Aging brings changes both good and bad. You might have a few more grey hairs, but you’ll get them at the expense of greater wisdom (and let’s not forget senior discounts). One sure sign of getting older is the formation of age spots, or liver spots. These tan, brown or even grey spots are areas of hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage earlier in life. When exposed to too much sun, your skin’s pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) can become damaged and consequently produce too much pigment, resulting in the brown spots associated with aging. Sun exposure can also damage the skin’s ability to receive antioxidants, which can help combat age spots.
Traditional treatments for age spots can be expensive and have serious health risks associated with them, from skin allergies to cancer. For a safe, natural approach to treating and preventing age spots, check out the home remedies below.
Enjoy the benefits of old age without the addition of age spots. Learn how to diminish the appearance of age spots with the natural remedies below. Photo By Josh Janssen/Courtesy Flickr.
1. Increase your antioxidant intake.
Antioxidants are the best weapon we have against aging, so enhance your diet to include foods that contain beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and other age-fighting antioxidants. Try eating lots of fruits (especially berries), leafy green vegetables (such as spinach, kale and brussels sprouts) and vegetables such as carrots, red pepper and beets.
2. Get out of the sun.
If age spots are caused by sun damage, the best way to prevent them from forming is by protecting yourself from ultraviolet rays. Slather on natural sunscreen and wear a hat and protective clothing when you go out in the sunshine.
3. Raid your kitchen.
Some of the most natural ways to get rid of age spots start with opening your pantry or refrigerator door.
• Apple cider vinegar contains sulfur that can fight aging. The high acid content in apple cider vinegar also makes it an excellent skin exfoliant. Dab some on your age spots before bedtime. If the solution stings too much, leave the vinegar on for 30 minutes then wash it off.
• Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice to age spots twice daily for a few months. The citric acid in lemons provides a natural bleaching agent that will diminish the appearance of the spots.
• Raw fruit such as papaya pulp and pineapple contain enzymes that can accelerate skin exfoliation when used over time. Dab onto skin with a cotton ball.
• Yogurt contains lactic acid, which can lighten and exfoliate skin. Apply a thin layer of yogurt to age spots and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
Susan Melgren is the Web Editor of Mother Earth Living. Find her on Google+.