As you age, markers of mature skin, such as fine lines and wrinkles, can be inevitable. While you may religiously use a nightly wrinkle cream to prevent them, are you making the same effort to take preventive steps against age spots?
Age spots, sometimes also called dark spots (also called liver spots), are a result of photoaging that occurs with repeated sun damage. If you aren’t already addressing them in your routine, know that it’s never too late to start. Read on for tips and products that aid in preventing age spots, plus tips on how to minimize their appearance.
What Causes Age Spots?
According to the Mayo Clinic, age spots are small dark spots on the skin that vary in size and typically appear on the face, hands, shoulders and arms of adults 50 and older. These spots are caused by overactive pigment cells, aka areas on the skin that have had years of frequent and extended exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, typically from indoor tanning beds or the sun’s rays. These spots can also occur in people younger than 50 if they spend prolonged periods of time in the sun.
How to Prevent and Minimize the Appearance Of Age Spots
We’ve given you a little background on what exactly age spots are and what causes them, but you’re probably still wondering what you can do if you already have them. Here are six tips for minimizing the appearance of age spots and preventing new ones.
1. Use a Spot Correcting Treatment
If you want to fade age spots, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests using a serum, cream or lotion made for this. It’s important to note, these age spot removal treatments require discipline and commitment because they won’t give you instantaneous results. As nice as it would be to get overnight results, you’ll have to add one to your daily skin care routine and apply it once or twice per day for an extended period of time (four to six months) to see a lasting change.
Spot treatments come in the form of nightly creams, facial serums and gels, and with consistent use, they may help to get rid of age spots. Oftentimes, they will include concentrated forms of ingredients such as niacinamide (vitamin B3), vitamin C, retinol or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to brighten the skin.
2. Apply Sunscreen Diligently
Even if you already have age spots, wearing sunscreen is important because it can help prevent the ones that you have from getting bigger and darker. The AAD advises applying sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or greater every day before going outside. It’s also super important to reapply your SPF every two hours to maintain the promised degree of protection on the bottle.
Editor’s tip: If you tend to forget SPF, it can be a good idea to use a moisturizer with SPF every morning so you’re incorporating sun protection into a regular part of your daily routine. Try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30, which includes broad-spectrum SPF 30 and pro-retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to reduce wrinkles, firm and brighten the skin.
3. Use a Lip Balm Formulated With SPF
Just like the skin on your face and body, your lips are subject to sun damage and can even be marked by age spots. To keep your pout healthy, moisturized and spot-free, opt for a lip balm that contains an SPF. Smooth it on every two hours — just like your face and body sunscreen — to keep your lips hydrated and protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
4. Wear Sun Protective Clothing
Of course, SPF isn’t the only way to prevent sun damage; you should also cover your skin with protective clothing, like long sleeved tops, pants and wide brim hats. Paired with a sunscreen that has SPF 30 or more, it provides another effective layer of sun protection. Remember, it’s still beneficial (and recommended on the packaging) to reapply sunscreen every two hours and to avoid the sun during its peak hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
5. Skip Tanning Beds
By now, you probably understand that the sun is not your friend when it comes to age spots, but have you considered that tanning beds can also cause age spots? That’s right, swapping the beach for a booth won’t do your skin any good in that department. According to the Mayo Clinic, commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can also lead to the development of age spots, along with increased signs of photoaging like fine lines and wrinkles.
If you’re like us and don’t want to give up sun-kissed skin, we recommend reaching for a sunless self-tanning mousse like the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse. Use it a few times a week to maintain a natural-looking bronzed glow.
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6. Cover Them With Makeup
While it takes time and patience to see results from your skin care, you can use your makeup routine to disguise the appearance of age spots instantaneously. Simply dot on a full-coverage concealer, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer up to 24H Full Coverage, and blend it in with a damp beauty sponge.
How Can I Get Rid Of My Age Spots?
If you want to remove age spots, your best chance is to book an appointment with your dermatologist. They can prescribe topical treatments to aid in the process, or they can perform aesthetic procedures like laser treatments and pulsed light treatments, or chemical peels that can help to reduce and potentially even remove age spots, per Mayo Clinic.
3 L’Oréal Paris Products for Dealing With Dark Spots
Some dark spots treatments are equipped to brighten age spots over time. Here are three skin care products to add to your routine to help deal with age spots. A general rule of thumb: Consult with your dermatologist before adding any new ingredient or product to your routine.
This daily facial serum contains niacinamide (vitamin B3) to reduce dark spots while brightening the skin tone after just two weeks of continued use. The non-greasy formula feels weightless on the skin and suits all skin types, including sensitive skin. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, applying topical niacinamide can result in smoother skin and less visible dark spots.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that’s known for its brightening abilities. This daily serum features a lightweight formula that helps to increase radiance, refine skin tone, minimize large pores and keep the skin hydrated. It suits all skin types and skin tones and can be used on clean skin morning and night.
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Sunscreen is a vital part of any anti-aging routine because it protects the skin and works on the side of prevention. Every morning, apply this lightweight sunscreen to your face and neck after moisturizing and before applying makeup. Formulated with UVA and UVB filters that protect against the sun’s harmful rays that cause aging and burning, it helps to protect the skin against free radicals that can accelerate photoaging. On the skin, it has an invisible, non-greasy finish that doesn’t leave visible residue on any skin tone.
Photographer: Stephanie Price, Photo Assistant: Thomas Miller, Digi Tech: Sergio Colon, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Makeup Artist: Kelly Bellevue, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Rika Watanabe, Wardrobe Assistant: Fausti, Model: Jacky Lee
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