Are You With The pH-enomenon Behind pH Lip Products Yet?

While pH colour-changing makeup isn’t an all-new concept, there’s been a surge in pH lip oils and glosses, and we’re exploring all there is to it

Published On Mar 26, 2024 | Updated On Mar 26, 2024


Every time you look around there’s a new pH lip product being launched, especially by homegrown beauty brands. Each one prettier than the next, enticing us with promises of a ‘naturally’ pink lip look. By now, everyone knows that these pH lip products give you a lip tint by reacting with the pH of your skin. We talked to expert dermatologists to find out how exactly this works and if it’s worth the hype.  


“pH colour changing lip glosses and oils play with the scientific properties of different chemicals being acidic or basic,” says Dr Anika Goel, MD — dermatologist and founder, Soul Derma Clinic, “These contain weak acids which come in contact with the high pH of the lips or skin giving rise to a chemical reaction resulting in the production of colour. This is how a lip gloss or oil changes colour on application.” 

But do pH lip glosses really create your very own tints? She points out that due to the changing colour of the products, they are marketed to give you the perfect colour for your skin tone. “This however, is inaccurate, the colour is produced according to the pH of your skin and not the colour of your skin.” 

So, a lip gloss or oil may appear clear, green or even black in the tube but could turn pink or red when applied, depending on the individual’s skin pH, not their skin tone. 


One has to agree it’s definitely a fun, innovative product – something like magic painting for kids where you don’t know what exact colour or shade, you’ll get before swiping your brush.  So, depending on your skin’s pH level, a surprise is in store until you swipe it on! 

Also, glossy, glazed lips are all the rage currently, with drying lipsticks being shown the door. So, a pretty glossy pale pink, or the range of subtle pinks they can deliver, is very desirable at the moment. 

What’s also great about these lip oils and glosses is the fact that they can be used as multipurpose products – as lip tints and glosses, yes, but also dab it onto cheeks for a flush of lovely colour or even the eyelids. So, if you like to travel light on trips where you can carry and use this one product instead of two or three different ones, or even prefer easy-to-use, multifunctional products, pH lip products could work well for you. 


With its colour changing properties, we wonder whether these pigments are safe for skin? Dr. Niti Gaur, MD — dermatologist and founder, Citrine Clinic says, “While many of these products contain pigments that are generally recognised as safe for use in cosmetics, it’s crucial to be aware of any potential allergic reactions or sensitivities.” She advises to always check the ingredients list and perform a patch test before using to minimise the risk of adverse reactions. 

Both dermatologists advise that if one has dry, sensitive or eczema-prone skin or other dermatological issues, it would be best to exercise caution when using pH makeup, including colour-changing lip products as they may be more prone to experiencing skin irritation or other undesirable reactions to the ingredients found in these products. 

“Always perform a patch test before using a new product, and if you have any concerns about using pH makeup or colour-changing lip products, seek advice from a dermatologist,” suggests Dr Gaur. 

“Other than this there are no major contraindications or long-term side effects of such products,” Dr Goel reassures us. So, swipe away, we say! 

Aqualogica Plump + Pouty Li-pH Gloss 

Recently launched with two ‘flavours’, Watermelon Slice and Peach Vanilla, this pH lip gloss is infused with hyaluronic acid and deliver a surge of hydration. They have a lightweight and non-sticky formula ensuring that the gloss won’t weigh your lips down. 

Kiro Beauty pH-Play Lip and Cheek Oil in Pink Funfetti 

This lip & cheek oil has a broad sponge-tip applicator for better coverage in one swipe. It is infused with moringa oil that boosts collagen and deeply hydrates, rosehip oil that brightens and avocado oil that reduces fine lip lines. 

Nykaa Gloss It Up! pH Lip Gloss Oil - Giving Magic 

While this lip gloss oil is a pretty emerald green in the tube, once you swipe it on it lends the lips a lovely pink hue. It’s high on shine, with a surprisingly lightweight oil-like feel. 

Praush Beauty Pout Cushion Color Changing pH Lip Oil – Mykind 

Enriched with a blend of sweet almond oil, vitamin E acetate, hibiscus oil & acai berry oil extract, this lip oil is lightweight & hydrating and can be used both on lips & cheeks. 

Colorbar Soothing Lip Oil 

Infused with the goodness of avocado, kakadu, cherry and jojoba oils, as well as vitamin E, it nourishes, hydrates and softens the lips. It is also available in four variants – transparent, mint, lavender and rose. 

Typsy Shade Shifter Lip & Cheek Oil 

Providing hydration while reviving dry and chapped lips, this lip oil can also give your cheeks a naturally flushed look and a dewy radiance. It comes infused with nourishing acai berry and hibiscus oil. 

La Mior Only For You Adaptive Lip Tint 

Available in five different shades that turn different shades or berry and pinks, this lip tint is weightless and non-sticky. It consists of lip nourishing oils like jojoba, almond & rosehip and comes with a large doe-foot applicator.

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