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You may have heard them called by many names. Younger patients may call them “knowledge spots” or “wisdom spots.” Older women may refer to them as “liver spots.” Freelance journalist K.J. Force dubbed them “mature freckles,” while Cindy Joseph called them “medals of honor.” Well, no matter what you call them, those dark spots of skin that appear on our hands, face, and arms all mean the same thing: you’re getting older, but that’s not something you can’t do flawlessly. Here are some foolproof natural ways to fade those age spots for a more balanced complexion.
What are Age Spots?
Although they are sometimes called liver spots, age spots have nothing to do with the liver; they are primarily caused by sun exposure. Age spots appear as dark, flat patches which vary in size and become prominent when grouped together, They most commonly appear on the face, arms, and hands, which typically get more sun exposure.
What Are the Causes of Age Spots?
Age spots are more likely to occur in people with fair complexions, but can also appear on those with darker skin tone. They are cause predominantly by regular Uv exposure from the sun. When ultraviolet rays hit the skin, an upsurge of cells called melanocytes occurs, causing melanin build up in the skin. Over years of protracted sun exposure, the melanin becomes “clumped” causing dark spots to emerge.The use of tanning beds and lamps can also produce age spots and they can occur for genetic reasons as well.
Hydroquinine is the most common and effective treatment for age spots, although it tends to be irritating. Less sensitizing, and also less potent, options include, vitamin C, kojic acid, licorice extract, and alpha-arbutin. Dermatologist Jennifer Linder, MD. suggests trying a combination of these,as each play a different role in fighting age spots.
All Over Brightness
For some, spot treatments are too limited. Dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frand, MD, says, “They can create a halo effect- areas of lightness on a dark background.” For those who find this to be a problem, the doctor recommends a face brightener with vitamin C, alone or with a spot treatment.
Retinol’s ability to speed cell turnover makes it excellent at fighting wrinkles, as well as targeting hyper- pigmentation. Dr. Linder explains, “As brown spots start to form, retinol keeps them from reaching their full maturity. In addition, it is important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day to prevent age spots from returning.
For a double whammy, use a lightning product with a chemical exfoliant, like salicylic or glycol acid. They instantly brighten your skin by sloughing off dead cells gently. This will also improve the ingredient penetration and make the lightener more effective.
How do you tone down your age spots? Let us know how you keep yourself aging beautifully!