Some people are lucky to have natural pink/red lips and maintain it while some were born with black lips (who can they blame?). Some of us were however born with pink/red lips but might not know how to maintain them to prevent them from getting dark. Here are some tips that will aid our red/pink lip maintenance;
1. Say ‘NO’ to smoking:
Smoking is known to cause cancer and other diseases. Nicotine causes darkening of the lips and lip discoloration. Avoid it!
- Drink less Coffee:
Excess consumption of tea and coffee can turn lips black in addition to staining your teeth. So, limit your caffeine intake, in order to avoid your lips from getting darker.
3. Minimize Sun exposure
Exposure to the sun also causes lip darkening as there is an increased amount of melanin pigment in the lips. Ensure that you use lip products with SPF/UV protectors, if you are going to spend time outside.
4. Check your Lipsticks:
Prolonged and excessive use of lipsticks and lip cosmetics, especially lower-quality ones can also cause lip pigmentation. Use lipsticks sparingly (apply only when you need them the most) and always buy lip products from reputed brands. Ensure that you check for the expiry date and not use expired lipsticks or lip products. Look for one or more of these ingredients in your lipsticks: Shea butter, clarified butter, vitamin E and jojoba oil. These moisturize your lips and prevent them from drying out.
Always remove your lip makeup using a good lip makeup remover or olive/almond/coconut oil.
- Use a natural lip scrub:
At least once every week, remove dead cells and dry skin from your lips, and improve blood circulation. You can mix 5-6 drops of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sugar and use this for exfoliating your lips. Once you rinse off, apply healing lip butter or your favourite lip moisturizer.
Use some Vaseline on a baby toothbrush to gently exfoliate your lips. This can be done daily.
- Hydrated at all time:
Keep your lips moisturized and hydrated at all times. For retaining the natural color of lips, it is essential to maintain hydration levels by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. In winters when we often tend to drink less water and that is when dehydration is noticed. Make sure to avoid this by drinking a decent amount. Also, add high water-content fruits to your diet such as cucumber, watermelon, orange, grapefruit and lemon. Lips are more delicate than the skin on any other part of our body. Hence, they need to be kept moist to avoid developing dryness and cracks, especially when they could possibly increase the chances of darkening the lips. Use lip balms containing beeswax or cocoa butter as these seal in the moisture of your lips.
- Don’t suck your lips:
Dermatologists advise us not to suck or lick the lips, so as to keep them wet. If not taken care, this will further dry them out, leading to darkening of the lips. Even the habit of biting lips should be avoided as there is the risk of damaging them.
- Maintain healthy diet:
Vitamin deficiency can also lead to lip discoloration. Hence, maintain a healthy diet and eat lots of fruits and green vegetables. Vitamin C intake is also essential for getting rid of lip pigmentation; hence eat foods rich in this vitamin.
- Avoid Chlorinated water:
Chlorinated water could also be responsible for pigmented lips.
Lip pigmentation can also be genetic. So, in case, you have black or dark lips right from birth, there is not really much to be done except cosmetic surgery perhaps.