Imagine if you could just dab a bit of transparent gloss on your lips and be out of the door, looking perfect? Or if your lip color did not show through lipsticks and change their hue? Or if you woke up looking gorgeously kissable? All this can happen only when you have naturally pink, rosy, supple lips that seem to glow from the inside.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done since lips, after all, are part of the skin and there are many things that can cause them to go darker, including sun exposure, pollution, diet, ageing, hormonal changes, pH imbalances, allergies, illness or even stress. And, like skin, they need to be nurtured with a 3-step prep-treat-shield routine. So, here’s how to lighten dark lips – quickly and naturally.
Step 1: Prep
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, thereby allowing moisture and lip lightening treatments to penetrate quickly and deeply. Scrub your lips 2-3 times a week and follow up with a dab of olive oil or a lip balm if you are not applying a lip mask immediately afterwards.
- Slather lips with Vaseline, then gently scrub them with a soft-bristle toothbrush using gentle, circular movements. Rinse with warm water.
- Mix together 1 teaspoon each of honey and baking soda. Apply the mixture on your lips; leave it on for a few minutes then gently rub to remove dead skin.
- Mix a small amount of coarse sugar with a few drops of water. Apply the mixture onto lips and rub it in circular motions. Wash off with lukewarm water.
Step 2: Treat
The skin of our lip has only 3-5 cellular layers, making it extremely delicate. Plus, lips don’t have any oil producing glands and therefore tend to dry out faster. So, they need constant nurturing.
- Lemon juice lightens skin and busts dead cells. Use its natural potency to lighten dark lips by making a “lip mask”: mix equal parts of honey, yogurt and lemon juice into a thick paste. Apply the paste to your lips and leave on for at least an hour. Then scrub it off using warm water and circular movements of your fingertips.
- The lactic acid in milk is one of the most potent (yet gentle) skin lightening ingredients. Apply a few drops on a cotton pad and place on your lips; leave overnight and wash off in the morning.
- Crush 4-5 clean rose petals and mix them with enough honey to make a paste. Apply this paste on your lips twice a day; there is no need to rinse it off. The combination of skin softening honey and color restoring rose petals makes for a superb treatment to lighten dark lips.
Step 3: Shield
The skin of our lips has no natural protection, which means that we need to take extra care to keep them plump, rosy and healthy.
- Keep your lips soft, supple and hydrated by moisturising them with balms containing conditioners like aloe vera, vitamins A and E, and cocoa butter. Some terrific ones: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (my personal fave!), Glossier Universal Skin Salve and L’Occitane Roses et Reines.
- For the daytime, choose balms with an SPF of at least 15, since lips have no natural sun protection and are hence extremely prone to hyper-pigmentation. Top picks: Moroccanoil Lip Balm SPF 20 and Supergoop! AcaiFusion Lip Balm SPF 30.
- Remember, smoking not only dries the lips, it also reduces oxygen supply to the lip skin which provides the essential nutrient to blood cells.
- Ditto for excessive coffee, tea and alcohol, which cause dehydration. Keep your lips hydrated by drinking sufficient amounts of water.
- Foods rich in Vitamin E help keep lips soft and supple. So always make fruits and vegetables your first choice.
What do you gals think of these tips? Do you abide by them during the chilly lip chapping season? Discuss!