It’s an unavoidable fact of life: as we get older, our bodies change. Some of those changes can have a seemingly negative impact on our appearance. For example, it’s not uncommon for people to develop age spots as they get older.
Is this beginning to happen to you? Or is it something you worry about happening in the future?
This is understandable. Many people know they should expect to develop age spots at some point in life. However, they may not know exactly what they are, what causes them, and perhaps most importantly, what they can do to prevent or get rid of them.
It’s worth pointing out that the information in this article should not be considered a substitute for proper medical advice. If you are concerned about age spots, speaking to a physician is a good idea. They may have suggestions for treating your condition, or they may refer you to a dermatologist or similar specialist who can help.
Don’t neglect your health if you believe age spots are a significant problem for you that require a closer look from a professional. In the meantime, however, the information here will help you better understand precisely what age spots are, and how you may be able to address them on your own.
What Are Age Spots and What Causes Them?
Age spots can vary in size and color. That said, they’re typically black, gray, or brown.
It’s important to understand that age spots are always flat across the skin. If you notice colored spots on your body that appear to be raised above the skin, even slightly, get in touch with a medical professional so they can examine them.
Age spots typically appear in areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun. Thus, they’re most common on the hands (particularly the backs of your hands), your face, shoulders, forearms, and upper back (Source).
Again, age spots are not always a consistent size. Some of them can be so small they may be mistaken for freckles. Others may be as large as half an inch across. Often, age spots are noticeable because several of them appear together in clusters. However, while this is a common experience among people with age spots, it is not universal (Source).
Unfortunately, our understanding of exactly what age spots are is somewhat limited. Experts do know they develop when the body produces too much melanin. Most believe that several different factors may contribute to the appearance of age spots on the body. To some degree, the natural aging process itself may be responsible for their development. Overexposure to the sun also likely plays a role. Another factor that may increase a person’s likelihood of developing age spots is the use of tanning beds. Exposure to UV rays in general can apparently result in age spots (Source).
That said, as is often the case with these types of conditions, certain personal factors can also boost a person’s likelihood of developing these blemishes. Keep reading to learn more. Understanding these factors can help you better anticipate how you may prepare for this condition if you’re the type of person with a greater chance of having them.
Risk Factors and Concerns
As the name implies, age spots tend to develop most often on people who are in the second half of life. Being over the age of 40 is a risk factor for developing them. Thus, if you are over 40, you may want to be vigilant about checking problem areas for signs of new age spots.
Additionally, people with fair complexions are more prone to age spots than people with darker skin tones. This is especially true if a person with a fair complexion also spends a lot of time out in the sun or has frequently used tanning beds (Source).
Physicians agree that age spots are typically nothing to worry about. Although they can definitely have a cosmetic effect, they usually have no major effect on your overall health.
That said, there are some instances when it’s a good idea to consult with a doctor. If age spots are particularly dark, for example, you should see your physician. It’s also important to schedule an appointment fast if they appear to be growing relatively rapidly. Irregular or inconsistent color combinations should prompt a call to your doctor’s office as well. So should any age spots which cause discomfort. If they are benign, you shouldn’t feel them at all. If they cause itching or tenderness, especially if this quality is accompanied by redness or bleeding, seek medical help. An expert can take a closer look and determine if your age spots are related to an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed (Source).
That said, there’s a good chance your age spots are nothing to worry about, at least in regards to how they affect your wellness.
That doesn’t mean you want to live with them. Luckily, you don’t have to. There are many ways you can prevent age spots from developing in the first place. Additionally, even if they have already developed, there are steps you can take to conceal them.
The tips here will help. If you’re trying to prevent or get rid of age spots, keep the following points in mind.
Stay Out of the Sun
You already know that people who spend long periods of time in the sun are more likely than others to develop age spots as they get older. Thus, you can significantly reduce your odds of having this cosmetic problem later in life by taking steps during your youth to avoid constant exposure to the sun.
Of course, you can’t (and shouldn’t) avoid the sun completely. The sun supplies you with much-needed vitamin D. Unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from safely spending any extended period of time in the sun, it is definitely important to get out into the sunshine from time to time.
That said, you should limit your exposure. If you’re ever in a situation where you expect to be spending a lot of time outdoors, like spending a day at the beach or working outside, identify shady areas as soon as possible and take breaks in the shade from time to time. You might also consider bringing an umbrella to create shade if you don’t think any will be available.
Time Your Outdoor Excursions
Finding shade isn’t the only way to reduce your exposure to the sun. You can also try to schedule your day so that you’re not spending much time outdoors between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. These are the hours when the position of the sun in the sky makes you most likely to be exposed to its rays. While you can still be exposed to excessive sunlight during other times of day, avoiding the outdoors during these hours reduces the odds of that happening (Source).
It should go without saying: if you want to protect yourself from the sun, you should apply sunscreen.
Of course, you should make sure you apply it correctly. Simply throwing on a random sunscreen before going outside may not be enough to protect you. For the best results, you should choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30. It’s also important to confirm that your sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB light.
Apply sunscreen 15 minutes to half an hour before you plan on going outdoors. If you’re spending a long period of time outside, reapply it at least every two hours. You may need to reapply sunscreen more often if you’re participating in an activity that can wash it off your body. Obviously, swimming can remove sunscreen, but even playing a sport can if you end up sweating (Source).
It’s also worth noting that, contrary to popular belief, it’s still necessary to apply sunscreen and spend some time in the shade even if the sun is blocked by clouds. Experts often point out that clouds are not actually effective at blocking the sun’s UV rays (Source).
Cover Yourself Up
Again, you’ve learned that age spots are most likely to develop in areas of your body that have been frequently exposed to the sun. Thus, a simple way to prevent them is to cover up those sections of your body as much as possible when spending time outdoors.
Granted, you may not want to cover up every inch of your body if it’s a very warm day and you’re spending time at the beach. However, on an average day, stick with long sleeves, and make sure your upper back and shoulders are covered. You might also consider wearing a hat that prevents you from overexposing your face to the sun. You can even purchase special clothing that’s designed specifically to block UV rays (Source).
Protect Yourself While Driving
People often forget that they are still exposed to the sun when driving. Because they feel like they are indoors, they don’t consider the fact that the sun’s rays can still penetrate through most typical auto glass. That means you may be exposing yourself to much more sunlight than you think if you tend to spend a lot of time during the week behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Luckily, there are easy steps you can take to protect yourself. Again, you may want to wear clothing designed for UV protection. You can also speak to an automotive expert about installing special window film over your vehicle’s glass. This film allows you to see your surroundings outside the vehicle clearly, while also protecting you and the other occupants of the vehicle from UV rays (Source).
Avoid Tanning Beds
It’s easy to understand the appeal of tanning beds. Many people associate darker skin tones with physical beauty. Thus, if they have a shortcut to achieving this look, they’re going to take it.
This is an understandable attitude to have. However, it won’t yield major benefits in the long run. In the immediate future, it may produce the results you want, but over time, excessive use of tanning beds has been associated with a wide range of consequences. Age spots are simply one of them. People who use tanning beds too often are also more likely to develop skin damage and wrinkles (Source).
Don’t Spend Too Much Time Near the Window
We’ve already established that driving can expose you to a tremendous amount of sunlight over time. The UV rays that can result in age spots will penetrate your vehicle’s windows if you haven’t applied a protective film over them.
This same principle applies to any other windows in your home or office. That’s why you should remember how too much exposure to the sun can impact your appearance over time.
For example, maybe you sit directly near a large window in your office. Perhaps you like to keep it open for natural light. This is an understandable situation. Plenty of people who have to spend hours of every single day stuck inside an office find they prefer the natural light of the sun over the artificial light they’re exposed to indoors.
However, if you’re sitting in direct sunlight for a long period of time every single day, you will be more likely to develop age spots. Thus, you should get into the habit of reducing the amount of time you spend sitting or standing next to these types of windows. Sit in another area of the office so you can let sunlight in without exposing your skin directly to it. If you don’t have this option, close the blinds periodically and rely on your office lighting instead. You may not prefer it, but taking these steps will protect your skin in the long run.
Don’t Forget Your Lips
It’s worth mentioning that age spots absolutely can develop on or around your lips. That’s why it’s important to take steps to protect them as well.
Look for brands of lip balm that are designed to protect your lips from the sun. Apply it whenever you go outside, and reapply it on a regular basis if you’re going to be spending a long period of time outdoors (Source).
Again, the tips listed so far can definitely help you prevent age spots from developing. However, if they already have developed, you probably want to know if there is anything you can do to get rid of them.
The answer is yes. Best of all, in many cases, you don’t need to undergo any major cosmetic procedures to address the problem. While this may be necessary in extreme cases, for most people, it’s worthwhile to try some more basic remedies instead.
Getting rid of age spots don’t have to be an expensive task. Nor should it require you to find obscure ingredients for difficult-to-prepare remedies. Some of the most effective remedies can be prepared using ingredients you may already have in your kitchen.
For example, beauty experts recommend applying lemon slices to your age spots once a day, for a period of about 15 minutes. Over time, the acid from the lemon will actually lighten your age spots and make them less easy to notice.
It’s worth pointing out that this kind of remedy will not have overnight effects. Thus, you shouldn’t abandon it if you don’t see benefits immediately. Instead, continue applying lemon on a daily basis. It’s a simple task, and if you stick with it, there’s a very good chance your age spots will start to diminish (Source).
Use Onion Instead
You should know that some people may experience discomfort when trying the remedy listed above. The acid from lemon can irritate sensitive skin. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of this remedy. It simply means you need to swap out your ingredients. If lemon is too irritating, perform the remedy exactly as described above, but use onion instead of lemon. It can offer similar benefits without irritating your skin (Source).
Use a Bleaching Agent
If you’re okay with the idea of applying chemicals to your skin, there are over-the-counter bleaching agents available that can help reduce the appearance of your age spots. That said, you should consult with a physician before using any product of this type. The fact that you don’t need a prescription to purchase it doesn’t mean it can’t harm you. Additionally, while these treatments can absolutely be effective, they typically take a long time to produce noticeable effects. Be patient if you go this route (Source).
Apply Aloe Vera
When treating age spots, you’re essentially just trying to make your skin healthier. That means you should use ingredients that are known to support skin health in general.
Aloe vera is one. This natural ingredient is recommended for sunburn relief. Thus, it’s a good idea to have it on hand whenever you expect to be spending long periods of time outdoors.
Aloe vera gel can also help you get rid of age spots. Simply rubbing it into the affected areas on a daily basis can provide your skin with the nutrients it needs to reduce their appearance over time. Make this part of your daily skin care regimen for the best results (Source).
Don’t have any onion or lemon on hand? Don’t worry! As it turns out, the remedies described above often work just as well with potatoes instead of lemons or onions.
That’s because potatoes contain nutrients and have exfoliating properties that can work wonders for your skin. Exfoliation is simply the process of gently removing the dead skin cells that typically form the upper layer of skin. By removing them, you can reveal the healthy skin underneath, which often looks more attractive than the top layer.
Again, this remedy simply involves slicing up some potato and placing the slices on your age spots for about 15 minutes every day. You may also want to add some water for a moisturizing effect (Source).
Try Buttermilk or Yogurt
Yogurt and buttermilk have a lot in common. The presence of lactic acid in both is just one similarity between the two. Luckily, this similarity can be very helpful for people with age spots.
That’s because lactic acid also has strong exfoliating properties. For this remedy, it’s best to apply yogurt or buttermilk to the affected areas and leave it in place for at least 20 minutes. You may find it’s easier to apply buttermilk if you dip some cotton balls in it first, using them to apply the buttermilk to your skin. Once the 20 minutes or more have elapsed, simply rinse your body off.
Again, this is the type of remedy that can be very effective. That’s not the same as saying it will get rid of your age spots overnight. You should stick with this routine if you choose to treat your age spots in this manner. Over time, you’ll likely achieve the results you’re after (Source).
Try Castor Oil
Do you want to get rid of age spots but feel like you don’t have the time to sit around for 15 minutes every day? If so, you may prefer this remedy, which involves much less of a time commitment than some of the others listed here.
Castor oil offers your skin many health benefits. That’s why experts recommend using it to treat age spots. All you have to do is massage a few drops of the oil into your age spots for about a minute, or two minutes depending on how large the affected area is. Your main goal should be to ensure your skin has absorbed as much of the castor oil as possible. Repeat this process twice every day for the best results (Source).
Try Some Turmeric
Turmeric is another natural ingredient that offers many potential health benefits. According to some, it also can prevent your body from producing melanin. Because age spots result from overproduction of melanin, turmeric can be very helpful at reducing their appearance.
For this remedy, mix two tablespoons of rice water and two tablespoons of flour with one teaspoon of turmeric. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly so they form a paste that’s easy to apply to your body. Apply it to your age spots, and let it stay there for about 20 minutes, before rinsing it off. Repeat this process once every day (Source).
Apply Sandalwood Essential Oil
Essential oils are natural ingredients that can be very useful in many different ways. That includes boosting the health of your skin.
This remedy is also fairly simple. All you need is sandalwood essential oil. This was chosen because it contains natural anti-aging properties that can protect your skin and make age spots much less noticeable over time. Just mix the sandalwood oil with a more neutral carrier oil, like olive oil, and massage it in the affected areas of your skin. Wait for it to try, then rinse off any oil that wasn’t absorbed with cool water (Source).
Use Your Orange Peels
Don’t make the mistake of tossing out the peel next time you eat an orange! While you may not want to eat the peel itself, that doesn’t change the fact that it still has nutritious properties that can be very beneficial to your skin.
Orange peel is particularly effective because it can stimulate the production of new, healthy skin cells, while simultaneously removing toxins from your skin in its current state. This results in a lightening effect that makes age spots much less noticeable.
To take advantage of this remedy, squeeze the juice from an orange peel and apply it to your age spots. Massage it in there to ensure you cover the entire affected areas. Leave it in place for about 20 minutes, then rinse it off. As with many of the other remedies listed here, you’ll want to repeat this on a daily basis over an extended period of time in order to maximize your results (Source).
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Before you learn about this remedy, it’s important to understand that some people are more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide than others. Thus, it’s a good idea to test your skin’s sensitivity with a few drops first before deciding to use more.
That said, if you find that you can tolerate hydrogen peroxide, you’re in luck. This ingredient that’s often found in households has natural bleaching properties. That means that applying it to your skin will lighten your age spots and make them much harder to see.
For this remedy, create a mixture of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and whole milk. The amount you’ll have to use will vary from one person to another based on the size of the area affected by age spots. You may need to experiment with different amounts before you can fully determine what is best for your needs. That said, erring on the side of caution by using more rather than less may be a smart move. It’s somewhat wasteful if you end up with more of the mixture than you need, but it’s easier than not creating enough and being forced to only treat some of your age spots.
Once the two ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, use a cotton pad to apply it to any and all affected areas of your skin. Wait for about 15 minutes, then rinse it off. Repeat this process on a daily basis for the full benefits (Source).
Give it Some Honey
Honey isn’t merely a sweet ingredient that can make a beverage or meal more flavorful. For many years, it has also played a major role in a wide range of health remedies. That’s why many also recommend using it to treat age spots. Honey has natural antibacterial properties that promote skin health. It’s also useful as an exfoliant, removing the upper layer of dead skin cells to reveal the healthy skin underneath. Best of all, it’s inexpensive and easy to find, making this remedy very simple for most people to use. That said, you want to make sure you’re choosing raw organic honey. It offers more benefits than other types.
To treat your age spots, scoop up some honey with your fingers and massage it into the affected areas. Simply let it remain there for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes have elapsed, rinse it off, and repeat the process on a daily basis. You’ll probably want to rinse yourself thoroughly to ensure you remove all the honey, otherwise it can make your clothes sticky, resulting in discomfort throughout the day (Source).
Add a Little Parsley
Parsley, like honey, is more than just an ingredient that makes your favorite meal taste even better. Beauty experts also know that it can make the skin lighter. That’s just another way of saying it can be very helpful for getting rid of age spots.
Chop up a cup of parsley, then mix it with a tablespoon of yogurt and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly to create a paste that you can easily apply to your skin. Apply it to the affected areas, and leave it in place for 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
Perhaps the best element of this remedy is the fact that you don’t need to apply it on a daily basis to get results. Although you will have to stick with the routine over time to see major benefits, simply applying the paste twice a week is often enough to achieve the desired effects (Source).
Try Some Papaya
Papaya is yet another fruit that has strong exfoliating properties. The acids in papaya can remove dead skin cells, thus reducing the appearance of age spots.
That said, it’s important to understand that some people are actually allergic to papaya. If you’re not sure whether you’re one of them, consider applying a very small amount of papaya to your skin first before moving forward with this remedy. You can safely try this remedy if you don’t experience any allergic reaction after 24 hours have elapsed.
All you need to do is cut up some chunks of papaya and mash them together until you have a paste or pulp. Apply it to the affected areas of your skin, wait 20 minutes, then rinse it off thoroughly. You’ll reap the full benefits of this remedy if you apply the pulp once a day (Source).
Oatmeal is often used by people who are trying to exfoliate their skin using natural ingredients. It has also been known to soothe sensitive or irritated skin. Of course, as you already know, you should consult with a dermatologist if your age spots are causing discomfort. This could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
However, if your doctor confirms that your age spots aren’t a sign of anything more serious, but you still feel your skin is too sensitive for some of the other remedies listed in this article, this remedy may be the best option for your needs.
You’ll need to make a paste to apply the oatmeal to your skin. Combine a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of milk (both of which also offer benefits to your skin’s health) with three tablespoons of oatmeal. Mix the ingredients together into a paste and then apply it to your age spots.
There is no set amount of time you should wait before rinsing off this paste. You simply need to wait until it has fully dried.
You only need to apply this remedy three times a week to get the benefits. The ingredients will remove dead skin cells and allow the healthy skin beneath your age spots to shine through (Source).
Consider Skin Creams
There are skin creams on the market designed specifically to improve the appearance of skin affected by problems like age spots. Some of these are available over-the-counter. They are absolutely worth trying if you want to get rid of this problem.
Remember, though, that it’s important to speak with your doctor if you’re concerned about the ingredients that may be in these products.
Discussing the topic with a physician offers several benefits. Although over-the-counter creams can absolutely be effective, some people (with more severe cases of age spots) see better results when using a prescription cream instead. If you are this type of person, there’s a good chance your doctor will realize it. They can give you a prescription for a cream that will work for your needs (Source).
Use Dandelion Sap
Many people don’t like to see dandelions popping up in their yards. However, they may not realize that this plant contains natural properties that can boost the health of their skin and reduce the appearance of age spots. Finally, there’s use for these intrusive flowers.
You also don’t need to put in much effort to take advantage of the healing properties dandelion has to offer. All you have to do is pull up a few dandelion flowers. Break the stem off, and you should find that a sap-like substance seeps out of them. Apply this substance to the affected areas of your skin. Depending on how many age spots you have, you may need to pull out more dandelions to yield enough sap to cover every single one.
Wait about 10 minutes or so before rinsing the sap off. This is another remedy that delivers the best results if you practice it on a daily basis. Luckily, if dandelions grow on your property, there’s a good chance you have quite a few of them in the yard. Thus, you’ll be able to apply their sap on a daily basis without having to spend a dime on any extra ingredients. You’ll eventually see your age spots start to fade in appearance if you stick to this remedy (Source).
Apply Some Cucumber
You may already know that cucumbers are often used in many natural beauty remedies. You may not know that the benefits they offer your skin can also help reduce the appearance of age spots.
For this remedy, just slice up some cucumber and apply as much of the juice as possible onto your age spots. You should also leave the cucumber slices over the spots after doing so, as the moisture that’s left over will seep into your skin. Wait about 20 minutes, then remove the cucumber slices and rinse off any moisture or juice that was left behind. Apply cucumber on a daily basis for the best results (Source).
Tomato is yet another food that can also nourish your skin and, perhaps more importantly, lighten it to the point that you can’t notice your age spots easily.
This is another remedy that’s very simple. All you have to do is apply tomato slices to your age spots. Make sure the juice from the tomato covers the affected area. Wait 20 minutes, then rinse it off thoroughly. You may want to apply tomato to your age spots twice every day to get ideal results (Source).
Apply Apple Cider Vinegar Overnight
Apple cider vinegar is one more natural ingredient that has natural exfoliating properties. You can take full advantage of all the benefits it has to offer by applying a few drops of it to your age spots and leaving it there overnight. Rinse off any oil that was left behind in the morning. Although it will probably take a few weeks for you to notice the effects, this is an easy remedy to perform that can yield major results. Some people also recommend mixing the apple cider vinegar with olive oil to ensure your skin remains moisturized (Source).
Remember, if you’re concerned about your age spots, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor. Most of the time these spots are not indicative of any health problem. However, it’s possible to mistake other types of skin conditions for age spots. A physician can confirm whether further treatment is necessary.
If they don’t think you need medical treatment, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with age spots. The tips listed here will help you prevent them. If they do develop, you can use natural ingredients to get rid of them for good.