Age Spots

Getting Rid of Age Spots:
Makeup and Skin Care Guide

Age spots on the face are very common, and they can affect people of any age. However, as the name suggests, they’re more likely to affect you as you grow older.

Age spots are also commonly known as sun spots or liver spots, though they are not caused by the liver and are not indicative of liver health. However, people used to believe they were caused by liver problems. Now we know that liver spots are physiologically unrelated to the liver.

The good thing about age spots on the face or anywhere else on the body is that they are usually harmless. However, most people don’t like the way they look.

If you are unhappy with the way age spots affect your appearance, you may be able to do something about them. Here is your helpful guide to getting rid of age spots with the help of makeup, treatments and skin care products.

What Are Age Spots?

lala daisy flowerAge spots are marks on the skin that are usually darker than the surrounding skin. While people most commonly wonder how to remove age spots, these spots can actually appear anywhere on the body.

Usually, these dark marks on the skin occur in areas that receive the most exposure to the sun. Common areas for age spots to develop include:

  • The face
  • The shoulders
  • The forearms
  • The upper back
  • The backs of the hands

If and when you notice spots developing on these areas, it’s important not to panic. Age spots are harmless in most cases.

If you aren’t sure whether new spots you see on your face or body are age spots or something else, you may want to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. He or she will be able to let you know if the spots are age spots, moles or something else you should take care of.

Characteristics of Age Spots

lala daisy flowerFortunately, sun spots are pretty easy to recognize. They are small, dark areas on the skin that often appear after a lot of exposure to the sun.

Unlike moles, sun spots are flat, so you can’t feel them if your run your fingers over them. They can come in a variety of colors, from light brown to black.

Age spots don’t cause any pain and they aren’t dangerous. However, they are an indication that you may be exposing your skin to too much sunlight.

True age spots don’t need treatment for health reasons, but they can be treated for cosmetic reasons. Some makeup products can cover them up, and some treatments can help fade them so they are less noticeable.

Causes of Age Spots

lala daisy flowerAge spots are almost always caused by sun exposure. They can range from the size of a small freckle to approximately ½ inch across.

Often sun spots appear in clumps, which can make them larger and more noticeable than they really are. They are often mistaken for freckles.

Age spots are very common in people aged 50 and older, though young people can get them too. The more time you spend in the sun, the more likely you are to develop them.

You can help prevent sun spots by avoiding staying in the sun for long periods of time. Regularly using sunscreen can also help you avoid developing sun spots.

You may be more likely to develop age spots if you have a history of frequent sun burns or long periods of intense sun exposure. People with light skin are also more likely to develop the spots than people with dark skin.

How To Prevent Age Spots

lala daisy flowerIt is unlikely that you’ll be able to go your entire life without developing some age spots. However, you may be able to minimize their occurrence by taking some preventative steps. Here are some suggestions:

  • Cover up. If you’re planning to be outside for long periods of time, you should try to cover up your skin as much as possible. This is especially important in the summer, when the sun’s rays are particularly intense.

You can cover up by wearing tightly woven clothing that covers your legs and arms. A broad-brimmed hat is also a wise apparel choice, since it offers more sun protection than a standard baseball cap.

There are even specially designed clothing options that provide more sun protection than standard clothing. These clothing items are usually labeled with a tag that specifies the item’s ultraviolet protection factor. For optimal protection, look for clothing marked with a UPF of at least 40.

  • Avoid the sun during certain time frames. The sun’s rays tend to be most intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. For this reason, it’s best to avoid spending a lot of time outside between these hours.

If you exercise outside or do a lot of gardening, try to schedule your outdoor times strategically. If possible, spend most of your outdoor time early in the morning or later in the evening to protect your skin.

  • Use Sunscreen. Many people are surprised to discover how quickly their skin can be affected by sun damage. Anytime you plan to be outside for 10 minutes or longer, take time to apply sunscreen.

For best results, apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outdoors. This will give it time to settle into your skin and offer optimum protection.

Don’t waste your time or money applying sunscreen that’s less than 30 SPF. The higher the number, the more protection you’ll receive from sunburns, sunspots and other types of sun-related skin damage.

Protecting your skin from the sun isn’t that hard to do. It just requires a little bit of planning and forethought.

When To See a Doctor for Age Spots

lala daisy flowerSome age spots can look a lot like skin cancer. For this reason, it’s wise to visit your dermatologist if you ever develop questionable spots on your skin.

If your skin spots change in appearance, they could actually be melanoma. There are a few reasons you may want to have your doctor take a close look at that skin spot. Schedule an appointment if the spot:

  • Is bleeding
  • Is black
  • Has a variety of unusual colors
  • Is growing in size
  • Has an irregular border

These are all possible signs of melanoma. For the best outcome, don’t delay visiting your doctor to have any unusual skin spots checked out.

How to Remove Age Spots on the Face

lala daisy flowerIf you already have age spots and you’re past the point of trying to avoid developing them, don’t worry! There are solutions that can help you reduce or even completely remove your spots.

Many people wonder how to remove age spots, but few actually know how to do it. Here’s a quick guide to products that can help reduce the appearance of your sun spots.

  • Pigment lightening products. These work by preventing hyperpigmentation that occurs after exposure to the sun. They can also brighten the complexion and make the skin look more radiant overall.
  • Lemon Juice. Vitamin C and citric acid in lemon juice make it a natural bleaching agent. Applying lemon juice to your skin may help you reduce the appearance of age spots.

It’s important to note that some people are sensitive to lemon. So before you begin applying it all over your sun spots, test it on a small area of skin first.

If pure lemon juice is too harsh, try diluting it with purified water. Use a cotton ball to apply the diluted mixture to all affected areas of your skin.

  • Honey Rub. Rubbing raw honey on your skin can help exfoliate dead pigmented skin cells to make way for new, healthy cells.

Honey is full of antioxidants and it’s also a natural antibacterial agent. This means that while you’re using it to exfoliate away damaged pigmented cells, you’re also nourishing and protecting your skin from harmful microbes.

  • Cucumber Paste. It’s a well-known fact that cucumbers can minimize inflammation and sooth the skin. It turns out that cucumbers may also be able to help you minimize sun spots.

For best results, combine one cucumber with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and ½ teaspoon in a blender. Mix the ingredients to a pulp, then apply to your age spots.

Leave the mixture on your skin for 30 minutes or longer, then use water to wash it away. Cucumbers are full of vitamins and antioxidants that can protect the skin from acne scars and discoloration.

These are just a few easy ways to reduce the appearance of your age spots. If you need a little more help getting rid of the pesky things, you may want to look into professional treatments.

Treatments or Products for Age Spots

lala daisy flowerThere are a variety of treatments available to reduce or remove age spots. They include:

  • Laser and light therapies. These therapies harness the power of laser and intense light to destroy melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin) without harming your regular skin cells.

They work by targeting age spots with pulses of specialized light. This type of therapy usually requires at least two sessions before you can see noticeable results.

  • The best cream for age spots includes bleaching agents that help spots fade over a period of months. A mild steroid may also be used with this type of treatment.
  • If you’re looking for a less aggressive approach to removing sun spots, microdermabrasion may be the answer. It’s a treatment that helps smooth the skin and remove dead, darker skin cells on the top.

You should know that it can take months of consistent microdermabrasion treatments to get noticeable results. However, the waiting period is worth it for some people who don’t want to undergo more intense therapies.

  • Freezing (cryotherapy). Freezing age spots with a specialized product can destroy extra pigment in the affected cells. The skin may appear lighter as the treated area heals.

It’s important to note that cryotherapy can potentially irritate some skin types. It is also associated with a slight risk of permanent discoloration and/or scarring.

  • Chemical peel. A chemical peel is a method that involves applying a chemical solution to the skin. The solution is exfoliating and removes the top, most highly pigmented layers of skin.

Possible side effects of this procedure include discoloration of the skin as well as infection and scarring. It’s normal for redness to last up to several weeks after the procedure.

When done successfully, a chemical peel can help reveal smoother, more even-toned skin beneath your age spots. You should plan on receiving several treatments before you notice results.

  • Like microdermabrasion, dermabrasion sands down the outer layer of skin with a brush that rotates rapidly. It’s more aggressive than microdermabrasion.

Dermabrasion may cause scabbing, swelling and temporary redness. It may also take time for new skin to grow in place of the outer layer of skin.

When determining what type of treatment is best for your skin, it’s important to consult with your doctor. Some treatments are harsher than others, so make sure you select one that that you’re comfortable with receiving.

Makeup to Hide Age Spots

lala daisy flowerIf you’d rather not deal with professional treatments and procedures, you can use makeup to hide your age spots. While regular foundation can help cover them up to an extent, you may get better results by applying correcting concealer before foundation.

Correcting concealer is very effective at hiding skin discolorations. It can also hide other blemishes, such as scarring and acne.

Other great products for hiding age spots include quality liquid and powder foundations that provide solid coverage but are still lightweight. Look for non-comedogenic products that won’t clog your pores and cause you to break out in acne.

It’s important to find the right foundation color for your skin. If you go too light or too dark, it will only augment any discoloration issues you have.

For best results finding makeup products that adequately conceal your age spots, consider consulting with a makeup artist or cosmetologist.  And don’t forget to protect your skin from future age spots by covering it up as much as possible when you go outside.