Age does not cause age spots. Although they are common on people over 50, accumulated exposure to the sun is the culprit. Sure, all those youthful summers frolicking in the sun were fun, but now we’re paying the price.
Although there are multiple medical procedures that can remove the dark areas, such as laser therapy, dermabrasion, chemical peels, and cryosurgery; they are costly, require significant recovery times, and have unpleasant side effects and possible complications.
Before undergoing one of these medical procedures, why not turn to nature for some age spot remedies? They are safe and inexpensive, and can provide significant improvement in the appearance of your skin.
\Patience is necessary when using these remedies; the results are not instantaneous. You will need to continue treatments for several weeks to see improvement, and it may take months to achieve satisfactory results. But the cost savings, lack of recovery time, and additional health benefits will be worth it.
What Are Age Spots?
Exposure to the sun causes skin to increase its production of cells (melanocytes) that increase the amount of melanin in the skin, causing it to darken. We call these flat brown spots age spots or liver spots. They are common on people over the age of 50. People with a fair complexion and those who have had a lot of exposure to the sun or a history of using tanning beds are most susceptible.
The spots appear on areas of the body which receive the most exposure to the sun: the face, hands, and arms. They are benign and are not dangerous, but they are unsightly and they can make a person look older, so it is common to remove, or at least lighten them. We have provided a list of natural remedies to consider before undertaking a more expensive medical procedure.
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has bleaching abilities that work on age spots, freckles, and other dark spots on the skin. The citric acid in lemon juice safely exfoliates dead skin and uncovers healthy new skin layers. Do not expose skin treated with lemon juice to sun, as it will intensify the effect of the sun and darken the skin.Lemons can cause irritations and redness on extra-sensitive skin, so we recommend doing a test patch before proceeding with a complete application. If the skin becomes irritated, use rosewater to dilute it. Do not use bottled lemon juice, because it may contain other ingredients that could damage the skin.
- Slice fresh lemon and apply directly to age spots
- Leave on skin at least 30 minutes
- Can be applied at bedtime and left on over night
- Use twice daily
Sandalwood is effective for reducing the appearance of age spots because of its anti-aging compounds. Sandalwood also contains an antiseptic that helps reduce hyperpigmentation. Both sandalwood essential oil and sandalwood powder are effective.
To Use Sandalwood Essential Oil:
- Mix 2 drops sandalwood essential oil with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil
- Apply directly to age spots
To Use Sandalwood Powder:
- 2 T. sandalwood powder
- 2 t. rosewater
- 1 t. lemon juice
- 1 t. glycerin
- Mix together and apply directly to age spots
- Allow to dry completely before rinsing with cold water
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The alpha-hydroxy acids found in apple cider vinegar act as an exfoliator and help lighten age spots. Some people find apple cider vinegar to be too drying when applied directly to the skin. Mixing apple cider vinegar with olive oil will prevent this and leave your skin feeling soft. Although it is normal to experience a slight redness or stinging from treatment; if it becomes severe, discontinue use or dilute the mixture with water. Apple cider vinegar can be combined with other ingredients, such as orange juice or horseradish root, for a more powerful solution.
- Mix apple cider vinegar with olive oil
- Apply to age spots (a cotton ball makes a good applicator)
- Rinse after 20 minutes
- Can leave on overnight
The lactic acid in buttermilk safely lightens skin with no irritation. It will also help restore and rejuvenate the skin. Buttermilk makes a great facial cleanser. You can even take a buttermilk bath. Acne-prone skin will benefit from adding a few drops of lime juice to the buttermilk before applying.
- Pour buttermilk in a bowl (Option: add a few drops of lime juice)
- Apply to skin with saturated cotton ball
- Allow to dry (about 15 minutes)
- Rinse with lukewarm water
The sulfur compounds found in onions act as an antiseptic, and the acids they contain act as an exfoliating agent. People who find lemons and vinegar too irritating often report a better outcome when using onion juice. Although you can simply cut the onion and rub it on, mixing it with honey provides a more effective solution.
- 1 T. onion juice
- 2 T. honey
- Mix together and apply to age spots
- Let sit 10-15 minutes
- Rinse off with lukewarm water
- Apply 2-3 times a day
Horseradish contains vitamin C, which slows melanin production. Melanin is the substance that darkens skin. Horseradish also contains glucosinates, which increase circulation, work as anti-oxidants, and flush toxins from your system. Horseradish can be grated into a paste and applied directly to the age spots, or it can be steeped in apple cider vinegar to create a tincture.
To Use As Paste:
- Peel and macerate horseradish root by grating or using a food processor
- Apply paste to age spots
- Let sit 15-20 minutes
- Rinse off with lukewarm water
To Use As Tincture:
- 4-inch piece horseradish, peeled and grated
- 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
- Mix together, allow to steep 2 weeks, strain
- Apply to age spots with a clean cotton ball
- Leave on 15-20 minutes
- Rinse with lukewarm water
- Use 3 times a day for at least 1 month
Papaya contains enzymes and alpha-hydroxy acids that benefit the skin in many ways. They not only reduce the appearance of age spots, they also help exfoliate your skin, reduce skin blemishes and acne, and give skin a healthy glow.
Because some people are allergic to papaya, we recommend performing a patch test before doing a full application. Do this by applying papaya to a small area of skin, and wait 24 hours to see if there is any reaction. If no reaction occurs, it is safe to proceed with the application. Place the fleshy side of the papaya skin directly on age spots and leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing. The flesh of the papaya can also be mashed and used as a mask.
- Peel, seed, and dice 1 papaya
- Mash papaya flesh with a fork or potato masher
- Use fingers to apply papaya to age spots
- Let sit 15 minutes
- Rinse with lukewarm water
- Use daily
8. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a medicinal plant available at garden stores, nurseries, and even some grocery stores. It has been used as a healing herbal remedy since ancient times. Aloe vera speeds up skin cell reproduction by as much as eight times and it penetrates the epidermis (outer layer of skin) four times faster than water. It is rich in vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, giving it anti-aging qualities. Aloe vera taken internally will aid digestion, provide beneficial nutrients and boost immune function. Externally it will soothe sunburn, moisturize, enhance wound healing, and reduce inflammation and signs of aging.
Adding lemon to aloe vera juice will improve its ability to reduce age spots. It is best to use the gel directly from the plant by cutting open the leaf and rubbing it on the skin, but bottled gels purchased from a health food store will provide similar benefits. There is no need to rinse the gel from the skin unless it becomes sticky and unpleasant.
Yogurt contains lactic acid, which exfoliates dead skin cells and reveals the healthy, new skin underneath. It also has mild bleaching properties that will lighten skin by several tones. Yogurt can be applied directly to affected areas and rinsed off after 20 minutes, or it can be combined with other ingredients to create a poultice.
- 1 T. plain yogurt
- 2 T. ground oatmeal
- 1 t. fresh lemon juice
- Mix ingredients in a small bowl
- Apply to affected areas with fingertips
- Let sit 30 minutes
- Rinse with cold waterApply moisturizer
- Use daily for one week, then twice weekly for 2-3 months
10. Castor Oil
Castor oil has many properties that help heal the skin from a variety of conditions. Massage the oil into the affected area morning and evening, and improvement will be noticeable in about a month. If you have dry skin, add some olive oil or coconut oil for additional moisture.
Although there are several medical procedures available to treat age spots, they are costly and have undesirable side effects and potential complications. The solutions provided here are safe and inexpensive and surely worth a try before embarking on a costly, complicated medical procedure.