What Causes Age Spots?

Do you believe you've developed an age or liver spot? Have you been wondering if age—or your liver—really caused it? Learn the truth and wave those pesky marks goodbye.

Do you believe you've developed an age or liver spot? Have you been wondering if age—or your liver—really caused it?

Through the course of this article, you'll learn exactly:

  1. What an age spot is
  2. What causes age spots
  3. What you can do to reverse brown spots


What causes age spots?


Let's start at the root of the condition.


1. What's an age spot?

If you believe you've developed age spots, your skin will show small- or medium-sized areas of hyperpigmentation. Age spots are milkier in colour than moles and generally flat in profile. Some spots may grow to the size of a small bottle cap.

Age spots, also called 'sun spots' and 'liver spots', aren't provoked by trauma or a skin or health condition. Instead, they're the accumulation of internal and external ageing factors.

Freckles are also caused by melanin. The difference is that freckles are smaller, rounder, and more symmetrical. They can appear on very young children, often in heavy sprinklings, and are considered attractive by some people. Age spots are typically isolated and an undesirable sign of advancing years.

What causes age spots?


2. What causes age spots?

The rainbow of skin colours and tones that exist are all the result of one brown pigment: melanin. The most intense biological expression of melanin can be seen in a mole.

This pigment is common to our biology and genetically programmed to express at varying volumes. Only those with albinism cannot produce any melanin at all.

You can think of age spots as an extremely uneven tan. These distinct dark patches are the result of changes in melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin. As skin cells age, melanin production and expression is effected in two ways:

  1. Melanin production can go into overdrive.
  2. Melanin is less efficiently transported throughout the skin.

These two factors combine to form of an age spot.

Age spots are a natural consequence of the ageing process. However, several factors increase their likelihood of forming, including:

Limiting your exposure to these factors, such as by wearing a hat outdoors or quitting smoking, will help slow the ageing processes leading to age spots.

3. What can you do to reverse age spots?

Age spots are a consequence of age, but that doesn't mean they can't be prevented or reversed. Existing spots can be lightened by exfoliation. Future spots can be prevented through combined use of sun protection and brightening actives.

To lighten existing age spots, we recommend the use of a chemical exfoliant to treat several layers of skin simultaneously. Some of our Adore Beauty favourites include:

Alpha-H Beauty Sleep Power Peel also contains kojic acid, a mushroom-derived ingredient, known to hinder the production of melanin and prevent darkening of the skin.

You can find these products and more in our exfoliators store. If you're in need of any assistance, contact a member of our Adore Beauty skincare team by email on service@adorebeauty.com.au or telephone on 03 9486 7179.


what causes age spots