Brown spots that appear from excessive sun exposure are often called “age spots” or “liver spots” are patches of melanin often seen on the hands. Age spots are usually not a health problem but should be monitored for any change: as very rarely they can be an indication of skin cancer.
Preventing Age Spots
Prevention of skin damage and age spots involves protecting skin from the sun. Precautions to prevent sun damage include wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, loose light coloured clothing and avoiding the sun between 10am and 4pm when possible.
Wear a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has a minimum SPF of 15. Sunscreens with micronized titanium dioxide are gentler on skin compared to chemical versions. Reapply sunscreen every couple of hours paying careful attention to the hands, face and neck.
Metabolism changes can lead to the liver being weighed down with toxins and age spots can begin to develop. A lack of antioxidants in diet can create oxidization in the body also contributing to age spots. A healthy plant based diet with plenty of flavanoids found in most vegetables and fruits provide antioxidant properties and prevent age spots. Soybean protein and soymilk contain isoflavones that research suggests may lighten age spots.
Natural Solutions for Age Spots
Natural remedies for age spots are less harsh than medical treatments such as acid peels or liquid nitrogen. Here are five easy treatments for age spots:
Strawberry Facial Mask
Frankincense oil stimulates the skin and acidic fruit works well as a topical treatment for age spots and bleach the skin.
1 fresh strawberry
2 teaspoons rice milk
2 drops frankincense oil
1 teaspoon cosmetic clay
Mash the strawberry and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Apply the mask to clean skin and leave for twenty minutes. Remove with a hot wet flannel. This can be used twice a week.
The juice of a lemon can be painted directly on age spots daily. As lemon is mildly acidic it can slowly lighten age spots with time. The juice should be left on skin for at least half an hour and can even be use on skin overnight. As lemon juice makes skin photosensitive it is best to avoid using before exposing skin to the sun.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe has a long history of use as a healing agent for skin problems. Aloe vera gel direct from the leaves of a living plant is an excellent way to slough away dead cells and helps to reduce the appearance of age spots. Rub the gel directly onto skin twice a day.
Antioxidant Fruit Mask
Carrots contain vitamin A and has been shown to gradually fade the spots. The vitamin C is also useful to treat uneven pigmentation.
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons rice flour
Blend the fruit and carrot. Mix the juice with the rice flour. Apply to skin and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Yoghurt Facial Mask
Yoghurt has a mild bleaching effect on skin and can help lighten spots and leave skin more even and smooth.
2 tablespoons soaked lentils
2 tablespoons thick whole-mik yoghurt
1 tablespoon honey
Puree the lentils in a blender and combine with yoghurt and honey. Spread the mask evenly over the face and leave for thirty minutes.
Home remedies require regular treatments and time to see results and are a gentle and cheap way to reduce age spots. Read How to Have a Facial at Home with Natural Products for more advice on deep cleansing skin.