It’s true that some things get better with age, though skin tends not to be one of them. Not unless you’re vigilant about your skincare routine. Interestingly, age spots are a misnomer as they are not solely caused by your age. Also called liver spots or sun spots, these are a result of excess melanin production which is brought on by sun exposure and UV ray exposure - like your tanning bed.
Age isn’t the only factor in them, though it’s not common for someone to have them in their youth. Typically, they’re flat and brown and tend to show up on parts of your body that are frequently exposed to sun. The back of your hands, shoulders, and face are some of the most common places. Those that are over 40, with fair skin, who have been out in the sun often or frequent visitors of tanning beds are most likely to find themselves with age spots.
They’re not painful in any way, though you may feel self-conscious about them. Thankfully, there are ways to treat age spots to make them fade away. Certain ingredients in skincare products like hydroquinone, glycolic acid, kojic acid, or alpha hydroxy acid can help fade age spots though patience is required because even the best products do not erase them overnight.
You can also ask your dermatologist about intense pulsed light treatment. These light waves target melanin to get rid of age spots. Additionally, your spa can help with chemical peels, dermabrasion, or even cryosurgery, a process that freezes each age spot with liquid nitrogen. Your other option is looking for makeup that covers them up, but there are plenty of those!
It’s important to know though that as you work to eradicate your age spots and restore your skin, you should also work just as diligently to prevent them. Here are our tips for keeping your skin age spot-free!
Avoid The Sun
It’s true you can’t hide inside forever, but spending too much time in the sun increases your chances for age spots as well as for something worse - skin cancer. If you have to be outside, try to stay out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Always Wear Sunscreen
Even if you’re not sitting out in the sun, never ever leave your home without slathering on the sunscreen. You should use a minimum of SPF 30 with UVA and UVB protection. Don’t forget the backs of your hands. Sitting in traffic exposes you to sun, and just so you know, you’re just as prone on cloudy days too. Protect yourself!
Going to the pool or out for a jog? Apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors. Make sure you use a waterproof or sweatproof formula too, and reapply it every two hours.
Use Protective Clothing
Hats, pants, and long-sleeved shirts can protect you from UV rays. Look for UV-blocking clothes that have a UPF of 40 at minimum. These are a great investment for outdoor sports.
With prevention and fading techniques, you can say goodbye to age spots! Don’t wait!