Can dark, matte lipsticks lead to lip pigmentation? – The Indian Express

From cleansing and exfoliating to moisturising and protecting it with an SPF — we go out of our way to take care of our skin. However, amidst our full-fledged skincare routine, many of us often tend to ignore our lips, which can result in one of the most common lip concerns: pigmentation. While it is normal to not have the rosy pink lips portrayed in films and magazines, if you are noticing unusual darkening of your lips, it’s crucial to avoid certain habits.
As such, can using dark and matte lipsticks be one of the reasons behind lip pigmentation? Yes, said dermatologist Dr Gurveen Waraich in an Instagram post. Take a look at her post as she shares three common reasons behind darkening of lips.
A post shared by Dr Garekars (@garekarsmddermatologyclinic) 
While many consider lipsticks to be harmless and end up applying a thick coat of the same every time they step out, it is necessary to understand that the colour of the lipstick comes from various dyes and pigments. “Pigments are a blend of various metals (typically oxides), but the levels of metal used are well within safety limits (despite some controversial studies in the recent past),” the dermatologist explained.
However, if you have a history of eczema, sensitivity, and dark lips, and you use lipstick daily, it could be a problem, she added. “These pigments can cause or aggravate lip eczema or even perioral dermatitis causing lip darkening or pigmentation around the mouth.”
So, should you completely avoid using lipsticks? “Reds or darker shades have the most amount of metal, so go for lighter shades; and when it comes to texture, matte lipsticks are very drying on lips so pick up glossy or creamy textures,” Dr Waraich suggested.
Apart from using dark and matte lipsticks, there are two other possible reasons behind lip pigmentation, the expert said.
Licking and picking
Explaining that dryness and dehydration are the most important aggravating factors for dark lips, she said, “Dryness leads to inflammation, which is the precursor for pigmentation. Also, dry and dehydrated lips on exposure to the sun will get even darker.” Constant lip picking and licking will make your lips dry and dehydrated, setting the breeding ground for pigmentation.
It is widely known that regular smoking is linked to the darkening of lips, among other health hazards. This is because the “nicotine in cigarettes causes oxidative stress and capillary rupture leading to reduced blood flow and oxygen to the skin, this continued stress on skin eventually makes it dull and pigmented”. Also, the heat generated by smoking can further darken the lips and the area around the mouth.
Earlier, Dr Waraich had shared the dos and don’ts for healthier lips:
A post shared by Dr Garekars (@garekarsmddermatologyclinic) 
*Apply a layer of lip balm with SPF before wearing lipstick.
*Use glossier nudes more often than darker mattes.
*Do not retouch more than two times a day.
*Take a break from lipsticks whenever possible.
*Check the expiry date of your cosmetics.
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