One of the many hard truths of aging is the formation of those irritating brown spots known as age spots, liver spots or sunspots. This discoloration usually forms in areas that have been consistently exposed to the sun, such as the hands, arms, chest and upper back. The exposure to UV rays often results in excess melanin production, causing those unsightly dark spots. Unfortunately, they are incredibly common and almost inevitable unless you avoid the sun or your summer clothes forever. The good news is, you may be able to treat them with ingredients you already have at home. Consistency is key!
Lemon juice can help to lighten discolored areas due to its high concentration of vitamin C, which acts as a gentle bleaching agent. We recommend dipping a clean Q-tip or cotton ball into the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon and applying it to the dark spots in the morning and in the evening. If your skin is sensitive to the juice, mix it with a bit of water before applying. Let the lemon juice dry, and then rinse it off with cool water. Be sure to apply sunscreen before you go out for the day as lemon juice can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
Apple cider vinegar
This inexpensive cooking ingredient has been proven to not only help lighten dark spots but also to help control oil, decrease acne, and soften facial hair among its other many benefits. Apple Cider Vinegar speeds up the process of skin cell regrowth, which will slew off the damaged, dark areas of skin and encourage the growth of fresh skin on the surface. Try soaking a cotton ball in the solution and applying it to your dark spots a few times a week. Wait for it to dry and rinse with water.
Aloe vera gel
It’s not only good for treating sunburns! Due to the presence of Vitamin A, C, and E, aloe vera contains powerful healing properties. The vitamins help to rejuvenate the epidermis, speed up skin regrowth and lighten the skin. The most effective form of the gel is the one directly from the plant, but you can also buy pure aloe vera at some health stores. Massage it into the dark spots for at least two minutes.
Vitamin E oil
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means that it can protect your skin from agents that damage it. It can also help to even out the skin texture and heal already damaged skin. You can purchase vitamin E oil at your dermatologist’s or at many spas and health stores. To see effective results, apply a dab directly to the face and massage it into the skin for a few minutes.
Yogurt and buttermilk
These dairy staples are both formed from curds, which are rich in lactic acid that exfoliates and lightens hyperpigmented skin. Not only that but the presence of vitamin A, vitamin B6 and biotin will boost your collagen production; an all-around win! Apply the yogurt or buttermilk to your finger and then directly to the dark spots, letting it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
Before you attempt to treat dark spots, be sure to consult with your doctor to assure that the dark spots are not a sign of melanoma. If not, your doctor may also have some ideas to help lighten them.