Niacinamide is known to help with hyperpigmentation and dry skin, but can it help to lighten dark lips?
The short answer is yes, but there is more to it than just applying any kind of niacinamide straight to your lips.
Can You Use Niacinamide On Your Lips
Yes, you can. However, your lips will not need the same concentration of niacinamide as the rest of your skin.
Remember that the skin of your lips is much thinner and more sensitive than other parts of your face and body.
Using too much niacinamide can potentially irritate the thin skin of your lips.
However, when used correctly, it can boost hydration, increase collagen production, and gradually correct hyperpigmentation (darkness).
Can Niacinamide Lighten Dark Lips
Yes. Research has found that using at least 5% niacinamide can improve hyperpigmentation (darkness) in the skin (including the lips).
Niacinamide, when applied in suitable concentrations to the lips, Niacinamide boosts hydration, increases collagen renewal, and increases circulation to the skin.
The result of this combination is faster cell turnover, a smoother lip surface, and ultimately lighter lips as the pigmented skin cells are shed and replaced.
Niacinamide also targets and inhibits melanin production. Even in your lips, melanin is the pigment that builds up in your skin cells to make your skin darker. By inhibiting its production in the skin, less pigmented cells will be regenerated over time.
Other Effective ways to lighten lips are:
Benefits Of Niacinamide For Lips
When applied to the lips, niacinamide:
1- Treats Hyperpigmentation by targeting and inhibiting melanin production
2- Increases collagen renewal, which makes the lips lighter and firmer over time
3- Grows and boosts the lipid barrier of the skin, keeping it hydrated and healthy
4- Holds moisture in the skin to keep it hydrated
5- Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles
6- Protects against sun damage
7- Protects against oxidative stress caused by pollution and toxins
How To Use Niacinamide On Your Lips
The best way to use niacinamide on your lips is mixed in a lip balm or lip mask, or toner.
It can be a struggle to find a good lip balm or lip mask with niacinamide in it. Therefore, many people mix a few drops of a good niacinamide serum with their lip balms or lip masks.
Niacinamide is a versatile ingredient that can be mixed with almost anything. However, you should avoid mixing it with any active ingredients to prevent possible irritation.
If you are using it in a toner, be sure to hydrate your lips well after applying the toner.
Additionally, it is best to start with a low concentration. See how your lips will react for the first 2-3 weeks. If you see adequate changes, stick to the concentration that works for you.
If you do not see much change in your lip color, and you do not have any negative effects (like irritation), you may gradually increase your concentration.
Some people can use up to 10% niacinamide on their lips safely, but you should not start with this concentration.
If you are unsure about how your lips will react, patch test the product first. Apply a small amount on your lips for a short time for three consecutive days. If you have no reaction, apply it as directed.
How long will Niacinamide take to lighten dark lips?
Niacinamide generally takes about 2 weeks to produce visible results, but this may vary for every person.
Huge considerations are how dark your lips are, the cause of your dark lips, and your lifestyle.
For example, if your lip darkness is caused by smoking or a chronic health condition, it will most likely not significantly improve until you have the cause under control, no matter what lip treatment you use.
How often can you use Niacinamide on your lips?
Niacinamide can be used daily on your lips if you don’t get any irritation or negative side effects.
Niacinamide is a generally safe and versatile ingredient. As long as your skin can tolerate it, you can use it once or twice per day, every day.
How long should you leave niacinamide on your lips?
Niacinamide can be left on your lips all day or for a few hours, depending on how your skin reacts to it, and your habits.
If you are known to eat off your lip balm and chapstick, it might be best to use niacinamide as a toner that will dry on your lips, or only leave it on for a few hours.
While niacinamide serums and toners are good for topical use, it is not the same as niacin and should not be ingested.
Best Niacinamide Products You Can Use On Lips
We recommend mixing niacinamide with a simple hydrating lip balm that contains hyaluronic acid.
Niacinamide Serums For Lips
Here are a few great niacinamide serums you can use:
1- Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster
This serum was designed to be used alone or added to a moisturizer (your lip balm is your lips’ moisturizer). It contains 10% niacinamide that helps to even skin tone, refine skin texture and get rid of fine lines and wrinkles.
2- Advanced Clinicals 5% Niacinamide Serum
This serum is Dermatologist and allergy tested, free from parabens, dyes, and fragrance.
The 5% niacinamide is combined with hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, antioxidant Ferulic Acid, and soothing Zinc to target melanin (and reduce darkness) and reduce signs of aging. It can be mixed with a hydrating lip balm.
Niacinamide Toner For Lips
Here is a great toner that you can use:
Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
This toner is formulated with 3% niacinamide and other brightening ingredients that are great for managing darkness in the skin. It also helps to tighten the skin and even out your general skin tone.
Bonus: A great Lip Balm You Can Use With Niacinamide:
Paula’s Choice BOOST Hyaluronic Acid + Peptide Lip Booster
This lip balm is made of hyaluronic acid, peptides and squalene, all of which hydrate the skin impressively. Because of its squeeze-out packaging, it is also perfect for mixing with your niacinamide when you are ready to apply it to your lips.
Will Niacinamide irritate my lips and cause dryness?
If used in a concentration that is too strong for you, if you are allergic to it, or if mixed with active ingredients, niacinamide can cause some irritable reactions.
Niacinamide is generally well tolerated by most people and by those with sensitive skin. However, remember that the skin of your lips is much thinner and more sensitive than elsewhere on your body.
Since niacinamide deeply penetrates the skin, using a concentration that is too strong can be too much for your skin. You can also be allergic or just sensitive to this particular ingredient.
Additionally, your skin can also react badly when niacinamide is mixed with:
- Exfoliating Acids like lactic acid, glycolic acid, and azelaic acid
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or derivatives like tetrahydro-curcuminoids
- Retinoids, like retinoic acid and tretinoin
- Other Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
- Folic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
However, this does not happen to everyone. While these occurrences are rare they are still a possibility.
Always remember to patch test!