Age spots are places where excess melanin (or pigment) has been delivered to the skin. But while their common name suggests that they’re an unavoidable part of getting older, studies show that they’re more about inflammation than age. In fact, a woman can be well into her 80s and not have a single age spot, because the number one cause of age spots happens to be the most pervasive cause of skin inflammation, and also the easiest to avoid: ultraviolet radiation.
Conventional treatment usually involves applying a drug called hydroquinone (a somewhat irritating prescription skin lightener) and a prescription corticosteroid, which is used to counteract the inflammatory effects of the hydroquinone. For greater efficacy and speed, this approach is often paired with the use of harsh chemical skin peels or dermabrasion to stimulate new skin to grow and replace the old hyperpigmented skin faster. All of these treatment have undesirable side effects.
Natural Beauty Care Products for Age Spots
Reversing age spots can be done naturally, in 3 easy steps:
- Protect against ultraviolet radiation and avoid the sun-induced skin inflammation that triggers hyperpigmentation in the first place. No skin lightener will work if sun-induced inflammation isn’t avoided. Use a top-quality sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. Also make sure it does not contain any inflammatory ingredients such as PABA.
- Cleanse gently and always moisturize. For the treatment of age spots, try using a mild facial cleanser once a week unless your face needs a thorough washing—for instance, if you have a lot of makeup on. On the other days, cleanse twice a day with oil instead of soap. Using about 1/4 teaspoon of a high quality, perfume-free oil such as organic jojoba, olive, grapeseed, or macadamia oil, gently massage your face. Then, wet a clean washcloth with warm (not hot) water, and remove the oil by scrubbing gently in a downward direction to clean and close your skin’s pores. Follow by massaging in about 1/4 as much of the same oil, preferably while your face is still damp. If your skin feels too oily afterward, gently dab away the excess with a clean cloth.
- Twice a week, exfoliate with 10 percent glycolic acid. For most women, 10 percent is gentle enough even for everyday use without causing inflammation. I recommend Mango Madness SkinCare’s Exfoliate Me Glycolic Acid Cleanser.
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