Sun Mustache: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention
Sep. 16, 2020
Sun mustache refers to darkened skin on the upper lip caused by UV light exposure. You can treat it with skin lightening and brightening products.
If you’ve noticed your upper lip skin is looking distinctly darker after long summer days, you might have a sun mustache.
We share what causes this awkward phenomenon and what other conditions can darken your upper lip. Learn what to do to restore your skin to normal.
What is Sun Mustache and What Causes It?
There’s nothing like soaking up those rays, but UV radiation can be incredibly damaging to your skin. An enviable tan is the result of your skin producing excess pigment (melanin) to reduce injury.
So, why is that only your upper lip is noticeably darker?
The upper lip gets a lot of action—drinking or eating can inadvertently rub away SPF, and sweat tends to collect there too.
Most of us don’t realize how often we touch our faces: you might be unknowingly wiping off your SPF.
That means even if you apply SPF religiously before heading out, you need to remember to top it off. Don’t forget to rub it in, since patting down your cheeks and forehead will leave your upper lip exposed.
What Else Causes Dark Upper Lip Skin?
If you avoid sun exposure and slather your face with SPF regularly, your sun mustache could be something else.
Melasma is the typical culprit behind sudden dark patches on the face. Technically, sun mustache is a type of melasma too—UV radiation is one potential cause.
Other possible factors include pregnancy, certain medications, allergic reactions to cosmetics, and hormonal therapies.
How Do You Get Rid of Sun Mustache?
Now that you know why you have it, it’s time to find out how to fix it. Stay patient and be consistent to fade the discoloration.
- Apply SPF
You don’t want your sun mustache to get worse. Keep up with applying sunscreen, and make sure it’s at least SPF 30 or higher.
If you know you’ll be at the beach or pool, aim to be more conscious of your habits. For example, try to avoid touching your upper lip, and apply SPF after drinking or eating.
- Skin Brightening Treatments
There are plenty of treatments that help even out skin tone and eliminate dark spots. Ingredients to look out for include:
Hydroquinone is a staple ingredient in skin lightening treatments, both prescription and over-the-counter. It’s strong and can cause irritation, so you’ll want to be careful with it.
Arbutin is a natural variation of hydroquinone, which is derived from certain plants. It inhibits a certain enzyme that encourages pigment production.
It’s usually less irritating than traditional hydroquinone but still effective.
- Vitamin C
You’ll find vitamin C in the majority of skin brightening treatments. The powerful antioxidants work to even out skin tone and improve photoaging.
- Azelaic Acid
This acid can fight acne as well as hyperpigmentation disorders, such as sun mustache. Like with arbutin, it inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase to prevent and improve darkening.
- Licorice Extract
This plant-based extract reduces unwanted pigmentation in two ways. It lowers pigment production to fade out dark spots and has anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it’s non-irritating.
- Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is another solution to inhibit melanin production and lighten skin. It also has some antimicrobial abilities which can help soothe inflammation, e.g. from acne.
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) stimulates keratin production, which makes the outer layer of your skin tougher and less prone to damage. It’s a highly effective skin lightening treatment as it also disrupts pigment production.
Best Skin Lightening Treatments for Sun Mustache
Fortunately, there are plenty of skin brightening serums and creams on the market. Here are three options to consider to kiss your sun mustache goodbye:
- TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum
This vitamin C serum is free of artificial ingredients such as stabilizers and synthesizers.
It contains other complexion-boosting substances such as witch hazel, jojoba oil, and hyaluronic acid.
The formula works to fade sun spots and improve skin tone overall. It can also help smooth out wrinkles and improve skin firmness.
- EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector
The EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector works on both your face and body. It has multiple ingredients to correct uneven skin tone, including kojic acid and salicylic acid.
Aside from fading a sun mustache, this lightweight cream can also improve acne scarring and aging signs.
- PULCHRIE Lightening Serum
This serum contains arbutin and kojic acid, two effective skin brighteners. It can fade out existing dark patches and prevent the formation of new ones.
PULCHRIE’s serum includes anti-aging and anti-wrinkle ingredients too.
DISAPPOINTED BY THESE 100% NATURAL PRODUCTS 😩
I was so excited to try these out because I love moisturizers & I am always in search of a good one! These looked & sounded very promising! They’re from a woman owned company, completely natural, vegan, & cruelty free! However, I was quite disappointed. EARTH HARBOR - MERMAID MILK Nutrient Glow Moisturizer This moisturizer claims to give you a glow right away & it contains spirulina + matcha. I was excited about the matcha because it has so many amazing benefits for skin. It has a very whipped consistency which I like. However it always contains essential oils that were strong, although not toooo strong for my liking. But I’m really just not a fan of essential oils in my face creams. The moisturizer did make my skin appear a little brighter but the cream just sat on my face. All day long I could touch my face & still feel the cream sitting there! I hate that feeling! It also almost gave me a greasy appearance after a while? Not a fan. EARTH HARBOR - SIREN SILK Multi-Tasking Hydration Creme This one was absolutely awful. If I could give it 0 stars I would. It says to use it at night time & the apply it at least 5 minutes before bed so it can absorb on your face & not your pillow. It contains Sea Retinol + other Superherbs which normally make me love a product! But that just wasn’t enough here. First, when I put it on my face my eyes started to actually burn & I felt suffocated from the scent. It was THAT strong. Guys, I’m not being dramatic at all. The smell like attacked me it was crazy! I have never had something like that happen with a face cream! I couldn’t believe how strong the fragrance was. & to top it off, it wasn’t even a pretty smell. My husband described it as smelling like floor cleaner. But I powered through. The longer I had it on, the more “used” to the smell I got. So, I wore it overnight. But then I woke up even more upset with it! I had pilling all over my face. It almost looked like my face was peeling but it wasn’t, it was jus the cream. One thing I cannot stand about a moisturizer is pulling. That’s enough for me to throw it out! It also didn’t really even moisturize my face that well! All in all, I hated this experience. But if you want, you should try them out for yourself, don’t let my experience deter you from trying something new! I however, will be sticking with my Youth To The People Dream Mask & Superfood Whipped Moisturizer! Love those two!! YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE - Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE - Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream 💗💗💗 @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick
Black Owned Makeup Look
So I decided to use the products I pictured in my first photo (minus my highlight shade and lipstick) I used the #Ace Beaute - Nostalgia Palette[products]#[FiveStars] for my entire eye look. I definitely enjoyed these products. My only advice is to shake the UOMA BEAUTY - Say What?! Foundation before use (because it can come out watery) but the coverage is absolutely flawless. I was shocked with the consistency the coverage I got. What’s your favorite black owned brands? (I do not own right to the song)
Drunk Elephant- The Littles 🐘
I won this cute little kit in a raffle & I couldn’t be more thankful! I have always wanted to try these products but never wanted to spend the money on all of them incase I didn’t like them! Inside this kit are the following products: DRUNK ELEPHANT - Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser Deluxe Sample DRUNK ELEPHANT - B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum DRUNK ELEPHANT - Protini Polypeptide Cream DRUNK ELEPHANT - C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream DRUNK ELEPHANT - T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum DRUNK ELEPHANT - C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum DRUNK ELEPHANT - Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil DRUNK ELEPHANT - Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 That’s literally a whole skincare routine! So far I started out my day with one of Drunk Elephants infamous “Face Smoothies” I washed my face with Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser & then combined C-Firma Day Serum, Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, & Protini Polypeptide Cream together on my mixing trey with a disposable skincare spatula! I applied it all over my face & neck. Once that absorbed, I applied Umbra Tinte Daily Defense SPF 30 over my face & neck & was done! I love how the kit comes with steps to walk you through different routines you can use in the morning or at night! I will do a follow up review after I have used all the products for a few weeks! But so far, my skin feels & looks great! I have been breaking out lately & haven’t felt the best about my skin so I really needed this pick me up!! Thank you for reading! You guys are the best!! ❤️ @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick
Skin Barrier Skin Savior 🙏🏾
Thank you @cheriefor this amazing gift 🤩🤩 Something thing I am very particular about is my moisturizer. My skin barrier tends need the extra TLC and the best thing to give it is moisture. So when I look for a moisturizer I need something that gives me instant hydration and doesn’t clog my pores. So when I received the : BASE BUTTER - Radiate Face Jelly Aloe Vera Gel Face Moisturizer I was so excited! The Brand : ✨Black Owned ✨Women Owned ✨Cruelty Free ✨Non-Comedogenic ✨Vegan ✨Paraben Free 🔑 Ingredients : ✨Aloe Vera Juice ✨Shea Butter ✨Evening Primrose Oil Okay, as you can see your girl woke up DULL! The only thing I did for this video was wash my face and use this to show y’all the transformation! I was using this EVERY night but last night I used my acne treatment routine and your girl FELT THAT (salicylic acid can be so drying to my combo skin). What’s my favorite part? This baby doesn’t have a smell or heavy greasy feel, so it perfect year round! At $21 this is a DEAL ! (The line I used on my cheek covered the entire bottom portion of my face!) Have you tried this brand?
Clear skin the gentle way?
Thank you @cheriefor this amazing gift 🤩 “buh-koo-chee-all” HERBIVORE - Bakuchiol Anti-Aging Serum I’ve already become a diehard Herbivore lover. So to receive this beauty was super exciting. When I started my acne journey on Cherie I was (and still am) a Differin Acne Gel stan. This was my choice of retinol and I wanted it strong to treat acne and boost my cellular turnover. Now that my acne is currently under control and it’s getting hot again, I definitely want something smooth and gentle. Bakuchiol is a gentler alternative to the very popular ingredient retinol. So essentially you’ll get overall youthful results for your skin. I haven’t tested this on my acne theory yet, but overall my face has been smooth and irritation free. This serum does not have a smell which I love for products of this caliber. I also love that it’s light and not drying at all. I use this at night and since i have a tolerance to retinol I use it every night. I haven’t been using it long enough to see results (about 12 weeks) but I definitely can’t wait to finish this. Have you tried Bakuchiol?
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