Age spots, also known as sun spots, are a common sign of aging that can sometimes go unnoticed until they become quite prominent. Those cute little freckles you had when you were younger may give way to aging, hyper-pigmented speckles sprinkled across your face. In fact, studies have shown that an uneven complexion mottled with age spots can actually make a woman look older than a face full of wrinkles.
Luckily, age spots can be treated. Let’s start at the beginning, what causes age spots, and why are some people more prone to developing them than others? These spots develop through years of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The production of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color, can be accelerated by UV exposure, which is what causes a tan. Over the years, excessive sun exposure can cause melanin to clump together, resulting in a spot of hyperpigmentation, or an age spot. These spots are more common in fairer skins; however, they can be found in darker skins as well. And if you thought that a tanning bed was a safe option, you were wrong. Tanning lamps also produce the same UV rays that cause sun spots and aging, and are best avoided.
There are various treatments available for fading age spots, and most of today’s products include ingredients that are proven to safely and effectively fade them. Prevention is as crucial as treatment when it comes to age spots, and it’s important to protect your skin from the sun, as any UV exposure can cause the spot to darken again, erasing all of your hard work.
Now that we’ve discussed the basics, here are some treatment options to help fade your age spots.
Hydroquinone – Hydroquinone is one of the most effective ingredients for fading hyperpigmentation. It works by decreasing the production of melanin and helping break down the melanin pigment granules that are already in the skin. Murad Rapid Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Serum combines hydroquinone with exfoliating AHAs to allow the product to penetrate deeper into the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots by 33% in just one week.
Microdermabrasion – A process that gently polishes the top layers of the skin using aluminum oxide crystals, microdermabrasion can aid in fading age spots and other areas of hyperpigmentation. It also exfoliates dull skin cells to soften fine lines and wrinkles. PMD Personal MicroDerm Microdermabrasion System is a hand-held microdermabrasion tool that provides visible results at home. It utilizes dual-speed settings for easy, customizable results.
Glycolic Acid – This is one of the most popular Alpha Hydroxy Acids available, and for a good reason. Glycolic acid not only gently exfoliates the surface of the skin for an instantly softer and brighter complexion, it also stimulates an increase in cell turnover, quickening the shedding of excess melanin from the bottom layers of the skin. Try Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel, an easy, two-step peel that visibly fades spots and improves skin texture.
Sunscreen – To prevent age spots from reappearing, it is imperative that you keep your skin protected from the sun. A high protection sunscreen applied daily will keep your skin even and spot-free. Filorga UV-Defence is a great one to try, as it provides SPF 50+ and also contains hop extract to fade existing spots while protecting against further damage.