Lighten Your Lip Color With These 3 Simple Recipes That Will Help Combat Sun And Smoking Damage To Your Pucker

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As sights that boast natural lip lightening tips state: pink lips are not the beauty standard for all of us, but many pals of mine, all colors, have been inquiring about how to get naturally rosy lips and/or lighten lips. So, here we go.

As a young goth in Catholic school, it was very hard to get away with my deep-colored red lipstick, nevermind the black stuff I really wanted to wear. Typically, I would test the waters right before winter break or at the end of the school year and my mom would let me wear her deep purple lipstick that went perfectly with my fishnet stockings and Doc Martens. At the age of thirteen, I longed to have my lips permanently that dark, envisioning a life without applying lipstick constantly, a life where I wasn't staining straws with lipstick, and the nuns couldn't wipe off my beautiful plum lips in fury.

Let's fast-forward 15 years: I'm once trying to get Kerry Washington's perfect plump lips, so that perhaps I too may have a high-risk affair in the White House. I realized then that my lips were possibly... darkening? I was ecstatic at the idea of was basically getting a free permanent lip color, sans painful procedure. Sure, maybe it wouldn't be the exact color I wanted, but who gives a shit!? I don't have to wear lipstick anymore! The next time I talked to my big sis, I told her the news. Not shockingly at all, she was happy to burst my bubble:

"Yeah, man, of course your lips are getting darker. You old now," my sister retorted with a slight eye-roll.

"Scuse me?" I spat, baffled.

"...And chain smoke, you drink coffee all day and the switch to wine. Do you even use chap stick? It just means the pigment of your lips is damaged... you may even have lip cancer, I don't know," This is a condensed version of the 30 minute rant.

My assumption was that she was sippin' on that purple hatorade she loves so much; I had to do some serious research before I fell into a cocoon of self-loathing and/or phoned my mother to tattle. The results were harsh. I wasn't just upset that she was right (with the exception of the cruel accusation that I had lip cancer), but I was mortified that I was so unhealthy. It was showing up in the middle of my face — regardless of the color of my lips, I want them healthy.

Fortunately, there is a way to lighten your lips naturally. After all, getting laser treatment or invasive procedures are certainly not treating the damage done to your lips — those measures are simply masking a "cosmetic" problem. If you don't change those habits and begin a healthy lip routine (exfoliate, moisturize, and apply an SPF) they're going to darken right up again.

Here are a few ways to treat damaged lips and get them back to the natural color you were born with.

Sugar & Rose Water Scrub

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Applying an exfoliate like raw sugar will stimulate those puckers, removing dead, damaged skin. You can make your own tinted water with rose petals to apply after you treat your puckers to a spa-worthy therapy. Add coconut oil for moisturizing and healing properties.

Apple Cider Vinegar & Strawberry

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Apple cider vinegar is said to treat sun damage and restore our skins pH levels naturally. Add in mashed strawberries and you'll get a load of antioxidants, a burst of color, and healthy lips. Say goodbye to smokers lips!

Beet & Salt Scrub

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Anytime I'm hair tinting or lip balm tinting, beet is the veggie I call upon. My preferred lip tint is a slightly darker shade of rose; beets give me a nice plum color that enhances my pre-damage natural lip color. Adding sea salt gives me lips a great scrub to wake up dull lips and treat all those old habits that died hard.

Image: Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson