If you want to know how to get rid of dark lips fast, you should know the root cause first. That’s the best way to solve this problem. In this article, we have listed several effective home remedies for dark lips.
How to get rid of dark lips fast and naturally
If you smoke, quit now and forever.
Habitual smokers have bluish-black or darkened lips because of nicotine staining and the lack of oxygen supply in the blood. Thus, if you want to get rid of this problem, seek professional help.
Did you know that consuming high amounts of fruits and veggies could help you quit smoking? Well, it does, said the authors of one study published online by the University of Buffalo. 
They found out that smokers who ate the most fruits and vegetables were three times more likely to quit this bad habit (for at least 30 days). They smoked less cigarettes every day, had lower score on a nicotine dependency test, and would actually wait longer to smoke their first cigarette for the day.
Wear lip products with UV protection.
Too much sun exposure is another reason for dark lips. When the sun’s ultraviolet rays hit your lip’s surface, they “excite” the skin cells (melanocytes). This then will lead to an increased production of melanin pigments.
What’s the best way to protect your lips from harmful UV rays?
Buy sun block products that are made specifically for the lips. But, whatever you do, steer clear from baby oil, petroleum jelly, glossy lipsticks, and lip gloss because they increased your risk for skin cancer. Dermatologists say these high-shine lip products allow ultraviolet rays to go through the skin instead of deflecting them. 
Go for matte lipsticks instead. And don’t forget about SPF protection (30 or higher) when purchasing lip products. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), these should be reapplied at least every two hours or so depending on the exposure.
Lighten dark lips through exfoliation.
Mild exfoliation is one of the simplest ways to soften, lighten, and cleanse your lips. But, I won’t recommend you to do this if your lips are cracked, bleeding, or irritated.
Don’t get too carried away. You don’t need to scrub your lips every day. Once or twice a week would do.
Since the skin on your lips is sensitive, make sure you use exfoliating beads that are non-abrasive. And moisturize right after to prevent excessive dryness and irritation. A good lip scrub should not only contain a gentle exfoliator, but it should also have a deep-penetrating moisturizing ingredient(s).
Lip Scrub Recipe One
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey
- 1 teaspoon of rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon of almond oil – This vegetable oil is widely used for skin that’s dry, irritated, and has dark marks. Plus, it’s a natural sunscreen.
- Combine raw honey and rolled oats. Using slightly firm and circular motions, scrub your lips for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Wash everything off using lukewarm water. Gently pat them dry.
- Apply almond oil (or any lip moisturizer you like) right after.
Lip Scrub Recipe Two
- ½ teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of finely ground rice
- 1 to 3 drops of lemon juice (a mild bleaching agent)
Please refer to the previous lip scrub recipe for the preparation steps.
Use natural and safe ingredients to lighten the skin on your lips.
There are many over-the-counter products and natural ingredients that you can use to lighten the darkened skin on your lips. But, if you want to avoid harsh commercial ingredients, like kojic acid, here are some of the all-natural alternatives.
Alpha arbutin is widely used in many skin care products to serve as a safe alternative to kojic acid and hydroquinone, which is banned in a lot of countries. This glycoside is known for its ability to prevent and treat hyperpigmentation. It works by stopping the production of tyrosinase, which in turn inhibits the formation of melanin pigments.
Alpha arbutin is obtained from the leaves of blueberry, bearberry plant, and cranberry. To avoid side effects, buy skin care products with 3 to 4% alpha arbutin.
Niacinamide is the biologically active form of vitamin B3 or niacin. It’s found in many vitamin B complex supplements, Brewer’s yeasts, and root vegetables. Some food sources of vitamin B3 are fish (e.g. tuna and salmon), organ meats, legumes, peanuts, and fortified cereals.
A study has shown that 2 to 5% niacinamide, when applied to the skin alone or in combination with N-acetyl glucosamine, is markedly effective in treating UV-induced hyperpigmentation and melasma (dark skin discoloration) in light-skinned Asian women. 
In a different clinical study, female test subjects were asked to apply placebo on side of their face and topical niacinamide on the other side for two months. Results showed that niacinamide was more effective than the placebo. It was able to reduced hyperpigmentation by 25% versus the 15% of placebo. 
White Mulberry (Morus alba)
White mulberry is an herb that’s native to China, wherein it’s used as a silkworm food and medicine. Like alpha arbutin, it works by inhibiting tyrosinase activity to prevent excessive melanin production, which in turn lightens the skin. The active ingredient in white mulberry is called betulinic acid, which also has an anti-inflammatory activity. 
In a double-blind clinical trial, mulberry oil (75%) has shown to be a better skin lightening agent compared to placebo. The only side effect reported by four test subjects is slight itching. 
Other home remedies for dark lips
Lemon has skin lightening properties and is great for treating dark lips. It also cleans your skin. Rub fresh lemon juice onto your lips. Wait for 15 minutes before washing it off. Remember to moisturize afterwards because lemon juice tends to dry out the lips.
Cucumber works effectively as a natural skin soother and lightener. Cucumber also has great moisturizing properties. Take a slice of cucumber piece and rub it onto your lips. Wait for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.
Turmeric powder mixed with rose water and sandalwood (optional) is an effective remedy to lighten your skin. Simply make a paste and apply it onto your lips. Leave it there until it dries off before washing it off.
Aloe vera has healing and moisturizing properties. It’s full of antioxidants which makes the skin look healthier, softer and lighter.
Apply aloe vera gel onto your lips daily for optimal results.
Tips to prevent dark lips
Don’t lick or bite your lips too often. The acid in saliva will damage the skin which makes the lips darker.
Drinking lots of coffee and tea may darken the skin. Minimize the consumption of these products.
Lack of moisture and exfoliation may cause dead skin cells which make the lips look dull and dark.
One of the most important steps to eliminate dark lips is to rule out any skin condition. Talk to your dermatologist, so he or she can properly evaluate your condition and give the right treatment strategy.
Like other home treatments, you can’t expect the remedies mentioned above to give overnight results. So, be patient and realistic.
What treatments have you tried so far that’s proven effective? Don’t forget to share them below.