How to Lighten Dark Lips: 5 Methods That Actually Work

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on March 26, 2024
how to lighten dark lips
⏱️ 5 min read

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Just like our skin tone, lip color can vary from person to person. In some cases, a change in lip color could indicate that the lips need more care. Smoking, stress, or underlying medical issues can all cause lips to become darker.

However, dark lips may be a cause of insecurity for some people, and they might seek out treatments with a lightening effect.

Read this article to find out how to lighten dark lips naturally and through proven permanent makeup and beauty treatments.

How to Lighten Dark Lips with Hyperpigmentation Treatments

The most effective way to treat hyperpigmentation is to book a cosmetic treatment. These treatments include permanent makeup, laser, and chemical procedures. Let’s see how each of them works for lightening dark lips:

Lip Blush

Lip blushing is a popular lip enhancement treatment that falls into the category of cosmetic tattooing. It has proven to be very effective in correcting uneven pigmentation, camouflaging dark spots, and creating a more even and natural-looking lip tone.

The procedure itself offers long-lasting, but not permanent results and is done with an electric PMU device that implements cosmetic pigments into the skin of the lips.

The process of lightening dark lips is called dark lip neutralization and it consists of blending warm-based pigments to neutralize the natural cool tones of hyperpigmented lips.

We have to note that it may require a couple of sessions to achieve the desired result. You can learn more about it here.

Image source: Instagram @siciliano.lulu


If you’re wondering how to remove darkness in lips, we recommend trying out laser lip lightening treatments. They work by targeting and breaking down the excess melanin in your lips, which is responsible for their darker color.

Laser treatments are usually quick, non-invasive, and provide noticeable results right off the bat. However, multiple sessions may be required, depending on the severity of your lip pigmentation.

Find more about laser lip lightening from our in-depth guide here.

Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments are another viable option for lightening dark lips. These treatments involve using various chemical compounds that help exfoliate the upper layers of the skin and reveal fresh, lighter skin underneath.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular chemical treatments for dark lips:

Kojic Acid

If these professional treatments are not for you, products with Kojic acid can help. You can find Kojic acid in many cosmetic products, but most commonly soap, serums, and creams.

Kojic acid is one of the most effective chemical components used for topical skin lightening. It is made from several different types of fungi and it is also a byproduct of the fermentation of soy sauce and rice wine.

Kojic acid works in a way that inhibits and prevents the formation of tyrosine, which is an amino acid that supports melanin production. Due to these properties, Kojic acid can have a great skin lighting effect.

Glycolic Acid Peel

A medium-depth glycolic acid peel has a proven skin lightening effect and is used for treating more severe cases of hyperpigmentation, as well as very textured skin.

Due to its numerous benefits, glycolic acid has become a well-known ingredient in many exfoliating cleansers, toners, and masks.

This peel can help remove dead skin cells, reduce pigmentation, and stimulate collagen production, resulting in lighter, smoother lips. Always seek professional advice before undergoing any chemical treatments to ensure they are safe and suitable for your skin type.

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How to Lighten Dark Lips Naturally

While cosmetic treatments and more aggressive products offer quicker, more effective solutions, natural remedies can also contribute to lightening dark lips – they just require some patience.

Here’s how to get rid of dark lips naturally:

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice and citrus fruit in general, are natural bleaching agents that can help lighten dark lips.

Before beginning your lip-lightening treatment, make sure your lips are not irritated or cracked as lemon juice may cause some stinging and pain.

Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice to your lips using a cotton ball and leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat this process daily for a few weeks to see noticeable results.

However, keep in mind that lemon juice can be drying, so make sure to moisturize your lips afterward.


Turmeric has been used for centuries in many different cultures across Asia as a skin-lightening agent due to its properties as a melanin inhibitor.

You can use turmeric powder for lightening dark lips by mixing it with a tablespoon of milk in a small bowl and creating a paste. Rub the paste on your lips and leave it on for about 10-15 minutes before rinsing with water.

Make sure to moisturize your lips after drying, as turmeric paste can be quite drying.

How to Get Rid of Dark Lips from Smoking

Nicotine and benzpyrene are both components of tobacco smoke that encourage melanin production in the skin. For every day smokers, this can be the source of hyperpigmentation on the lips.

If you’re looking to get rid of dark lips caused by smoking, it’s essential to address both the underlying habit and take steps to lighten the pigmentation.

Quitting smoking is the most effective way to prevent further darkening and promote overall lip health.

Additionally, you can follow the aforementioned cosmetic treatments and natural remedies to lighten your dark lips.

Make sure to exfoliate your lips regularly, and use a hydrating lip mask with vitamin E, almond, and coconut oil to protect your lips and prevent further pigmentation.

What Causes Dark Lips?

The main cause of lip darkening is hyperpigmentation or the overproduction of melanin, which is a common mark of ethnic beauty. This condition causes patches of skin to develop that are darker than the surrounding skin tone.

Inherently dark lips are natural and beautiful in their own right!

But hyperpigmentation can also be related to sun exposure, hormonal changes, and more, and as such it can affect almost any area of the body, including the lips. Here are the most common causes of hyperpigmentation:

  • Sun exposure
  • Pregnancy
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Overuse of caffeine
  • Lack of hydration
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Certain medications
  • Certain medical conditions

Most of these causes can be addressed by lifestyle changes, such as wearing sunscreen, quitting smoking, or changing your prescribed medication.

Image source: Freepik

In Conclusion

Dark lips can be a source of self-consciousness for many individuals, but there are several effective treatments and natural remedies available to help lighten and improve their appearance.

Cosmetic treatments like lip blush, laser options, and chemical treatments offer professional solutions, while natural remedies like lemon juice and turmeric provide a safer, but more time-consuming alternative.

Cover image source: Freepik



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