What Causes Dark Lips

A person may have black lips in two ways. First- his/her lips may be dark from birth. Second - for some reasons, like smoking, sun exposure, licking lips, dryness, huge use of lipsticks, etc. Anyway, proper lip care can relieve you from acquired black lips.

what causes dark lips

To lighten your dark lips, it is essential to know first what causes dark lips. If you can identify the reasons for your dark lips, you can easily treat your lips.

Every woman wants pinkish, reddish and beautiful lips because a couple of pretty lips enhances the overall beauty of the face. When your face looks beautiful and smart, you feel also better to expose yourself to your friends. But, unfortunately, many people acquire dark lips in different ways. Today, I will mainly discuss what causes dark lips.

What Causes Dark Lips – 17 Reasons

Do you know them? If not, be ready to know what causes dark lips. There are many reasons for dark lips. Here, I depicted 17 most common reasons why your lips become dark. Hope, after knowing, you will be able to remove the darkness of your lips.

1. Dryness

Lips look better and beautiful when the natural moisturizer for the lips is the right amount. The skin of the lips is always open, it loses its moisturizer easily for a slightly rough weather or reason. Especially, the smokers and the mouth breathers experience dry lips more. The lip lickers also face dry lips. In cold and windy weather, you may also face dryness on your lips. Sometimes, the dryness may cause cracking or chapping of your lips. All these damages lastly put darkness on your lips. To treat dry or chapped lips, use Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Balm Beeswax. It is a best-selling lip moisturizer.

2. Lifestyle and Habits

Your lifestyles may also leave a dark tint on your lips. Smoking, alcohol taking and regular usage of narcotic may bring discoloration of the lips. The darkness on the lips and in the inner lining of the mouth is called smoker’s melanosis. Illicit alcohol and home brews containing acidic substances may cause black spots on your lips. Lack of sufficient water causes dehydration and the dehydration first attacks the sensitive skin, like lips, face etc. Dehydration finally leaves dark touches on the lips.

Read “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business“. It is a New York Times Bestseller Listed Book. This book describes scientifically how to be accustomed to good habits by breaking down the bad habits to be successful in life, family and business.

3. Lip Cosmetics/Products

Tony Moly Cherry Mini Lip Balm
Credit: Tony Moly Cherry Mini Lip Balm

Women apply cosmetics or makeups on the lips so that their lips look impressive and attractive. Sometimes, this lip product may cause darkness on your lips. The inferior, low and inexpensive lip products are formulated with chemical materials that are harmful to sensitive skin like lips. The over and long time usage of lipsticks also leaves dark tones gradually on the lips. Unfortunately, your date expired products may harm your beautiful lips. If you do not remove your makeups from lips at night before going to bed, this habit also frequently causes black lips.

4. Melasma/Hyperpigmentation

Melasma means hyperpigmentation on the skin caused by the excessive deposition of the melanin. Generally, melanin is occurred by excessive sun exposure. It may occur on any open skin of your body, like face, lip, hand, neck etc. As the face is the most open part, it is affected mostly by melanin. Usually, melasma causes darker on the upper lip. The darkness caused by hyper-pigmentation forms as symmetrical patches. But, you don’t face any itching or rashes. Use sunscreen products on your lips to prevent the sunburn.

5. Sun Exposure

You may also get discoloration on your lips from chronic sun exposure. The persistent sun exposure burns the skin both on your lip and skin. But, the darkness of the lips is more focused. The UV rays also trigger the melanin deposition on the various parts of the body. But, the face and lips are most harmed. So, to get lighten your lips as far as possible you should not move more in the harmful sun exposure. And apply “Kiss My Face Sports Lip Balm SPF 30 sunscreen” before 30 minutes of going to sun exposure. It is a best-seller sunscreen for lips.

6. Anemia

Anemia is also causing the discoloration of the lips. Anemia occurs basically in women during their pregnancy. Often anemia means the deficiency of iron in the body. But, any type of anemia is liable to cause the darkness on your lips. Anemia occurs when the oxygen-carrying compound (hemoglobin) is less than the normal amount. And, hemoglobin is responsible for the red color of the blood. So, the deficiency of hemoglobin causes the discoloration in the lip skin. Sometimes, this discoloration looks blue and in cold weather it becomes acuter. For all these reasons, your lips may look black.

7. Bad Eating Habits

Eating disorders mean the deficiency of nutritional foods. The eating disorders cause various problems, like bulimia, and anorexia nervosa. For an example- bulimia means repetitive vomiting and the corrosive action of stomach acid. This problem may cause long-term damage on the lips. So, it is not abnormal to get the discoloration on your lips. Besides, many do not eat sufficient amounts of vegetables, fruits, and water. These 3 things help lots to retain the skin clean and bright.

Read this book “It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways“. This book helps you to form good eating habits in just 30 days and helps to reduce lots of disease symptoms.

8. Lentigo

Lentigo affects the skin, including lips and face. Lentigo is related to a flat brown to black spots. Lentigo may be occurred usually by chronic sun exposure and systemic diseases, like Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.

9. Different Medications

Different types of medications cause hyperpigmentation and discoloration of the skin, including lips, necks, and chin etc. But, the lips are most affected by these medications. The medications are as follows:

  • Certain photosensitizing drugs such as- isotretinoin, acitretin for treating other skin disorders
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as- imipramine, desipramine
  • Tetracyclines (minocycline) are high power antibiotics. And, other kinds of antibiotics may also cause lip discoloration.
  • Antipsychotic drugs for treating particular psychiatric conditions.
  • Chemotherapy drugs for treating cancer
  • Some drugs (phenothiazines) for treating vomiting and nausea
  • Antimalarial drugs for preventing or treating malaria
  • Hydroquinone (skin-lightening agents)

10. Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome

Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome is a genetic condition. Hyperpigmentation of the skin, mucosal membranes and the presence of gastrointestinal polyps occur. This condition increases a very high risk of intestinal cancer. For this, you may experience dark skin patches through the dark mucosal lining in the mouth.

11. Toxins and Poisoning

Your lips may face discoloration or darkness for a different number of toxins and poisoning things or metals. These toxins are silver, mercury, bismuth, copper etc. Besides, some caustic substances, like strong alkalis, acids, and other toxic elements may cause chemical burns on your lips. Thus, you may experience discoloration or darkness on the lips.

12. Smoking

There is a proverb, “Smoking is harmful to health. It causes death.” Smoking also creates some other problems on the skin including, the face. The lips are most affected by smoking. The lip skin becomes very dark by smoking. It also causes dryness, fine lines and wrinkles on or around the lips. The teeth also become dark or brown for smoking. The only way to get natural lips to discontinue the smoking. See some tips on how to lighten dark lips from smoking.

Read also “Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking“. It is the best and biggest selling book having sold more than 13 million copies across the world. It shows you the ways to stop smoking easily and permanently.

13. Dehydration

You face dehydration in two ways such as- one is not taking enough water and the second is the lip licking. The common symptoms of dehydration are the dry skin of the face, chin, hands, neck. The dryness ultimately causes dark tones on the lips. A person should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to keep his skin hydrated and moisturized. Sufficient amount of water also helps to keep your lip skin healthy.

14. Allergens

Allergens come with different types of lip cosmetics. It may come from your lipsticks or lip glosses or lip balms. Basically, the fragrances and dyes infused with the cosmetics are liable to cause allergy. And, the allergy causes dark lines or spots on your lips. If you understand the particular cosmetics are causing allergies, you must terminate them.

15. Caffeine and Hot Beverages

Many people cannot control the craving and aroma of taking freshly hot coffee or tea. Even, the people who have the habit of taking many cups of coffee or tea, they drink these items during hot sun. It is true that hot coffee or tea gives us freshness and removes the monotonous. But, excessive drinks are not good for health. The excessive amount of hot tea or coffee can cause harsh on your body. Even, more than 5 cups of hot tea or coffee are harmful to face skin like lips. Your lips may become darker with more times of taking hot caffeine. Hot caffeine also stains your teeth.

16. Not Taking Care of Lips

The skin of the lips is one of the most sensitive skins of the body. It may be harmed easily by any things. So, you must take care of your lips properly and regularly. In winter, the lips are mostly victims. We see many men and women do not take care of their lips during this period. So, they notice, their lips become dry first, then they become chapped. Finally, the dryness and chapping leave the dark lines or patches on your lips. With natural home remedies, you can easily treat your dry lips for preventing them from darkening. Read “how to take care of your lips“. This article shows you the ways serially to take care of your lips at home properly to get all-time beautiful lips.

17. Dermatitis

Dermatitis is two types such as- contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is not harmful to lips. Usually, the contact dermatitis is harmful to the women’s lip. The contact dermatitis come with the touch of lipstick, lip gloss, lip liners and lip balms. Having dermatitis, these lip products cause darkness on the lips over the time without causing any dermatitis symptoms like itching. Generally, the cheaper cosmetics made with dyes contain dermatitis. So, the dermatologist suggests not to use the inexpensive cosmetics on the lips. Most of the reputable cosmetic brands try to avoid these harmful dyes.

Other Reasons for Dark Discolored Lips

  • Injuries and allergic reactions
  • Inappropriate dental fixtures may also cause darkness on the lips. But, it is rare.
  • You may get an allergy from particular toothpaste. Allergy creates darkness on the lips lastly.
  • Hormonal changing levels for infection, age, and diseases are also responsible for black lips.
  • Lack of vitamin B also sometimes creates discoloration on the lips. Take vitamin rich foods or multi-vitamin pills.

If you have acquired dark lips, you may easily turn them bright or pinkish. There are many natural remedies that are very effective to lighten lips. You may also use lip balms or lipstick or lip glosses or lip cream for taking care of your dark lips. Don’t use inexpensive and harmful chemical-mixed lip cosmetics. Try to apply the best, high expensive and branded lip cosmetics, then you can easily prevent the darkness of your lips. If you like “what causes black lips”, don’t forget to share it with others.

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  1. Hello,

    I just read you’re article and I do believe through all these years of using Colgate total; that it has been doing harm to my lips. I’ve tried different brands and Crest was a huge mistake. As soon as I tried Crest, cavities came about. It just never gave you a clean feeling. I’m using Arm & hammer Truly Radiant paste now and it feels it’s easy on my lips now.

    Well anyways back to the topic, now I am reading I can regain the redness through certain steps. Any suggestions for a “guy”? I do take a multi-vitamin and easy on the coffee. I am currently doing a green tea cycle as a matter of fact.
    Oh and do you have an instagram?

    Thank you Paoli Johan ?

  2. Hi Jose,
    Love your comment.

    For getting pink lips for men, you cannot smoke, drink more than 3 cups of tea or coffee, take spicy or hot foods, etc. Use lip balm with SPF sunscreen. Rub your lips with honey for 3 minutes before going to bed every night. Crashed rose petals are effective and natural to turn the lips rosy instantly. But, be careful of using it. Just rub your lips with mashed rose petals for a few minutes. Then wipe the lips off with a tissue. Don’t go out immediately, because the rose color is still very visible. Give the lips more time to fade the color away a little. Then your lips look brighter, but not look as raw rosy color.

    You can use Laetitia dark lips cream. – https://darklipstips.com/laetitia-dark-lips-cream.html

    best of luck

  3. Hi,Since one and a half year,my upper lips got dark coloured due to usage of expired lipstick .This can be lightened/hidden temporarily using maybelline lip balm but I want a permanent solution to remove the disculouration and restore its original colour.I tried home remedies for last 1.5 years-like honey,sugar,butter,lemon..but all in vain.All efforts seems to be getting wasted.what should i do ?I heard laepatitis (a filipino company product)can help?please guide.

  4. Hi Arihant,
    The prolonged use of lipsticks, cheap lipsticks, expired or old lipsticks causes the lips dark. better ideas to use lipstick when you have any party or function.

    After using lipstick, rinse your lips with lemon juice. Massage your lips with lemon juice for 2 minutes. Then use a lip balm.

    laepatitis, it is Laetitia dark lips cream. It is good cream to lighten dark lips. You can read here in detail- https://darklipstips.com/laetitia-dark-lips-cream-review.html

    Best of luck

  5. Hey guys, my lips are not dark or chapped. I just have a light discolouration around my upper and lower lips. What may be the cause? Any suggestions on how to get rid of this?

  6. Hi Anthony,
    Normal the around of the lips are a little bit darker for everyone. Anyway, to remove it, you can rub the corners with lemon juice once a day. Lemon can bleach the darkness.

    Best of luck.

  7. Thanks.. but there is a little query. Can the picking-torn dark lips be restored back to their original color,, after they become dark,scarry and ugly due to lip picking habit?

  8. Hi Adam,
    Why not? You can restore your actual lip color if you have made your lips discolored by your picking habit or other reasons, like smoking, sun rays etc.

    But, if the lip are dark from birth or naturally, then you cannot lighten them.


  9. Hello…
    I just wanna ask.. my lips are darker around the line where the skin and the lips met.. so it look a little weird.. it makes my friends think that i’m a smoker, although i’m not.. recently, I’ve also been using a lipbalm to light up my lips.. but it seems not working.. maybe it is something to do with symptom of a disease

  10. I used mouth wash for a month and I had a bad reaction my lips have turned black, also I dyed my beard black and it did more damage

    • Hi Rob,
      You can consult with a dermatologist. He can suggest you some safe mouthwash that cannot harm your skin like lips.

  11. Hello, nice and educative writeup, thumbs up.
    But you did not talk much about those born with dark or should i say black lips(am a victim) and what can be done cause is really embarrassing. Whoever sees me always ask if am a smoker and have never and will never try that shit


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