What Makes a Person's Lips Go Black & Chapped?

Darkened, chapped lips can lead to a bad first impression. They make you look unclean and unhealthy. Causes of black, chapped lips range from the body’s absorption of toxic ingredients to the lack of proper lip care.


Tobacco in cigarettes stains the lips and causes them to darken to a black color. It also dries out your lips and leaves them chapped by depleting them of their natural oils. If you don't want to quit smoking or can't, apply petroleum jelly to your lips regularly and drink lots water. The water flushes out the tobacco in your system.


According to MayoClinic.com, the sun’s rays harm all parts of the body, including the lips 23. The lips are especially vulnerable to hyperpigmentation, or an overproduction of melanin. Overexposure to ultraviolet rays causes hyperpigmentation. Applying lip balm with sunscreen in it prevents your lips from drying, cracking or changing colors. Wearing a scarf also stops the sun from damaging your lips.

Lack of Proper Skin Care

Caring for your skin improperly can cause black, chapped lips. A lack of sunscreen and licking the lips strips moisture, causing discoloration and dryness. Applying a high-emollient lip balm daily is the best way to retain moisture in your lips. It's also important to choose a lipstick that is labeled as moisturizing.


According to MayoClinic.com, allergens in cosmetics or skin care products can contribute to chapped or blackened lips 23. These allergic reactions are often caused by dyes or fragrances in the products, and can be prevented by terminating use of the product.


Caffeine is a diuretic. It dries the lips by causing people to urinate more often, thus depleting the body of water. Even if you drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day, caffeine counteracts the hydration and leaves your lips looking damaged. It's best to limit caffeine intake if you want more natural-looking skin.