5 tips to get rid of yucky gooey white film on lips

About four years ago, I wrote an entry, asking for help on how to combat a stringy line of white film from the lipstick or lip gloss that accumulates on my lips. It is not dry or flaky but just a disgusting looking whitish accumulation that appear on the inside of my lips, the part where my lips are pressed together.

The post remains a popular one, judging by the number of people who searched for it. What was most heartening to me was many other women shared the same problem and they were so forthcoming with solutions that have worked for them. So if you are still having this problem and are wondering how to overcome it, let me share some tips from the readers who left their comments. These may just help you from further embarrassments.

Tip from discardthestarz1: Use a lip scrub
Make a combo of sugar and olive oil into a paste. You can add any natural flavor like vanilla or orange to your liking. Scrub you lips with the mixture then lick the residue off. Dry with a towel and apply a thin layer of balm. The olive oil should lock the moisture while the sugar will scrub and dead skin off of lips. I have been using this trip for years.

Tip from Lady M: Reduce amount of lip gloss
What I discovered is that when I applied my lip gloss close to when the lips meet, it tend to leave a whitish film maybe due to ‘friction’ caused by the lips when we’re talking and such. It gets even worst when I put on too much lip gloss and I love lip gloss! So what I’ve tried is to glide my lip gloss over my lips deliberately avoiding the areas close to where the lips meet. Or at least I try not to put on too much lip gloss. So far, this has worked nicely for me.

Tip from Hazelnutt: Avoid applying lip color to area where lips meet
I get the white gunk too! I believe it’s due to saliva interacting with the lipstick/gloss formula. It doesn’t matter what brand of lipstick/gloss I use. One of your readers mentioned that she tries to avoid applying lip colour near the area where the lips meet. I do that too and it seems to help reduce the buildup of the white gunk.

Tip from Ellie-B: Lick the part of my lips where the white line forms
When I experience the yucky white line across my bottom lip, I get grossed out, naturally. To avoid this, after half an hour of applying my lipstick, I very subtly just lick the part of my lips where I know the white line forms. I just do this every half hour or so, and I’ve noticed since then that I haven’t had any trouble. But this does mean I sometimes have to reapply my lipstick more often. Still, it’s better to have red lips than white lips.

Tip from Ruby: Use tissue to absorb excessive lipstick
I also had the same problem before. In most case, it was because either I had applied lipstick to the full lip, or I had applied a powder layer before applying lipstick (my lip is dark, so I need to tap powder on it to make it lighter). Anyway, I think the problem is because when we close our lips, the wet inside washes out the lipstick, cleaning the inside lip of lipstick, while the outside still has lipstick.

The white line stands at the point where the lips meet. I fixed this by carefully applying the lipstick just enough on the outside and not go too far to the inside. Also, after each layer of lipstick, you could use a paper tissue and hold it between your mouth to take all the excessive lipstick, before going for another lipstick layer. For me, I often use a layer of lip balm to the full lip, a layer of lipstick to the outside lip, and finish with a gloss in the middle and the line between two lips (since the gloss would hardly be noticeable).

Tip from me: stop talking
Please note that I’ve not really tried these tips shared by readers as I no longer have this problem. Wanna know my tip? Well, a few of you’d mentioned that the white gooey stuff was really dried, sticky saliva. So what I’ve essentially done is to quit talking so much. Since doing so, I no longer have this problem.

P.S. If you have no idea what this post is talking about, just know that you’re very blessed not to ever know or experience this yucky gooey white stuff on your lips!


  1. Remy says:

    Thank you for this post. I am having this problem from time to time and I am glad I know what to do in case it happens again.
    Remy last post is: Tattoo Removal Lasers May Lessen Acne Scars

  2. Eva says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I really needed this! I get so embarrassed when I find out at the end of the day that I have some white stuff on my lips. So gross.
    Eva last post is: HEALTH & BEAUTY: Probiotics, Digestion, & Acne

  3. Sesame says:

    That was how I felt the first time I saw it. And it was so embarrassing that others saw it too. ?

  4. Lara says:

    Ive had this problem for so long, people are always telling me its dehydration but i drink so much water. the white stuff appears even when im not wearing lipstick or gloss. It is so embarrassing i just want to be confident. Ive noticed it does appear where my lips press together, my friends all put there lipstick beyond this point(but they dont suffer form this white stuff) and i tried that and immediately there is a border of the lipstick and the inner mouth section. I scrub my lips, wear balm, drink water, eat healthy and exercise, nothing works. please help!!!

  5. Winnie says:

    Hi Lara,
    try brushing your lips right up to the inner side, whenever you are brushing your teeth. There after, apply moisturizing lip balm. I have been doing this for a long time and it works perfectly.

    Also, avoid using too much toothpaste; it sometimes is the cause of that white stringy line.

  6. Beth Kahn says:

    Glad I am not the only one to deal with the gross mess. I normally just thoroughly clean my lips and start over with whatever lipstick/gloss I wanted to wear. Start from scratch. Thanks for the tips!!

  7. Wendee Lee says:

    I’ve had this problem for years too and have been using a gentle scrub for lips to combat them, as the gooey stuff are actually your dead skin cells. But it’s too time consuming, so I decided to cheat by just using my fingers and rubbing them on my lips (back and forth motion) while I’m in the shower. The water from the shower head helps to lubricate your fingers to reduce friction. Do this at least once a day – I’ve never had this problem since then! Hope that helps ?

  8. Sesame says:

    Thanks, Wendee, for sharing your experience. So it seems frequent exfoliation is important. Hmm…definitely makes sense.

  9. Amina says:

    Thanks for the advice! It’s been so embarrassing. Stopped wearing lipstick and gloss.

  10. Amber says:

    I’ve had this problem for years now! I work in a nightclub and sometimes I’m busy for hours. When I go to the bathroom, I’m shocked at the white layer every time! I sleep in Vaseline, I’ve purchased tons of expensive brown sugar scrubs. Nothing seems to work! I’ve even filed my lips with a nail file. I honestly think it’s getting worse. I’ve stopped wearing anything on my lips. Even Chapstick rolls up after an hour. I was told that smokers have this problem? but I haven’t smoked for years. If anyone has any NEW advice, please let me know !

  11. sonia says:

    I have a same problem
    please help

  12. Arieace says:

    Ugh I have this problem too!
    I personally found that keeping your lips slightly parted also helps keep this residue away.

  13. Aliaspt says:

    I get this, too and I’m hesitant to wear lipstick or gloss because it ends up looking gross.
    Something nobody mentioned is a reaction to toothpaste. It took me years to finally figure out that the mucosal lining in my mouth was literally peeling due to harsh ingredients in the toothpaste such as alcohol, menthol, etc. I no longer use minty and harsh toothpastes and the issue is gone. Thought this might be useful for those with severe cases.

  14. Filippa says:

    I feel you! It happens although I scrub my lips day per day! It is so annoying I can’t wear lip glosses neither bold lip colours because this white bitch appears after one hour or less..I’m struggling with this problem for a year now I don’t know what causes it I never had this before..

  15. Mallory says:

    My lips do this, but only while I am at work. I am really self conscious of it. I have tried lip scrubs, many different lip balms, glosses, oils and even no product, but it always happens . I usually do not drink a lot of water, and I found that if I drink much more water every day then it does not happen at all. I am thinking it is a symptom or sign of dehydration.

  16. Azariah says:

    I have this problem it’s so embarrassing I hate it I don’t know what to do I tried to scrub but it doesn’t work I don’t think I can way lip gloss or lipstick I don’t know what to do someone help!

  17. Jeriah says:

    I have been experiencing the same problem for 2 years now. I only wear lipstick for special occasions so I don’t think lipstick is the cause of its accumulation. I even rub the corners of my lips just to remove it whenever I get home from school.

  18. Giovanna says:

    You should exfoliate your lips everyday, when you brush your teeth gently brush your lips after. Then, put on lip balm.
    You can try to use coconut oil on your lips before sleep to see how it works, if it feels more moisturized.
    Also after you apply lipstick, always remember to gently do a sucking motion on your finger to remove the excess of lipstick on the “wet” part of your lips. Don’t put too much lipstick on the corners of your lips.
    And also: NEVER stop talking because of something so shallow as looks! Don’t let looks determine who you are or what you want to say.

  19. Amirah says:

    I have this problem too. I’ve noticed it comes more drastically when I’m walking a lot in the outdoors. However I’ve come to realize that constantly snacking on something and drinking stuff helps a lot.

  20. Bongiwe Nodada says:

    I have noticed that using toothpastes that do not have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which is a foaming agent does help a lot.

  21. Sammy says:

    I guess you can stop talking so much, but for me, it’s because I ate a food I’m allergic to. I’m allergic to wheat and sesame seeds. I ONLY get the goo when I wake-up in the morning after I ate something I’m allergic to.

  22. Kary says:

    Lipstick, no lipstick. Scrub, no scrub…mouthwash, toothpaste, NONE of it matters.
    Guys get it too so it’s not gender based.

    We’ve tried everything & from the looks of it, as long as we’re breathing & have mouths, that evil, sticky, nasty collection of slime straight from the bowels of Hell seems to be as necessary as diarrhea.
    As regular as our periods.
    Death & Taxes now have a third party.

  23. Kary says:

    I FOUND THE CURE! I tried this out under many scenarios before opting to share here, so for me, it’s worked every time.

    The key is to put actual Vaseline – NOT CHAPSTICK or other moisturizers for lips – on the tip of your finger, open your mouth & put it right on the crease between the upper & lower lip. I put some above that & below, as well as both on the inner sides of the mouth & outer.

    It sounds like a lot but it’s really quite simple. Be sure to wipe the sides of your mouth, if there’s too much Vaseline on the outside. If it’s visible & shiny, wipe the extra off.

    I’m putting the Vaseline next to my toothbrush from now on bc it’s too important to miss!!! (Prob a good idea to reapply after eating, drinking, other usages of the mouth, etc!)

  24. Maria Montalvo says:

    I use denture glue on top and bottom now, could the Fixodent have something to do with it? I hate it it’s embarrassing please help me.

  25. Maxx says:

    I think it might have more to do with product ingredients than anything. I get it with some brands and not others. When I even use Alba natural balm I get it. I think it’s the beeswax quality. Like it separates from the pigment after a while and leaves the film. The slimy part is just our own saliva reacting with it. Gotta think of it like what happens to colored candles- some get a white ring , some don’t. But just because you pay a lot for natural doesn’t mean you’re getting top quality. I disagree with exfoliating everyday. I followed that ill advice and it made my lips dry and irritated.

  26. Nana says:

    I use Astrid lip balm before going to sleep as lip balm and lip exfoliator. It works really well for me. When I wake up and brush my teeth, I use the toothbrush brushes gently on my lips to remove dead skin. I no longer have those white film since I use this method.

  27. Bongiwe says:

    I have also realised that when I apply body cream (really penetrates my extremely dry lips) NO lip balm, No lip gloss, No lip ointment,etc during the day I won’t have the white line on my lips at all,but in combination with exfoliating the dry skin.
    (I avoid perfumed ones, just plain body cream)

  28. Bella says:

    How is it going for you now? Every 30 mintues I get this disgusting white layer no matter what I do!!

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