Age spots are one of the discomfitures to growing old; these benign, flat areas of hyper-pigmentation — usually pop up on the hands and face, most commonly on the forehead. Age spots, also called ‘sun spots’ are largely the result of sun damage over time. Conventional treatment for hyper-pigmentation often carry serious health risks, so here are a few safe and natural ways to prevent and lighten age spots.
Up your antioxidants: Besides being good for your body, antioxidants are also beneficial for their anti-aging effects externally. Free-radical scavenging ingredients in anti-oxidant rich foods such as L-ascorbic acid in vitamin C, are very good for reversing hyper-pigmentation due to its bleaching effects.
Beta-glucan: Age spots typically signal a buildup of debris between the dermis and epidermis. Topical beta-glucan, a soluble fiber found in oats that stimulates skin-cell renewal, help to clear the debris, boost circulation, and repair the damage at the dermal layer.
Yogurt: Containing lactic acid, which lightens and exfoliates the skin, yogurt is a natural anti-aging product. Apply one tablespoon plain, organic yogurt to your clean face, neck, and chest and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. Do this once or twice a week, and follow with moisturizer.
Use enzymes: Natural food enzymes, when applied to the skin over time, accelerate exfoliation of dead cells on the skin’s surface, which then stimulates the formation of new skin cells. Existing age spots will gradually fade away over time. These enzymes are found in raw papaya–pulp masks and raw pineapple juice, which you can dab on your skin with a saturated cotton ball. Other enzyme-rich applications can be made with cherry, pumpkin, grape, pomegranate, and raspberry.
Avoid the sun: This may seem obvious, but guarding your skin from the sun becomes increasingly important after age spots appear. Once your skin hyper-pigments or clumps melanin, you must always wear sun protection, otherwise the spots will return again and again. Wear hats and lightweight clothing when out in the sun for extended periods, and always use natural sun-blocks that reflect the UV rays.