Having healthy lips with a soft, pink look and a rosy glow can instantly make your face look fresh, dewy and youthful. But a lot of women experience that without proper care, their lips tend to become darker and chapped. Lip tints might not look very vibrant on darker pigmented lips and chapped lips might bleed and get worse with time if not treated. If your lips look shabby, you might end up feeling self-conscious and this might reflect in the form of lesser confidence. There are expensive cosmetic products and treatments available to treat these conditions but they might end up burning a hole through your pocket or have unwanted side effects. This article explains what causes lips to lose their natural pink and healthy appearance and also gives some natural tips and treatments that you can use to lighten the tone of your lips to a softer shade.
Why have my lips become darker in colour?
Before learning how to restore your lips to their original pink colour, it is important to understand why they became darker in the first place. The skin on your lips is very thin and delicate and is unlike the skin on the rest of your body. It contains much lower levels of keratin and is free from any hair follicles, sweat glands or sebaceous glands. Because of the lack of oil glands, lips dry up quickly in hot and humid conditions and are unable to regain the lost moisture. This gives them a chapped and flaky appearance. Additionally, the blood vessels present in the tissue are much closer to the skin which gives them a natural pink colour, brighter than the rest of your face but the thinner skin makes them quite vulnerable to damage due to the environment.
Some main reasons that may cause your lips to become darker are:
- Exposing your skin to excess sunlight on a regular basis
- Hyperpigmentation due to side effects caused by your medication
- Using cheap or unsuitable cosmetic products
- High levels of caffeine intake
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Hormonal imbalance or low blood circulation
- Dehydration due to inadequate water intake in your diet
How can I restore my lips to a healthy pink colour?
Once you identify which of these reasons is causing the hyperpigmentation in your lips, it will be relatively easier for you to change your lifestyle and treat them so that they can look pick and healthy. All it requires is a little care and attention, and the following easy remedies will surely help you treat yourself to that perfect pout!
1. Exfoliate your lips regularly
If your lips are dry and chapped, pulling at the skin can often damage them and cause bleeding. To avoid such a situation, you should regularly exfoliate your lips with a gentle scrub to remove the flaky, dead skin and reveal the newer, healthier skin underneath. You can buy a lip scrub for this purpose or even make one in the comfort of your home! Honey mixed with sugar is one of the best natural concoctions that can remove the dark layer of accumulated dead skin from your lips and reveal softer, smoother, and lighter lips. All you need to do is mix a tablespoon of granulated sugar into a tablespoon of honey. Give the ingredients a quick stir, and your lip scrub is ready to use. Use your fingers to gently massage the lip scrub onto your lip. Do this for a minute so that sugar granules can gently remove all the dead skin on the surface without damaging the lips. Sugar also contains antioxidants that can protect lips from getting dark due to sun damage, and the acids in it protects them from toxins. Now, let the scrub sit on your lips for a few more minutes so that the enzymes present in the honey can lighten the colour of the lips and deeply moisturize them too. After this, wash the mixture off with normal water. You can use this scrub twice a week to obtain the best results.
2. Do not lick your lips
You are automatically inclined to constantly lick your lips if they are dry and chapped to moisturize them and soothe any pain or bleeding temporarily. Layering saliva over your lips only further dries them out in the long run and does not help you get rid of chapped lips. But over time, this can develop into a habit. Licking your lips may darken them and the area around your mouth since there are enzymes present in saliva that are used to break down food into simple substances that can be absorbed by the human body. Try to consciously control yourself from licking your lips and figure out the reason you do it. You might have a habit of licking your lips when you are nervous, anxious or bored. In such a case, try to fight the habit by finding something else to do to occupy your mind at that time, such as chewing gum, listening to music or meditating.
3. Lighten up your lips with lemon juice
Lemon juice has bleaching agents present in it and is a great natural ingredient you can use to lighten up your lips. Cut out a small slice of lemon and sprinkle some sugar on it. The sugar on the lemon will help you to exfoliate your lips in the process. Rub this slice of lemon coated with sugar on your lips very gently for no longer than three minutes. Make sure that you do not exceed this time, as lemon juice might also end up drying out your lips and making them chapped. In case your lips are already very sensitive or chapped because of dryness, stay away from this method. The lemon juice is acidic and might seep into the cuts on your lips, irritating them and also causing pain. It would be a good idea to add a layer of honey on the lemon to ensure that your lips regain their moisture after the process is complete. Use this method three to four times a week for best results.
4. Lip balms are your best friends
Lip balms, petroleum jellies, coconut oil and almond oil, are truly your best friends if you suffer from chapped, unhealthy lips. You can carry them around in little containers and keep reapplying them throughout the day. You will definitely experience that your lips have become much smoother and healthier than they used to be. Another great method to heal your damaged lips is to apply a thick layer of lip balm all over your lips before you go to sleep each night. It will work over the night and deeply restore moisture to your lips while repairing all the damaged skin cells too. In the morning when you wake up you will find your lips well hydrated. Softly run a brush across your lips to remove all the dead skin on them and reveal healthier pink lips and then wash off the lip balm. You can repeat this every day for locking all the moisture in your lips and make them look more luscious.
Do you find that artificial lip balms just do not suit your lips or give you the required effect? This might be a sign that you have sensitive skin, and you should try using some natural ingredients to create your own lip balm. Add two spoons of coconut oil, a tablespoon on beeswax a few drops of vitamin E oil and a few more drops of essential oils if you would like to a small bowl. Microwave for a few seconds so that all the ingredients melt and then give the mixture a good stir. Put it in an old, empty lip balm container and let it sit until it solidifies and your lip balm is ready to use! You can even experiment and all some fun, custom ingredients such as chocolate, berries and honey.
5. Protect your lips from the sunlight when yous step out
As you already know now, a major cause for lips becoming darker in colour is excessive exposure to the sunlight. Our face is almost always exposed to the sun. Most people do apply sunblock to their faces before they step out into the sun, but a lot of us forget that our lips need protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun too! Make sure that you are using a lip balm that offers protection from the sun and has a sun protection factor of at least fifteen. Apply it at least thirty minutes before you expose your lips to the sun, and if your ar constantly spending time in the sun, then make sure to keep replying the sun protection lip balm at regular intervals. Keep your face, including your lips, covered with a scarf whenever possible when you are out. If you feel like a scarf might ruin your outfit, you might even opt for a chic, wide-brimmed hat.
6. Be careful with your choice of makeup products
You might be occasionally tempted by cheaper lipsticks because of their attractive packaging or irresistible shades. This lipstick might temporarily make your lips look bright and luscious, but it might actually be making your lips darker if there are harmful ingredients present in it. Make sure that all the makeup products you use are of very good quality to avoid such a situation. Additionally, do not use lipsticks with matte textures on a daily basis because using them regularly may strip your lips of moisture and dry them out. This will give them a chapped, unhealthy appearance. You should apply a coat of primer before applying the matte lipstick to create a shield between your lips and the product and lock in their moisture. Also try to switch it up by a striking a balance between your beloved mattes, natural creamy tones and shiny lip glosses. And always brush some moisturizing oil on your lips and let it fully permeate into your skin before you put on your lipstick or any other lip product. Make sure that you always remove all lip products before you go to bed by quickly wiping them with a makeup wipe. Even though there may be no visible residue, the small particles of makeup invisible to the naked eyes, if left behind overnight, might damage your lips.
7. Try some natural lip packs
To lighten your lips and restore them to their original, healthy state, you may use the following natural ingredients as a lip pack.
- Aloe vera: Cut out a fresh leaf of Aloe Vera and extract the juice inside it. You can add a few drops of honey and essential oil and after some cooling, use it on your lips throughout the day. Aloe Vera has medicinal properties and vitamin E oil that can help with chapped lips and make them softer with regular use. It also stimulates the growth of newer skin cells, which will eventually help you achieve the perfect natural pink colour.
- Turmeric and Milk: Mix turmeric and milk to form a thick mixture of a paste-like consistency. Apply this to your lips, let it sit for about five minutes and then wash it off. Turmeric has gentle bleaching properties and can fight pigmentation, giving your lips a soft, natural, pink glow. Milk can act as an exfoliating agent and remove all the dead skin cells on the surface that might be giving your lips a darker look. It can also moisturize them and heal chapped lips.
8. Make the most of berries
A great way to make your lips look more vibrant is consuming lots of vibrant fruits like berries. You can use these berries and rub them on your lips to give them a dash of colour. Apply a layer of lip balm to make the colour last longer. Strawberries can also be used to create a delicious mask rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, that will give you the perfect pink pout. All you need to do is to mash up a strawberry and mix it with some cream and honey. Apply this mask to your lips and let it sit for around 10 minutes. Then wash it off with some water and apply a layer of lip balm to moisturize. Your lips will end up looking just as pink and soft as the strawberries!