How to Fade Age Spots Without Burning Out Your Sensitive Skin

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When you have sensitive skin, it can be very challenging to figure out how to fade age spots without causing a skin rash or reaction to the products you are using to lighten your skin!

No one wants to look old prematurely. Many of us who are determined to age gracefully eventually find ourselves stymied by an unwelcome addition to our complexion, those dreaded brown age spots on our skin, hands, and even our face!

What Are Age Spots, Anyway?

Age spots are also called sun spots, liver spots, or brown spots. You probably know what they look like from your own experience... they are those exaggerated freckles that show up even on younger people sometimes!

Age spots are basically just areas where your natural pigmentation has begun to run amok and has popped up in areas of your skin’s surface as brown, black, or gray spots.

Whether you call them age, sun or liver spots, make us look older than we feel! We try concealers and cover-ups, and sometimes they will do the job, but wouldn’t it be great if we could just make them go away?

You probably want to find out how to fade age spots because you feel they’re unsightly and take away from your appearance, but they are harmless, and do not threaten your health.

What Do They Look Like?

The spots are flat, with defined edges, and they may vary in size from smallish, like a freckle, to the size of a pencil eraser, or unfortuantely, sometimes even larger! :(

Age spots are also called by several other names. In the old days, people believed that these spots were a sign of a malfunctioning liver.

Even though western scientific evidence suggests that there is no connection between the liver and these areas of hyperpigmentation, some people still refer to them as liver spots.

They’re also called sun spots, and the medical term for them is solar lentigines.

Causes of Age Spots

Causes of Age Spots

Even though they are more common on people past middle age, aging is not the only cause of 'age spots,' and younger people can sometimes be affected as well, making them just as eager to learn about how to fade age spots!

The root of the problem lies in cellular damage, which does occur as part of the aging process, but there are also many other factors that affect your health on a cellular level.

Excessive exposure to UV rays is one of the primary causes of age spots because it accelerates the destruction of cells, leading to the formation of age spots.

This is why you generally find the spots in areas where your skin is most frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, top of the hands, arms, and upper chest. Tanning beds have the same damaging UV effects, so you can’t use them to justify a safe tan.

Genetics can also play a role in your tendency to acquire age spots. Just as you inherit eye color and bone structure from your parents, you also inherit the predisposition for getting age spots.

Your Daily Habits and Age Spots

Maintaining poor dietary habits affects so many aspects of your health, and that includes the tendency to get age spots.

When you fill your body with too many processed and refined foods, sugars, and saturated fats, toxins are created.

These result in free radicals that attack your cells, including your pigment cells, which may in some causes may cause irreparable damage.

Lack of exercise is always a problem, no matter what sensitive skin problem body issue you’re concerned about!

If you’re a couch potato, your circulation will be sluggish, and all those toxins and free radicals will have a better chance to hang around and work their mischief on your cells!

Most brand name skin care products, including sunscreens, contain petrochemicals that can leach into your bloodstream and become toxic.

Some prescription medications increase your sensitivity to the sun. There can also be some toxic side effects, which will increase your vulnerability.

Getting Rid of Age Spots - Your First Steps

Before we talk about how to fade age spots, it’s always good to take steps to prevent age spots from forming in the first place!

Veggies Are Your Best Friend

Adopt a lifestyle where you are committed to maintaining a healthful diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables — preferably organic, and with many raw.

These will help you to be nourished in the miraculous ways that only Mother Nature can. Nutrients from fresh veggies and fruits provide you with plenty of natural cleansing agents and antioxidants to protect against free radicals.

To minimize toxins in your diet, avoid as many processed foods, and refined sugars as you can, avoid hydrogenated oils, and be sparing and wise in your use of animal fats.

The whole topic of healthy fats could be a book unto itself! There are many differing opinions on whether using animal fats is health promoting or not.

I don't know the answer, but I intuitively try to balance things by using a variety of vegetable oils, and also small amounts of ghee (clarified butter) made from organic farms.

Cleanse Inside and Out

If you feel that toxins and free radicals are already running rampant in your body, you can follow a cleansing program to flush them out of your system and make a brand-new start.

Before you choose a cleansing program, be sure to do some research and consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner.

There are some programs out there that may actually do more harm than good by putting a strain on your system, or by interacting with other medications or herbs you may be using.

Simplest and Easiest to Forget

Your new healthy lifestyle should also include drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep your system functioning efficiently.

Be sure your water is as clean and pure as possible, and if necessary use a water filter to remove chlorine and other contaminants from your water.

Get Moving

Maintaining a regular schedule of exercise that matches your ability will also make sure that toxins don’t have the opportunity to take control.

Exercise is fantastic for your skin as it pumps your lymphatic system which helps remove toxins from your body. I especially find rebounding to be an excellent way to move the lymph as well as get cardiovascular exercise, and also is great for your bone density!

Sun = Sun Spots

Perhaps most important, wear sun protection when you’re outdoors, and try to avoid the sun completely during the most intense hours of the day, between 10:00 and 4:00.

Avoid putting anything with irritating chemicals or preservatives on your skin; there are plenty of hypoallergenic or natural skin care products available that will keep your skin clean, healthy, and radiant.

You can even use some items from your pantry to substitute for those heavy, chemical cleansing creams. For example, a little olive oil can be smoothed on your skin, removed with a warm washcloth, and rinsed with a concoction of lemon juice and water to keep your complexion clear and bright.

Once you begin to live your life more healthfully, you may never need to learn how to fade age spots at all, but if you do find yourself dealing with those annoying spots, there are some measures you can take.

Conventional Treatments for Sun Spots

If you want to go the traditional medical route, there are several options, although I recommend caution as many of these are less gentle and more invasive treatments.

These methods of fading age spots tend to be costly and may involve certain risks and side effects, but a reliable and trustworthy dermatologist who is familiar with your particular skin problems may be able to guide you to the best treatment for your sensitive skin.

  • Cryotherapy, or freezing, is the process of applying a freezing agent such as liquid nitrogen to the spot. This usually results in the formation of a blister, followed by scabbing, but once healed, the spot is gone. In some cases, there have been reports of scarring or discoloration as a result of this procedure.
  • In a Chemical Peel, the application of an acid to the outer layer of the skin causes a burn similar to a sunburn. The burned skin peels, and new skin replaces it. As you can probably guess, I do not recommend this if you have sensitive skin!

    The problem with this treatment is that it is risky and very invasive for sensitive skin. In addition, it is expensive and may need to be repeated several times before results can be seen. Chemical peels can sometimes result in discoloration.
  • Dermabrasion uses a spinning wire brush or diamond wheel is used to “sand” the surface of your skin to eliminate the old skin and allow a new layer of skin to replace it.
  • I don't recommend this for sensitive skin. There will usually be temporary redness and scabbing after this treatment.
  • Laser therapy uses light waves to destroy the pigment cells that cause the age spots. These treatments usually require repeated sessions, and it may take several weeks or months before you see results.

    While the treatment is generally successful, there have been some patients who reported permanent damage to their skin after undergoing laser therapy.
  • Topically applied Bleaching Creams are available by prescription or over the counter. The go-to prescription is usually hydroquinone, sometimes by itself, and sometimes combined with alpha hydroxy acids to accelerate exfoliation of the skin.

    I don't recommend this because hydroquinone has a number of potentially harmful side effects which could be even worse for someone with sensitive skin. A better choice would be a safe skin bleaching cream without hydroquinone, that will take a little longer to work, but without harm or permanent damage to your health and your skin.
  • Retinol is also a very popular medical treatment, but these methods may require a longer amount of time to see results, and side effects include itching, redness, burning, and dryness. Retinol is considered a high health hazard by the Cosmetics Database and so I don't recommend this for sensitive skin.

Removing Age Spots the Natural Way

If you prefer a more natural approach, you’ll be very happy to know that Mother Nature provides plenty of options for how to fade age spots.

Home Remedies to Fade Age Spots

By using one of these home remedies, you can still get good results, but you will avoid the possibility of harmful side effects from the chemicals of traditional skin lightening creams.

One very popular home remedy that many people use is lemon juice because it has a natural bleaching effect. The simplest way is to just apply the juice directly to the spot several times a day, but there are some other lemon juice concoctions that are also very popular.

One caution, I find that lemon juice can be irritating for my sensitive skin, and perhaps yours as well.

Two tablespoons of witch hazel mixed with the juice of half a lemon and applied to the spots at bedtime has helped some people see results in two weeks.

Don’t forget to follow the application with your natural moisturizer to counteract the drying effects of the lemon juice.

Lemon juice mixed with sugar makes for a good skin bleaching and exfoliating combination. About half a teaspoon of regular granulated sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice makes a nice solution that you can soak a cotton ball in to apply to the spots. Leave it on your skin for about ten minutes, rinse with cool water, and dry gently.

In addition to lemon juice, there are plenty of other natural products that people who know how to fade age spots have used with good results. Check out some of these methods to see which one will work best in your case.

Aloe vera juice can be used topically, either from a plant, or a juice or gel from a health food store.

Apple cider vinegar can be mixed with orange juice or water and applied topically.

Buttermilk applied topically is also a good, gentle bleaching agent.

Chick peas, also known as garbanzo beans, can be made into a paste and applied topically as a facial mask.

One part olive oil, one part vinegar, and one part water applied to the spots will moisturize as it fades the spots.

Sap from dandelion stems applied 2-3 times a day will fade age spots. Just make sure you’re not allergic to dandelions!

For faster results try the Xtendlife natural skin whitening cream which safely and scientifically fades age spots without the harmful toxins you'll find in most skin bleaching creams.

Herbal Remedies and Supplements for Fading Liver Spots

Besides topical solutions, there are herbal remedies and supplements that can diminish age and liver spots.

Bilberry herb, gotu kola, green tea, and diaphoretic herbs such as cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, etc. to facilitate perspiration are all remedies that help to flush impurities right out of your body.

You can also try a custom blended skin supplement, these can often work more effectively. Invigorate Skin Tonic is one that I recommend that helps to gently detoxify the body and clear up your skin.

If you are a fan of Chinese herbs like I am, you may find combinations that include goji berries, lycium berries, Asian cornelian fruit or Chinese yam.

Supplements That May Help

Some nutritional supplements like acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, or quercetin may be helpful to your skin in regenerating and removing pigment deposits.

DMAE is also known as dimethyl-amino-ethanol is said to help stabilize the membranes of your skin and reverse age spots.

Foods To Help You to Fade Age Spots

If you're really serious about clearing up liver and age spots, here are some simple ways you can experiment with adding more skin supporting foods into your diet.

Eat more black beans, sesame seeds, sardines, anchovies and mulberries.

According to ancient Chinese medicine, the following foods are excellent for reversing age spots.

  • sesame
  • honey
  • mushrooms
  • pumpkin seeds
  • lotus root
  • water melon
  • cherries
  • radishes 
  • garlic

More modern Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends adding to your diet persimmons, cucumbers, oysters, bone marrow and bone broth.

You can also juice your way to clear and spot free skin by creating fresh vegetable juices that include celery, tomatoes, pears, and some lemon. Enjoy!

There are so many different methods for how to fade age spots, there should be one that will work for you.

It’s good to know that you can have some control over the aging process, and maintain both your youthful spirit and your youthful complexion!

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