Natural Remedies for Age Spots
This pages focuses on natural remedies for age spots, using herbs, nutritional supplements, and aromatherapy to remove age spots (liver spots).
Age spots, (aka liver spots and lentigines) are flat, brown or black spots that appear on various parts of the body that are most exposed to the sun, such as the hands,
shoulders, back arms and face. They vary in size and are the result of excess pigment being deposited in the skin during years of sun exposure.
Age spots come with aging and are therefore more common in people over 40, but they can affect younger people as well. Also, people with fair complexion tend to be
affected by age spots more than people with darker skin.
What Causes Age Spots?
Melanin is the dark pigment in our skin that gives the skin its normal color. When our skin is exposed to the sun, extra melanin is produced to protect the deeper layers
of our skin. When we age, extra melanin tend to "clump" together or is produced in higher concentrations than normal, leading to the creation of age spots.
Using a tanning bed, excessive exposure to the sun, and genetic factors can all contribute to the forming of age spots.
When to See a Doctor
Though the majority of age spots are harmless blemishes, see a doctor if any spot enlarges, thickens, has an irregular border, changes color, bleeds or itches, as these can
be signs of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.
Natural Remedies for Age Spots
There are various natural remedies for age spots that are effective in fading or even getting rid of the spots. They include the use of herbs, essential oils, and nutritional
Natural Remedies for Age Spots - Nutritional Supplements
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin and can prevent skin damage from sun exposure, including wrinkling and age spots. Use vitamin C
both topically and internally as one of the natural remedies for age spots.
Internally, you can take about 300 to 500 mg daily to maintain good skin quality. Topically, use a lotion that contains about 10% vitamin C as an adjunct to sunscreen.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is also an antioxidant vitamin and is helpful in preventing sun damage as well.
Internally, you can take 400 IU of vitamin E in the form of d-alpha-tocopherol daily. Topically, using a cream or oil that contains at least 5% vitamin E after sun
exposure can also be effective in reducing post-sun damage.
NOTE: Because vitamin E itself produces free radicals when exposed to ultraviolet light, apply vitamin E oil or cream following, not before, sun exposure.
- Vitamin A: Many dermatologists recommend using Retin-A cream to fade age spots. The cream comes in a variety of concentrations (0.025% to 0.1%). It is
available only by prescription so you need to consult a dermatologist. To remove an age spot, apply the strongest dosage of Retin-A that you can tolerate directly on the
spot and wait for the area to peel. After a few months, the spot should diminish and possibly even disappear.
A common side effect of Retin-A is dry, sun-sensitive skin that can be irritated and scaly, so when using Retin-A, you need to use a moisturizer and sunscreen.
Natural Remedies for Age Spots - Herbs
- Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is a healing herb that can promote skin growth and repair. Rubbing fresh aloe vera juice or gel on age spots can help
fade them. Apply the gel of aloe over the spots twice a day for a month or two.
- Gotu Kola: Taken internally, this herb helps remove age spots by stimulating healthy cell growth and the production of collagen, which is the
protein that holds skin together. You can use the capsule form of the herb daily. Recommended dosage is 60 mg twice a day.
- Licorice: Licorice is anti-inflammatory and it can help fade age spots. Use a cream or face mask that contains licorice extract.
Natural Remedies for Age Spots - Essential Oils
- Lemon oil: Lemon oil has bleaching and cleansing properties on the skin. Add two or three drops of lemon oil to a carrier oil, such as
jojoba or sweet almond oil, then apply the mixture to the spot twice a day.
- Benzoin oil: Benzoin is another essential oil that is beneficial to the skin. Like lemon, it has bleaching and cleansing properties on the skin.
Use benzoin oil in the same way as lemon oil for age spots.
- Lavender: Lavender is a versatile oil and is mild and gentle. It is a good oil for the skin. If you find lemon oil a bit too strong for your
skin, use lavender.
Other Natural Remedies for Age Spots
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is beneficial for numerous health and skin issues, including fading age spots! You can combine
two teaspoons of ACV with one teaspoon of orange juice and apply to the spots twice daily. Another ACV remedy for age spots is to add one teaspoon of ACV to
one teaspoon of fresh onion juice. Mix well and apply it directly onto the age spots once a day.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice can help fade age spots. Simply dab fresh lemon juice directly onto the spots twice daily. However, since lemon juice
increases the skin's sensitivity to sunlight, be sure to wash off the juice and use sunscreen before going out.
- Castor Oil: Many people have reported success in using castor oil to remove age spots. Rub the oil directly onto the spots twice daily (in the morning
Editors of Prevention Health Books, Prevention's Healing with Vitamins, (Rodale Books, 1998)
V.A. Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, (New World Library, 1991)
Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com)
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