Why Are My Lips Dark Around The Edges?

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why are my lips dark around the edges

Lips are one of the sexiest parts of the human body. It is one of the first things we notice when looking at a face.

Do you suffer from dark areas around the edges of the vermillion of your lips? Are you looking for a way to lighten these areas for aesthetic reasons? Read on, and I will tell you what is causing those dark areas and five easy ways to lighten those areas.

Both men and women can get these dark spots. There is a myriad of reasons why your lips may be dark. Let’s explore the most common ones.

Why Are My Lips Dark Around The Edges And How To Lighten Them?

Sun Exposure

Yes, going outside and getting some sun is great for our health and happiness, but we need to go out with the right protection for our skin, including our lips! These spots may be a result of a buildup of melanin (skin pigment) in these areas.

The condition is called hyperpigmentation (if you have dark spots on other parts of your face; this is the same reason why). People with higher melanin in their skin are more likely to have these spots. It’s ok to have fun in the sun, just bring the sunblock!

Birth Control

Even though birth control is amazing for plenty of other reasons, it could be the cause behind those dark areas around your lips. Birth control is linked to melasma, when melanocytes (aka, melanin cells) overproduce melanin, resulting in those pesky dark spots.

This is thanks to the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone; “the pill” is changing these hormone levels, resulting in those unfortunate dark spots. Keep in mind other medications may cause this too—so be sure to ask your doctor about side effects!

Post-Inflammatory Hyper-Pigmentation

This is a temporary condition that causes dark spots after an injury (burn) or inflammation (such as infection, dermatitis, etc.). It may become darker when exposed to UV light. Be aware that waxing and shaving can also cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation!

Hormone Disorder

Certain hormones (besides sex hormones) can cause hyperpigmentation. If you suffer from an endocrine disease, it could be contributing to this condition. Ask your doctor to test your hormones and if your condition may exacerbate hyperpigmentation.

Vitamin Deficiency

Did you know that what you eat can affect the color in your skin? Numerous studies have liked B12 deficiency with skin pigmentation issues. You may need to rethink your diet or start supplementing. Consult your doctor or registered dietician if you think you may have a vitamin deficiency.

Too Much Iron

Speaking of vitamins, too much of iron is NOT a good thing. Having too much iron is called hemochromatosis. This can cause iron to build up in the sweat glands of the body, causing a heavy bronze stain. While this condition is quite often underdiagnosed, it is also very rare.

Genetic Pre-Disposition

You could be genetically predispositioned to hyperpigmentation. That means if mom or dad had skin pigmentation issues, they most likely passed it on to you. But hey, there are worse things to pass on in genes, am I right?

5 Easy Ways To Lighten Dark Lips

How To Lighten dark lips

Ok, so while these dark spots may be obnoxious and unsightly, there is hope! Take a deep breath, read on, and learn about five easy ways you can lighten up!

Lemon Juice

When life gives you lemons, you’re in luck! You can use lemon juice as a cheap and safe white to lighten your skin. Lemon is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which your skin LOVES!

This vitamin helps destroy free radicals (these evil cells cause aging). Lemon juice will help lighten your skin and get rid of those dark marks and reduces sun damage/photoaging. Once you see the results, you will never look at a lemon the same way again. All you need to do is:

1. Cut a lemon in half
2. Rub lemon all over dark marks around lips (and any other dark marks on the face you want to remove). You can also squeeze the juice onto a cotton ball or cotton pad.
3. Leave on for 5-7 minutes.
4. Rinse with water and pat dry your face.
A bonus of using lemons is that they also treat acne! You’re welcome for that little lemon life hack ;). Remember this method is safe enough to use every day so you can use it until you see the results you want.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has been used since ancient Egyptian times for countless skin remedies. Everyone knows it can help soothe a sunburn, but did you know it can also help you get rid of those dark marks on your lips and help nourish and protect your skin? Like lemons, aloe vera is rich in antioxidants and can also aid acne. The gel from an aloe vera plant can be combined with lemon juice for extra skin brightening potency! Just follow these steps:

1. Cut open an aloe vera leaf (watch out for the thorns) and gather 1-2 tablespoons of gel into a bowl.
2. Cut open a lemon and squeeze 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice into the bowl with the aloe vera.
3. Mix well.
4. Apply to a clean face and let sit 15-20 minutes,
5. Wash your face with warm water and pat dry.
This method is also safe enough to use every day!

Cucumber And Lime

Could there be a better smelling remedy? Let the smell of this mix take your mind on an exotic beach vacation while you lighten your skin. Not only does it treat those dark areas but…you guessed it…it helps with acne and oily skin! Cucumber helps flush toxins from the skin.

It is loaded with silica, vitamins B-5 and K, and so many other ingredients that your skin absolutely craves! Lime is high in vitamin A, C, E, K, and more! To reap a multitude of benefits, you must:

1. Juice (or blend if you don’t have a juicer) 1 medium-size cucumber and pour into a bowl.
2. Juice 1 lime and combine mixture.
3. Leave on for up to 15-20 minutes.
4. Rinse and pat dry.
You can even add a few drops of rose water to the mix if you want super-soft feeling skin!

Mint And Tomato

Ok, I admit it’s a weird combination. Tomato and mint sound better in a cocktail than on your skin, but trust me, it’s potent! Tomatoes are so great for the skin. After attending La Tomatina last year in Spain, a giant food fight where everyone is covered head to toe in tomatoes at the end, my skin never felt softer!

Loaded with lycopene, tomatoes give free radicals a one-two punch with their antioxidant power. Their ingredients also help to cleanse the skin and make it firmer. Tomatoes also bring vitamin C, E, and K to the table. Mint also has pore-cleansing abilities and helps the skin repair itself. Talk about a dream team! Just:

1. Blend or smash a medium-size tomato in a large bowl.
2. Add a ¼ cup of fresh crushed or blended mint leaves to the bowl.
3. Mix well, then apply to clean face and let “dry.”
4. Rinse well with warm water and pat dry.
Save any extra ingredients for a celebratory cocktail drink when you see your awesome results!

Yogurt And Honey

This combo doubles as a treat for your belly and your face! There are enzymes in yogurt (similar to the ones found in milk) that can gently lighten your darker skin areas. Honey is great for nourishing dry skin, and its antibacterial properties are great for blemishes. Just:

1. Mix 1 cup of plain yogurt (organic is best) and two tablespoons of honey in a small bowl.
2. Apply a thin layer to face.
3. Leave on for 15 minutes.
4. Rinse with warm water.
This is my favorite solution as a long-time sufferer of hyperpigmentation. It leaves my skin silky smooth and clear!

Other Options

If you have exhausted all of these options, here are some pricier and more complicated ways to lighten your skin. I do not recommend them, but if you suffer from lack of self-esteem because of this issue, consult your local esthetician about:

  • Laser resurfacing
  • Facial Exfoliation
  • Chemical Peel Treatment
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Skin Brightening Cream

Your dermatologist may be able to prescribe you a skin-lightening cream like hydroquinone, depending on what country you live in.

All of these come with different risks that you must keep in mind.


Prevention is key when it comes to preventing or worsening dark areas. Some things you can do include:

  • Stop taking birth control
  • Use more sun protection or stay out of the sun during peak hours.
  • Consult a physician to get your blood tested for hormones and vitamin deficiencies.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed reading this article about how to get rid of dark areas around your lips.

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