Age spots are arguably the most difficult type of spot to remove. Learn how to prevent and correct these brown blotches and maintain an even, youthful complexion.
Before you learn how to get rid of age spots, however, it’s important to understand how they start. That way, you can nip them in the bud at first sight, or at least prevent new spots from cropping up.
Age Spots: Not Necessarily About Age
'Age spot' is a bit of a misnomer. Brown patches can appear on skin of any age.
It's a fact that such spots are more common on mature skin. The natural collagen and elastin in the skin begins to break down as the years pass, causing skin to become thinner and more susceptible to all signs of ageing.
However, it isn’t age that causes age spots; it’s exposure to UV rays in any form, most often from the sun. When UV rays bombard the skin, melanin rushes to the epidermis, or surface of the skin, to protect the deeper layers of the skin and internal organs.
In its attempt to protect you, melanin can sometimes form distinct deposits on the skin. These spots of excess pigment are commonly referred to as age spots, sun spots, or hyperpigmentation.
In your younger years, your skin is in prime condition. That melanin rushing to the rescue deposits either a nice golden tan colour or tiny, round, charming freckles. As you age, your skin becomes less plump, even, and elastic. Thus, it's more difficult for melanin to deposit evenly, and age spots form.
How to Prevent Age Spots From Forming
The best way to prevent age spots is the best way to avoid all visible signs of ageing skin: by wearing an SPF of 30 or higher. This supplemental protection eases melanin's burden of protecting the inner layers of the skin all by itself. No rapid melanin production means no excess deposits of melanin. All sorted!
If you want to go hardcore in your prevention strategy, consider hats, scarves, sunglasses, gloves, and full-coverage tops part of your skincare arsenal.
Removing Age Spots
Taking care of the age spots you’ve already acquired, however, can be much trickier. Not only do you still need loads of SPF, but you’ll also need to add a complexion brightener into your skincare routine as well.
Some great brightening serums include:
- Cosmedix Simply Brilliant 24/7 Brightening Serum
- Medik8 White Balance Click Oxy-R
- Jurlique Purely White Spot Treatment
- SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel
Each serum contains different, but effective, brightening ingredients that are all safe for the skin. Retinoids, vitamin C, and certain acids are today's go-to age spot remedies. One traditional chemical lightener, hydroquinone, has caused some controversy in regards to its safety in recent years.
Some very advanced age spots could actually be keratoses or even skin cancer. If you have any questions about whether or not a spot could be dangerous, we encourage you to contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
Now that you understand how age spots develop, you can reduce their impact on your complexion in the future. Bear in mind, though, that age spots are signs of living a full life. Not too shabby, eh? Just remember the sunscreen next time, and you’ll be all set.