Age spots are not attractive. In the beauty industry age spots are identified as hyper-pigmentation. If you have age spots you know that they can be frustrating and are as unwanted as wrinkles and jowls. In this post we will discuss how to get rid of age spots.
Age spots are due to hyper-pigmentation, and this happens when the skin over produces melanin. Usually this occurs in patches or spots on the skin that have been exposed to the sun.
Please be aware that not all age spots are caused by the sun, so it is best to get them checked out by your Doctor to make sure it is nothing sinister.
Age spots most commonly appear on the back of hands, the face, forearms and upper chest area. They are larger and more defined than a freckle. During winter or extended times when you are out of the sun, they may lighten.
What Causes Age Spots?
The number one cause is sun exposure. Many people think that age spots are caused by being old or older. This is not entirely true. Age spots occur over time, and when you are older you have been exposed to the sun more often than a younger person.
Many years of being exposed to the suns UV rays means you will more than likely get age spots when you are older.
Age spots are common in people over 40, but young people get them too. Surfers, outdoor workers and gardeners often have age spots at a younger age, simply because they are out in the sun more often than people of the same age.
Other Causes Of Age Spots
An increase in Oestrogen from either being pregnant or on a contraceptive pill may cause age spots if you are exposed to the sun. The hormones don’t directly give you the age spots but make your skin more vulnerable to them appearing after sun exposure.
Unfortunately some skin types are more likely to get age spots. Those with olive skin who say they never burn still end up with age spots in their older years.
How Can You Prevent Age Spots
You must wear sunscreen on any skin that is exposed to the sun. This means you must wear sunscreen on your face, upper chest, back of hands and forearms. When we drive our cars, our hands are exposed to the suns UV rays while we are holding the steering wheel. Over the years our hands will and do show the signs of this extended sun exposure.
How To Get Rid Of Age Spots
With the right products or specialised treatments you can lighten your spots or possibly get rid of them altogether, it just depends how prominent they are.
1. Use A Scrub
Step one is to use a scrub 2 – 3 times a week. As I have written in previous posts, our skin cells turn over every 28 days when we are young; this is the natural shedding process. Once you are over 40, 50 or 60 this slows down dramatically. Dead skin cells build up and make our skin look dry, aged and dehydrated. A regular scrub helps to remove the dead skin cells and allows the new skin cells to come to the surface. This makes our skin look softer, fresher and hydrated.
Scrub your face, neck, upper chest, back of hands and forearms. After scrubbing regularly for at least 28 days (remember it takes 28 days for a young person’s skin cells to turn over) you will see an improvement in your skin. If you are 50 plus I recommend scrubbing for at least 4 – 6 weeks to allow the fresher skin to come to the surface, then you will see what the condition of your skin really is.
2. Use Lightening And Whitening Creams
You can fade your age spots over time using lightening creams, serums and masks. Korean women have flawless skin, and this is because they look after their skin by using lightening and brightening products.
3.Use Face Creams With SPF Sunscreen In Them
Use a separate sunscreen to layer over your everyday moisturiser that you apply to your face, neck and upper chest. And don’t forget your hands. Our hands are often neglected and can be the first place that age spots appear. Make sure to apply a cream with SPF 30 – 50 in it, to the back of your hands. Keep a cream in the car, so you can apply it regularly.
4.Get Age Spot Treatments By A Doctor Or Trained Professional
You can get a chemical peel or laser therapy to treat the spots. These treatments should be carried out by a trained professional. They will come at a considerable cost and possibly some pain will be felt during the treatment. You also need to allow time for the skin to heal.
- Chemical Peel
A chemical peel chemically removes the top layer of skin from your face. Acid is applied to the face which dissolves the top layer of skin. Your skin will peel and be red during and after the peel. The peeling continues for some time and then you see the new, fresher skin after the top layer has peeled off. In some cases the peel is too intense and permanent damage can occur. Always check reviews of the Doctor you want to carry out the procedure and check they are qualified.
- Laser And Intense Light Therapy (IPL)
These types of treatments destroy the melanin producing cells without damaging the top layer of the skin. Melanin producing cells are what make the brown spots. You will need multiple treatments to see a result. After some time, a few weeks or months you will see that the age spots start to fade. After the procedure your skin will be red.
After this type of treatment you cannot go out without sunscreen on your face otherwise you will damage the new skin.
5.Get Age Spot Treatments In A Beauty Salon
In salon treatments do work but usually the results are not as fast a professional medical grade treatment. The up side is that you will not have to take any time off work and there should not be as much pain or skin peeling.
This treatment buffs away the top layer of the skin with either a small brush or tip applicator that blows out diamond crystals that is passed over the skin. This type of treatment will lighten age spots but you will most likely need a course of 10 treatments if your age spots are prominent. During the treatment there is minor discomfort, but many do not feel any pain what so ever. Generally, dermabrasion is very good to include into your skin care routine as it is fantastic for the skin.
If you have rosacea or broken capillaries on your face, you may not be suitable to get the treatment done as it could make your skin redness worse.
Please note if you do have a chemical peel, laser or use a prescription cream, you cannot go out into the sun without a sunscreen. The skin is highly sensitive after a treatment or using a medical grade cream. Your Doctor or Cosmeceutical Therapist will tell you what you can and cannot do. You can damage your skin quite badly so you must follow your Doctor’s advice 100%.
If you do not want to get any more age spots you need to wear sunscreen every day and when you are in the sun protect your skin. Do not use tanning beds under any circumstances.
6.Use Products And At Home Treatments
You can use creams that fade the age spots over time. This is not a quick fix option and you will need to be patient as it takes longer than all the above options. But it is pain free and costs a lot less than a specialised treatment.
Your Doctor can issue a topical cream to use at home. This type of cream would be classed as a medical grade product for home use as it is stronger than something that you purchase from a store. You may experience redness, itching or dryness. If you use a prescription cream you must wear sunscreen when you go out.
You can also use store bought skincare products that treat age spots. This will take longer to fade your age spots than a chemical peel, or a prescribed cream, but it is far less likely to have any pain, major peeling or side effects.
Why Korean Women Don’t Get Age Spots
Korean women look after their skin from a young age, they follow the Korean skincare routine and use products to help their skin stay clear, blemish free and an even skin tone. Many Koreans look a lot younger than their age and it is due to the good quality and condition of their skin.
Korean skin care products that can help lighten your age spots and even out your skin, are:
- Neogen Bio Peel Gauze Peeling Wine Pads
This product is a very effective home peel/face scrub. Gauze pads are soaked in product and then applied to the face in a circular motion, removing the dead skin cells. The gauze pad has a smooth and rough side, the rough side helps to exfoliate. The product is available in lemon and green tea, but the wine extracts have a tightening effect on the face which is good for those over 40.
- COSRX Mela 14 White Ampule 20ml
This contains AHA/BHA components and chemicals that help lighten the skin, gradually. It helps to even and a brighten your complexion. You apply it under your face cream and sunscreen.
- Mediheal White Hydrating Charcoal Mineral Mask 25ml (Pack of 10)
These once use masks help to brighten and lighten the skin as well as moisturise the skin. Sheet masks (face masks) are widely used in Korea and are wonderful to treat the skin while pampering yourself.
- Neogen Day Light Protection Sun Screen SPF50
This sunscreen is wearable under makeup and provides a good barrier form the suns UV rays. It also contains anti-oxidants and is calming and moisturising. Most importantly it does not leave a white film on the skin.
Regardless of what treatments you have done or products you use, you must always wear sunscreen on any skin that is exposed to the sun.
After 50 years of age, age spots seem to appear from nowhere.
You really must apply sunscreen and try to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day or at least stay in a shaded area.
We hope you found how to get rid of age spots helpful.