemon Juice + Sugar + Glycerin Paste

natural remedy for dark lips

This is one of the favorite home treatments to lighten dark lips. Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Add about 5 drops of glycerin and gently scrub this paste on your lips for about 5 minutes. Do this as an option in lieu of the other lip scrubs about once a week and will gradually give your lips a pink color as you remove the dead skin.

Beetroot + Olive Oil

Mix the juice of a medium beetroot and about 10 drops olive oil. You can store the mixture in a covered jar and apply on lips regularly about twice a day and see lips lighten in in 2 months.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is one of the home remedies that is so easy to do. Apply a thin layer once a day and rinse off when dry. It has a component that inhibits melanin.


Why are my lips turning dark?

Lips turn dark due to any of the following reasons: excessive sun exposure, smoking, certain diseases, side effects of certain medications, and allergies.

How can I lighten my dark lips?

You can use any of the home remedies such as honey and sugar, aloe vera, pomegranate, beetroot, lemon. Also, remember to protect your lips after the exfoliation with a good lip balm that is safe to use every day.

What disease causes black lips?

The most common is Addison’s disease wherein the immune system attacks the adrenal gland. This causes it to not produce certain essential hormones which are essential for normal functioning.

Tips to Improve the Appearance of Dark Lips

Quit Smoking

Smoking has ingredients that increase melanin pigments and reduces the oxygen supply on the lips by constricting the vessels.

Protect Lips against UV Rays

Have a sun protection treatment to protect against the appearance of darker lips. The sun is one of the most prevailing causes of darker lips, so minimize exposure as possible.

Keep Yourself Hydrated and Nourished

Hydrating yourself will not only prevent dry lips but can also help lip and skin lightening.

Make sure you have a nutrient-rich diet or take supplements, especially vit C and as important, the B vitamins. other minerals too.

Follow it Up with a Lip Balm

The home treatments above do help exfoliate the natural way, but whichever home remedy treatment you use, always use a lip balm after. such as Zenrooted’s CBD lip balm.

Our lips need moisturizing every day since our lips do not have oil glands.

There are many lip balms out there in the market, but be careful in choosing because you need to apply a lip balm every day.

natural CBD lip balm

A lot of lip balms contain synthetic or worse, cause darker lips. Our lip balm not only moisturizes your lips but also nourishes them with CBD’s antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been proven by some happy users that CBD applied to lips has caused plump, sexy lips.

For those who cannot use CBD, we also have an organic lip balm with essential oils.

Zernrooted’s lip balms are made of all-organic ingredients, such as CBD/essential oils, cocoa butter, beeswax (an organic wax) to keep lips soft. Our product also has coconut oil which not only moisturizes but also improves the appearance of dark lips. It also helps protect against the sun’s harmful effects.


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