Lip Discoloration? Here’s How To Properly Treat It

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Black woman treating lip discoloration

When we hear “hyperpigmentation“, the first thing we think of tends to be acne marks and body scars, but what about lip discoloration? Darkening of the lips is something a lot of us deal with naturally, but it can also be a result of habits and environmental factors. 

Sun overexposure, smoking, dehydration, caffeine, and vitamin deficiencies are some of the main causes of discolored lips. And while the solution clearly lies within halting some of these behaviors, you could also adopt a few practices to help you lighten your lips. 

Here are a few ways to properly and quickly treat lip discoloration. 

Build up a full lip care routine

First things first, if you have a problem with your lips darkening around the perimeter, this means you need to start putting some real effort into building a lip-care routine. This may sound tedious, but it’s actually not anything too crazy. All you need to do is: 

  • Exfoliate a few times a week. When you remove dead skin via gentle exfoliation, you reveal a whole new layer of brighter, smoother skin underneath. This practice will lighten up your lips instantly, and even more over time.
  • Hydrate and moisturize your lips daily. Dry, chapped lips may make your problem seem worse than it actually is. Plus, excessive dryness only further contributes to skin issues, so daily hydrating and moisturizing should be a no-brainer. 
  • Cut back on habits that may be causing the issue. As stated before, lip discoloration is a natural occurrence, but external factors can absolutely exacerbate the issue. If you know that habits such as smoking or dehydration are contributing to your problem, consider cutting back on certain behaviors. 

Get into some preventive measures. 

diy scrub for lip discoloration

You’ll eventually get to a point where your lips are even-toned, soft, and supple—and that’s the point in which preventive measures become extremely important. You made all of that progress, do you really want to fumble it all now? Nope! 

So then, there are a few things you can (and probably should) do to keep lip discoloration at bay for the long-term: 

Sugar Scrub-  Again, exfoliation is super important when you’re trying to lighten up your lips. You don’t have to go buy some expensive body scrub, either! Mixing a little sugar, honey, and lemon juice should do the trick. 

Aloe Vera- Aloe is a well-known remedy for hyperpigmentation because studies show that it slows melanin production in the skin. Using aloe-based lip products or simply moisturizing with aloe gel is an easy way to make sure your lips don’t darken over time.  

Sunscreen- Because sun exposure naturally tans the skin, it’s not wrong to assume that it could also darken your lips. You can easily protect yourself from this by wearing sunscreen or using a lip balm with at least an SPF 25. 

 

These two products have worked wonders for me and my lip discoloration woes: 

Paula’s Choice Lipscreen SPF 50, $10

This chapstick is truly a godsend for protection against severe lip discoloration. Formulated with olive oil and beeswax, it works to soothe and smooth dry, chapped lips without leaving a greasy residue. The best part is that’s its SPF 50 which means your lips are fully protected from the negative impact of the sun, like UV rays. 

Tip: Apply this after you exfoliate. If you plan on wearing lipstick or gloss, apply this beforehand for extra protection.

 

e.l.f Lip Exfoliator, $4

This lip exfoliator is super convenient because it’s just lip scrub molded into the shape of lipstick. So instead of digging in the jar and rubbing it all over, you simply apply it like you would apply lipstick. It’s mess-free, effective, and moisturizing. Plus, it smells fantastic. 

Tip: Rough treatment of your lips could make discoloration worse, so don’t go too hard with this! Do it gently—3 or 4 times a week—and then moisturize. 

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