Over time the skin on your lips can darken. This can be caused by a number of factors including sun exposure, hormone imbalances, allergies, caffeine intake and smoking. In most cases darker skin on the lips is not a cause for concern, and no medical treatment will be required. However if the skin is also sore and inflamed, it would be a good idea to see your doctor for more advice.
Many people can be self-conscious about darker skin on the lips. Plumper, lighter coloured lips are generally perceived to be healthier and more attractive. Fortunately there are some treatments available that can help to lighten lips, and rejuvenate the skin. This includes some affordable remedies that can be carried out easily at home.
Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisture
One of the most important ways to keep lips looking healthy is to follow a proper skin care regime. Regular cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising can improve the appearance of darkened, dry lips.
- Cleanse – cleanse lips daily as part of your overall face care regime. It is also a good idea to gently wipe lips with a damp tissue after eating or drinking. Avoid using any harsh cleaning agents on lips as this can cause drying and cracking.
- Exfoliate –gently exfoliating lips once or twice a week can help to remove dead skin cells and encourage the healthy growth of new skin cells. You can exfoliate with a normal product designed for exfoliating the face. Or you can create your own exfoliating paste by mixing a half a teaspoon of honey with a pinch of sugar. Apply this paste to your lips and then gently massage for a few moments before washing off with fresh water.
- Moisturise – lips can dry out, causing cracked, darker areas of skin. It is important to moisture regularly during the day to prevent drying. Vaseline is a cheap and effective product to put on your lips, and you can also buy good quality balms designed specifically for the lips.
It is important to protect the delicate skin on the lips from exposure to the sun’s rays. The skin on our lips can be easily damaged by over-exposure and this can result in dryness, cracking and hyper-pigmentation. Over-exposure to sunlight has also been shown to increase the signs of aging. To protect the lips you can buy special lip balms with SPF protection. You should wear SPF protection on exposed skin even on overcast days, and apply regularly to maintain a good level of protection.
Studies have shown that our diets can have a dramatic effect on the health and appearance of our skin. Eating a balanced diet can improve overall health. This can also help to improve the appearance of our lips and help to lighten skin and alleviate dryness. It is a good idea to avoid drinking very hot drinks, or eating very cold foods like ice-cream as this can damage the skin of the mouth and lips. Also drinking an excessive amount of tea or coffee can affect the body’s hydration levels, and this can make lips feel dry and cracked.
Natural Remedies for Dark Lips
If you are worried about darker skin on the lips then there are some helpful remedies that you can prepare easily at home. These can help to lighten the skin on the lips and improve its overall appearance.
- Shea Butter – this natural plant extract is extremely effective at moisturizing the skin. You can buy pure shea butter products that can be applied directly to the lips. This will help to alleviate dryness and improve the texture and appearance of the skin.
- Olive Oil – this is another natural moisturizer and contains powerful antioxidants that can help lips to stay soft and moisturised. Simple apply a small amount of olive oil to the lips and gently massage into the skin. Reapply as often as you need to during the day. Another benefit is that olive oil is affordable and readily available.
- Lemon Juice – this useful natural product contains Vitamin C, and has been used for centuries to lighten skin and hair. One effective home remedy is to mix some fresh lemon juice with some water and a little cucumber juice. Apply to lips for around 5 minutes and then wash off and gently pat the lips dry. You can use this treatment two or three times a week to lighten the skin on lips.
- Pomegranate Juice – the juice from pomegranates is also thought to be effective at lightening the skin. Take a fresh pomegranate and pulp some of the flesh and seeds. Mix with a little fresh milk and gently rub into the lips. Leave for a few minutes and then wash off and gently pat the lips dry. Repeat two to three times a week for the best effects.
- Papaya Scrub – papaya can also be used on the lips and is known for containing skin lightening enzymes. Carefully pulp some fresh papaya flesh and then rub into the lips using a clean tooth-brush for a few moments. Rinse with clean water and then moisturise.
- Potato – this common vegetable contains an enzyme thought to help lighten skin. Simply cut a slice of fresh potato and rub it gently on your lips. Rinse with clean water. You can repeat this daily to help lighten the skin on your lips.
- Honey – honey is a wonderful ingredient for home remedies. Pure honey is all natural and has almost no known side effects when used orally or topically. Make a great lip scrub of honey and sugar and use to keep lips looking lighter and rejuvenated. You can also apply honey directly to the lips to soften the skin.
- Cold Treatments – cold treatments are commonly used to stimulate circulation and blood flow. This can help to encourage clear, lighter skin on the lips. Wrap an ice-cube in a clean cloth. Gently rub across your lips for two to three minutes. Avoid placing the ice-cube directly against the lips though, as this can damage the skin.
Darkened, dry lips can look unhealthy and unattractive. Fortunately there are many ways you can improve the appearance of your lips naturally. This will help you to achieve lighter, softer and healthier lips.Image Source: flickr.com