Sun Mustache: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention
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.
My AM routine while rocking cherie merch!
@cheriethanks for the cute sweatshirt! I am obsessed. Here is my am routine! sisley - FLORAL TONING LOTION First I tone and prep my skin with this toner. I love this toner so much because it is so hydrating and doesn’t strip the skin. It also moisturizes while helping to clean and prep it to absorb other products. NATURIUM - Hyaluronic Acid Essence 2% Then I use this essence. I love this brand so much and this essence is so hydrating and light. It helps plump and prepares it for the serum. NATURIUM - Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% Next I use this serum which I have been enjoying. It is super gentle that I can even use it during the day. So far my skin has been tolerating it very well. I also notice my dark spots decreasing much quicker. LORD JONES - Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer Then I use this moisturizer that I am obsessed with. It so far has been my favorite product of the year. It’s so hydrating and calming. It feels amazing on the skin as well. Last I finish off with a sunscreen. I previously reviewed this before! It’s from Korean brand Corthe. ^^ what do you like to do in your morning routine?
Sensitive Skin Game changer ❄️
What is the product? Avène - Thermal Spring Water Spray How does it work? Thermal Water works by soothing the skin and calming any irritation What are the notable ingredients? Mineral Spring Water What is the price? $18.50CAD Where can you purchase? Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall Pharmacy and online How long have I been using it for? I’ve been using thermal water for over two years, I started off using this product on my body and now still use it on my face What is my experience ? My experience with thermal water has been good, I suffer from eczema on both my body and face. It was hard finding products that wouldn’t irritate or cause a flare up. When that happened this product saved my skin and soothed it. At first I was not exactly sure how water would help my skin, but after doing research thermal waters are meant to have healing properties for the body and skin. What are my thoughts? This product is nothing short of amazing, you are able to use it for multiple areas and it lasts so long. The mist is super fine which makes it perfect for spraying on large or small spots, and pressing into the skin similar to how you apply a toner. Would I recommend to a friend? I would absolutely recommend this product to a friend or family or even someone looking to help soothe their skin but who doesn’t want to break the bank!! My overall rating? 5/5 Would I repurchase? I have and will continue to repurchase this product until I find something that exceeds how amazing this is! #CheriePartner
A Year in review!
This year has definitely been a wild ride. I’ve learned so much more about my hair and skin in this last year than I ever thought I would or needed to know! All the way from using witch hazel and not paying attention to my curl pattern, to staying completely fragrance free with face products and staying away from harsh toners and paying attention to what my hair was trying to do! Using this app has really opened doors for me that I wouldn’t thought possible for my beauty process! I can’t wait to see what more years bring me, and us! Thank you @cherie!
Is this sunscreen worth the hype?
There is 𝗻𝗼 𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗺𝗲𝗻 without 𝘀𝘂𝗻𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻. And, the 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝘂𝗻𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 is the one that you will wear religiously. Is 𝗜𝗦𝗗𝗜𝗡 𝗘𝗿𝘆𝗳𝗼𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗮 𝗔𝗴𝗲𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗨𝗹𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 tinted mineral sunscreen worth the hype? #Isdin - ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight tinted mineral sunscreen[products]#[FourStars] Pros ☀️ 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹 sunscreen aka physical blocker, thus broad spectrum ☀️ Contains 𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝘅𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀, though unclear of percent. May provide protection against blue light. ☀️ One of the few tinted moisturizers that blends in well in skin of color. The tint is so homogenous and nice that you can away with not applying foundation after. ☀️ Contains 𝗽𝗵𝗼𝘁𝗼𝗹𝘆𝗮𝘀𝗲, an enzyme, that help repair damage caused by the sun. Not too thick or too thin, apply easily on the skin. ☀️ contains 𝗩𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝗘, an antioxidant as well as moisturizing Cons 🥴 𝗢𝗶𝗹𝘆, would not recommend for oily skin 😱 $$$ 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲, it is definitely a splurge when there are comparable more frugal options out there.
Curology vs The Ordinary! Which is better?!
Curology - Curology formula This is the first photo! Did wonders for my skin it was the best it had ever been since I started getting acne in middle school. Curology literally saved my skin, it was clear and great! (Over a year later) The second photo:/ I decided to stop using curology around 2 months ago and start using ordinary products. I decided to do this because I wanted to see if the ordinary could do the same thing as curology and maybe make my skin even better. This wasn’t because curology was bad or anything It was just something I wanted to test. I was pretty confident in my skin so I didn’t think it would be bad. I saw on social media how great it was so I figured why not? ... After slowly introducing ordinary products into my skincare routine to ( i used both ordinary and curology products together) I could see that my skin was breaking out more when I introduced the ordinary products. I didn’t think much of it cause I knew that my skin was just purging from the new products. After about 2 months of using both curology and ordinary products I decided to just try ordinary products because my skin was breaking out a lot and I felt that the ordinary would help it. (I think should’ve stuck with curology but this was just my curiosity about the product). ... (Now) I am on week 6 of using all ordinary products and this is what my skin looks like (photo 2) and I’m not happy with the results:/The first couple weeks I knew I would be purging, my skin was at its worst a couple weeks ago (week 3). But I figured that by now or next week my skin would be clear( the only reason I felt that my skin would be pretty much clear by now or next week was because while using curology all my acne was gonna by week 7). So I’m still trying to figure out if I wanna continue to use the ordinary products for a couple more weeks before I give up because it’s not giving me the results I want. The Ordinary - Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% I don’t really know how to rate this because obviously it hasn’t worked for my skin very well but I’m not sure if it’s because my skin needs more time to adjust (it has been 6 weeks so...). I think that this product works great for some people but for me definitely not. Right from the start of using it, it broke me out and then once I only used this line of products it made my skin terrible. I also used The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Which didn’t do much in the 6weeks I used it. I did feel like it helped my acne a little. Overall I really did wish this line of products would help my acne and make my skin clear like curology but that wasn’t the case. This product line is definitely not for my skin. I’ll write out my skin care routine comparisons in my next post!
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