how to drink red wine without staining your lips

How to Drink Red Wine without Staining Your Lips

Red lips are sexy, no doubt, but when they are painted with Chanel lipstick. A wine stain on your lips is surely not the aesthetic you want to achieve. But, how to drink red wine without staining your lips?

Red wine tends to stay on cracked and dry lips. We suggest you keep your lips moist by regularly applying Chapstick, lip gloss, or Vaseline. Not only does this keep your lips from drying out, but it provides a thin layer of added protection against stains.

Let’s discuss some details on this topic, shall we?

Why Does Red Wine Leave Stains?

When you drink red wine, you see the results on your lips and not only. If you are busy trying to get rid of the stains, you probably haven’t had time to think about why they appear. It is because of anthocyanins, which are the natural compounds that give red grapes their purple color, you can stumble upon them everywhere in nature: in fruits, especially berries, leaves, and flowers.

Some varieties of grapes have more anthocyanins than others. Grapes with fewer anthocyanins in their skins, such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Gamay, Grenache, and Nebbiolo, naturally produce less intensely colored wine. On the other hand, some grapes have a massive intensity of color, and so does their wine. These include Durif, Malbec, Tannat, Lagrein, Refosco, Petit Verdot, Saperavi, Cabernet Sauvignon, and the aptly named Tuscan grape.

Author Note: This rule applies to all red wines. Red wines gradually lose their color intensity as they age, but the darker varieties not only have more saturated color, to begin with, but they also hold it for longer. A young red wine can stain your lips and tongue, which may push some people away.

If you like drinking young red wine in the evening, you might find there’s a lot of blackish-purple colors when you rinse after brushing your teeth. The darker – or younger – the wine you’ve been drinking, the more color you’ll see. Some cheap wines also have a dye called Megapurple that can stain your lips.

Why Is The Wine Stain Black and Not Red?

Couple enjoying wine tasting.

This is merely caused by a change in pH. As it is known, wine has a low pH, and your mouth has a higher pH, which turns the color from red to black. Try to demonstrate this in the kitchen: add lemon juice to a glass of red wine. It will change its look brighter and redder but add baking powder or bicarbonate of soda, and it’ll turn darker.

What’s On Your Lips?

The first step to learning how to drink red wine without staining your lips is understanding what’s on your lips. Having red wine stains on your lips is not a thing to be ashamed of. But, to avoid situations like this, you should make a barrier between the lips and the wine. A lip balm is that exact barrier.

We mentioned lip balm since it does not have any of its own colors. Avoid lipstick,  as it may soak the wine and make the stains stay on your lips even longer.

So you are free to use any lip gloss, Vaseline, or Chapstick.


Chapstick is a lip balm for chapped lips! It is made by GlaxoSmithKline and is used in many countries worldwide.

As it is so viral, that the name Chopstick became a genericized trademark. Like the “xerox” used as a verb, or in many countries, “Coke” is used for any soda. It popularly referred to any lip balm in a lipstick-style package and applied in the same manner as lipstick.

By the way, the term is still a registered trademark, with rights exclusively owned by GlaxoSmithKline.


The same story with Vaseline: the word “Vaseline” is used as generic for petroleum jelly; in Portugal, the Unilever products are called Vaselina. In some Spanish-speaking countries, also in Brazil, the Unilever products are called Vasenol.

The word itself has german-greek roots from the german words “Wasser” (water) and the Greek word “elaion” (olive oil).

Vaseline is mostly used as a cream, a moisture insulator for local skin conditions characterized by tissue dehydration.It has been reported to be highly pure, triple-purified, and regarded as non-carcinogenic

Why Moisturized Lips?

If you don’t want to plan your red wine day a week before, just take a lip balm with you to the party. This is another important step in learning how to drink red wine without staining your lips.

Author Note: If you feel that your lips are already red, enfold the color by cleaning it up and making it look voluntary. It would help if you just swiped moisturizing lip balm. It can add a shiny look to your lips so that the red stains will look like it’s a gloss instead of a byproduct of happy hour.

There must not be a reason you can’t enjoy a good glass of red while having dinner or spending time with friends. But if you want to avoid those dreaded wine stains, a few cares and fixes can mean no one needs to know precisely what you’re drinking.

Always try remembering to have lip balm in your pocket and think about applying it to your lips at least three times throughout the evening: before, during, and after drinking.

This process should seriously limit the risks of seeing those little purple wine stains around your lips. You may know that many people use Vaseline to remove their makeup. So having it on your lips will keep the “organic makeup” away.

Petroleum-based lip glosses are a barrier to the tannins, so touch up your lips after each glass. In case you’re wondering, lipstick doesn’t have the same superpower, as we mentioned above.

Take It Slow

Couple enjoying wine tasting.

They say if you don’t want to leave stains on your glass, drink from the bottle. However, this is not our problem. We could also suggest you use a straw, but it doesn’t look as classy. There is another option of using wine wipes. But imagine being on a wine date night and wiping your mouth after every sip. Not an option, right?

Author Note: So, to avoid all of the situations mentioned above, we recommend you take it slow. You may ask, how does this work?. Here is how: when you move the liquid (in our situation, red wine) towards your lips, it rushes to them and leaves stains on the lips.

But if you do it really slow, you will prevent the liquid’s quick move, and it goes right to your mouth, barely touching your lips. You place the glass on your bottom lip and keep your upper lip a little bit up. When the liquid flows from the glass to your mouth, lips remain untouched. Try it! This is another important step in learning how to drink red wine without staining your lips.

After Lips Come Teeth

You know that your lip stains can, however, be taken for lipstick. But what about the teeth? Do you imagine smiling with a purple-black veil on your teeth? Very embarrassing. But you can avoid it if you follow our guide further! Here are some tricks on how to prevent stains on your teeth.

Eat Cheese

Wine and cheese is the ultimate pairing. The two not only combine nicely together, bringing out complex flavors you might not otherwise notice, but the cheese also contains calcium that’s great for teeth. Calcium is known to close tiny micro-pores on the tooth surface and help prevent wine stains. In other words, it builds calcium-based barriers on the teeth, which push the red wine stains away.

Drink Water

You most likely have noticed people who drink water with wine. It is not only pleasant, but it also helps to wash away the wine stains from your mouth. A glass of sparkling wine is preferable to the regular one.

This is because of the bubbles inside the water. Also, swish the water in your mouth before swallowing to make sure you cleaned the traces of wine left.

Perfect Brushing Time

You may instinctively reach for your toothbrush immediately after you see your perfect purple smile-but don’t. Dentists warn that the high acidity of wine makes your teeth super sensitive to abrasion, so brushing your teeth after drinking wine can damage your tooth enamel.

It is highly recommended to brush your teeth an hour or so before. Doing so before you drink will decrease your chances of a wine-stained smile since wine clings and stains the plaque in your teeth. But, when you have brushed your teeth, most of the plaque will be gone.

White Wine White Teeth?

Couple enjoying wine tasting.

Oh, no. That is not true. Don’t drink white wine before a red. As the acidity of white wine erodes your enamel and basically serves as a primer, helping the red wine stains “stick” to your teeth more.

Many people think that switching to white wine can help protect their teeth from stains and blemishes as it is white. Unfortunately, this isn’t our case either. While white wine won’t paint your teeth purple like red wine, yet its high acidity can still contribute to tooth staining transparently. White wine can double the number of holes and pores on your teeth by eating the enamel away, making your teeth more vulnerable to stains than they should be.

Limon, Lime, and Baking Soda

These are the products that ruin the teeth enamel. Many people still believe that they can prevent red wine from staining their teeth by sucking on lime or brushing their teeth with lemon juice and baking soda. Just imagine how those products can erode your teeth by their acidity and chemical bases.

Dentists recommend using them as toothpaste once a month to whiten the teeth. We are not going to have a glass of red once in a month, are we?

Parting Thoughts

Even the best things in the world, like red wine, can have some consequences. What can we do to change nature? Nothing. We can change our thinking and use everything to gain more pleasure from the things it suggests.

Have a delicious glass of red and flash your smile proudly! But, if you can, put on a layer of lip balm beforehand. We hope you enjoyed this article on how to drink red wine without staining your lips.

To living a full-bodied life,


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