How do you naturally lighten age spots?

Ways of removing age spots naturally

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Regardless of your ethnicity or skin color, most of us eventually develop some kind of brown or age spots. These spots generally appear on exposed skin like on the face, back, neck, chest, shoulders, and hands. The main cause being sun exposure. When the skin is exposed to the sun, it induces an increase in the generation of cells known as melanocytes that boost melanin in the skin, which turns the skin darker. Good news is that age spots are harmless. They are benign and not cancerous. But since some forms of skin cancer look like melanomas can look like age spots, you should ask your doctor to examine your skin during your checkup.

What are Age Spots?

Understanding and treating age spots naturally

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Brown spots also referred to as age or liver spots, are a part of aging. In addition to being harmless, they appear mostly on people over the age of 50, especially those who have light-toned skin or spent long periods in the sun or tanning. If your brown spots bug you, natural home treatments can help them fade. However, it’s best to visit a doctor if your spots seem suspicious or home treatments don’t work for you.

What causes age spots?

These spots are the result of the excess production of melanin, a skin pigment. Doctors are not sure why age spots develop. Skin aging, prolonged exposure to the sun, or other forms of ultraviolet (UV) light like tanning beds, are all potential causes. You’re most likely to get age spots on the areas of your skin that receive the most sun exposure, like the face, the back of your hands, your shoulders, upper back and forearms.

Who is at risk of getting age spots?

Persons of all ages, sex, or race can get age spots. However, they are common in people with particular risk factors such as:

  • being older than 40
  • being fair skinned
  • frequent sun exposure or frequent use of a tanning bed.

What are the symptoms of age spots?

Age spots range from light brown to black. The spots have the same texture as the rest of your skin and usually, appear on sun-exposed areas. They do not cause any pain.

Prevention measures

Use protective creams to feed the skin

To help get your skin back to its normal color, use skin-brightening sunscreens. To avoid more damage, apply an antioxidant cream with vitamin E, which can help decrease skin inflammation. They can prevent interfering with collagen, a protein that inhibits wrinkles, and stops further pigment production.

Look for over-the-counter medication that can lighten dark spots

Creams with constituents like hydroquinone, kojic acid, niacinamide, and arbutin all hinder pigment production. These are all bleaching agents, and they may not be effective for every patient, so consult your dermatologist before using one. 

Get a chemical peel

A chemical peel is a medical process where a mild acid is applied to the skin. It damages the outer skin layer fostering a healing process that eliminates some of the darker pigmentations.

Schedule a visit to the dermatologist for cryosurgery

Dermatologists can use liquid nitrogen to freeze the cells of your age spot, helping to destroy them.

Remember: Prevention is always the best cure

The best treatment is prevention. Apply sunscreen with physical blockers like zinc oxide can help shield your skin.

Simple and natural remedies for age spots

Lemon Juice

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The citric acid present in lemon is a natural bleaching agent, and it exfoliates the skin, reducing the look of age spots.Simply rub a fresh lemon slice, or a swab of cotton dipped in lemon juice directly onto the spots about twice a day, and you should start to see improvements in about two months. Let it sit for about thirty minutes, or as long as it is comfortable for you. You can also leave it on overnight.Notes: If you plan to go outside, cover up as the juice makes the skin photosensitive. Do not use bottled lemon juice as it may contain other substances that may harm the skin. Also, the amount of citric acid present may have weakened in the time it has been in the bottle.

Apple Cider Vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar has natural alpha hydroxy acids, which help lighten sun and age spots. To balance the acidic nature of the vinegar, you can mix it with some olive oil which will shield the skin from dryness. Apply this mixture every day for about 20 minutes. Your skin will be left silky and smooth. It is normal to experience a bit of redness or stinging at first (like you would with a toner). For sensitive skin, or if it feels too strong, dilute with water.

Onion Juice

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Onions have sulfur compounds that have antiseptic qualities. They also contain acids that promote exfoliation. Lemons smell better, but some find them irritating to the skin. If your skin is intolerant to lemon juice, try fresh onion juice. Slice some onions and rub the slices over the affected area twice or thrice a day. Another method is to combine one tablespoon of onion juice with two of honey and apply the mixture on the spots. Leave it on for roughly 15 minutes before washing the area thoroughly so that the strong smell disappears. Do this once or twice a day.


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Vitamin C in horseradish slows down the production of melanin, the substance responsible for pigmentation. Another ingredient found in horseradish is glucosinolates. Glucosinolates increase circulation, function as antioxidants, and flush waste from the body.You can make horseradish paste by blending pieces of freshly chopped horseradish and apply it directly to the skin. Leave the paste on for like fifteen to twenty minutes before washing it off. Use this remedy a few times a week. Another alternative is to grate a four-inch piece of horseradish and mix it in one-quarter cup of apple cider vinegar and let the mixture to sit for about two weeks. After two weeks, strain it. Use a cotton ball r swab to apply the liquid on the affected skin. Use this treatment thrice a day for about a month.

Aloe Vera

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Aloe vera is commonly utilized to treat many skin ailments, including age spots. Simply rub a bit of fresh aloe vera gel obtained directly from the plant, onto the affected section and leave it to soak in. Aloe is very gentle, so there is no need to rinse it off. However, you may want to wash it off if it starts to feel sticky. If you can’t get gel from an aloe vera plant, you can buy fresh aloe vera juice. This works just as well.


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Papaya contains certain enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids that can help exfoliate and reduce age spots, skin blemishes, acne, and other skin problems. It will also give your skin a clearer, brighter look.Cut a slim slice of the skin from green papaya and press the fleshy side to your age spots for about 15 to 20 minutes.Alternatively, you can dice the papaya into small chunks and mash them with a fork or potato masher. Smear the pulp on your age spots with your fingers, allowing the mixture to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Use this paste daily.Note: As some persons can be allergic to it, it is advisable to do a 24-hour patch test before using this papaya remedy.


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The naturally present lactic acid in yogurt gently sheds dead skin cells. As it sheds, healthy skin is revealed. Apply some plain yogurt directly to the spots. Let it sit or dry on its own for about 20 minutes before washing it off with some cold water. For quicker results, apply some yogurt on the affected area before going to bed and leave it on through the night.Alternatively, you can make a pack by mixing one tablespoon of plain yogurt, two of ground oatmeal and one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Put this pack on spots and let it sit for thirty minutes before rinsing it off with some cold water. Then moisturize. Use this remedy a few times a week.

Castor Oil

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Castor oil is recognized for its healing properties and has proven useful in the treatment of age spots. Apply some castor oil directly onto the age spots and massage it into the skin for a minute or two until it is absorbed. Do this once in the morning and the evening, and you should start to see some improvement in about a month. If you suffer from skin dryness, you can mix some coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil with the castor oil for added moisture.


Buttermilk is often used to decrease brown spots and skin pigmentation since it has lactic acid which serves to lighten the skin without causing any sensitivity. Dip a piece of cotton in some buttermilk and apply it to the affected area. Wash your skin after 15-20 minutes. If your skin is oily or acne prone, mix some lime or tomato juice to the buttermilk before using it on your skin.


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Sandalwood is believed to contain powerful anti-aging qualities and is often used to decrease the look of age spots. Rub a drop of pure sandalwood essential oil onto the age spots. Alternatively, you can combine a pinch of sandalwood powder with a few drops each of rose water, glycerin and lemon juice. Apply this mixture onto the age spots and leave to dry for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.

Vitamin E

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Vitamin E has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and healing qualities and can assist in fading dark spots on your skin. Pierce a capsule of Vitamin E and apply it directly to your dark spots. Let it soak in, and you can even leave it on. You will need to be patient with these home remedies. The brown spots will not disappear in a week or two, so you need to follow the remedies for several weeks to notice positive results.The first line of defense against these spots is smart sun habits (meaning avoidance or, minimal exposure) along with the daily use of a good sunscreen, SPF 25 or greater. No other aspect of controlling or reducing skin discolorations is as important as being careful about your exposure to the sun and the use of sunscreen.

When to see a doctor about your sun spots

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Visit your doctor immediately if a spot gets darker or changes shape. Even though age spots are normal and harmless, they can sometimes look like skin cancer. While age spots often remain constant over time, cancerous spots, on the other hand, will darken and change in shape, like growing or becoming more uneven in shape. You can identify potentially cancerous spots using these ABCDEs:

  • Asymmetric shape
  • Borders that are uneven
  • Colors that change, such as different shades of brown or black.
  • Diameter is large (between a >¼ inch or > 6mm), or it is changing
  • Evolving, like changing in size, shape, and color

Tips: One of the best remedies is prevention. Brown spots are exasperated by exposure to UV light sources, like the sun or tanning beds. Shield your skin with an SPF 30 sunscreen and avoid tanning.Remove any makeup before using any of these home remedies. Wash your skin well to remove the oil and lotions that can meddle with the treatments.Warnings:Make sure you track any unusual changes on your skin. Have a someone keep an eye on the skin you can’t see well, like on your back.If you see a suspicious skin spot, don’t wait to talk to your doctor or a dermatologist. If it’s a cause for concern, catching it early can make a huge difference in how it’s treated.

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