How to Get Rid of Age Spots Safely
If you've noticed your skin changing as you get older, you're definitely not alone! Just like the rest of your body, it's common to see changes in your skin as you age. This might include your skin thinning and becoming more translucent. One of the most visible signs of aging skin is the appearance of brown spots, which are commonly referred to as age spots, liver spots, sun spots, senile lentigo, or solar lentigines. These are all different names for the same thing, so don't feel overwhelmed if your healthcare practitioner uses another name.
While age spots don't pose any serious health risks, many people want to get rid of them for aesthetic reasons (why live with blemishes when you don't have to?). You can simply call on a trusted product, like Good Science Beauty's 004-Br Skin Brightening Cream, which harnesses the power of pure science to noticeably reduce hyperpigmentation and age spots, without using harsh chemicals or bleaching agents.
In this article, we'll look at exactly what age spots or liver spots are, and what you can do to minimize their appearance and protect your skin going forward.
What are Age Spots?
Age spots are flat, brown, grey or black patches of pigmentation that commonly appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin. While age spots are more prominent in individuals over the age of 50, older women, and lighter-skinned individuals, they can affect people of all ages, skin types, and ethnicities.
Age spots are caused by an overproduction of melanin - the pigment that gives our skin its color. Melanin is produced by cells in the skin called melanocytes. While it's important for protecting us from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, an excess of melanin can lead to hyperpigmentation.
If you've noticed dark spots on your skin starting to form as you age, it's good to know the defining features of age spots so you can identify them and put your mind at ease that they're nothing more sinister. These include:
Shape - increased pigmentation in flat, oval shapes with defined edges
Color - light to dark brown, black, or gray
Location - often in sun-exposed areas, including the face, hands, feet, forearms, and shoulders
Size - ranges from a small freckle to approximately 1/2 inch to 1 inch in diameter
Area - can be isolated or clustered together
What Causes Age Spots?
While there is no scientific consensus on what causes age spots, there are two prominent schools of thought. While we can't oversimplify the science, both of these theories offer a reasonable explanation for the appearance of age spots, so we've attempted to explain them as clearly as possible:
A build-up of dead skin cells
Wang-Michelitsch and Michelitsch propose that "the development of an age spot is a result of accumulation of aged cells in aged skin." They describe age spots as "a group of aggregated basal cells, which contain lipofuscin bodies." Basal cells are the lowest level of cells in the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin), and are responsible for producing new skin cells. Lipofuscin is a yellowish-brown pigment produced when cells break down fats, and it's often referred to as the "age pigment." Simply put, their theory means that age spots are a build-up of dead skin cells, which can happen as we age and our skin's natural cell turnover slows down.
An accumulation of senescent cells
Another study, however, examined biopsies of age spots and found that "aged pigmented skin contains an increasing proportion of senescent fibroblasts." Cellular senescence is a state of permanent cell cycle arrest (i.e., the cells can no longer divide or reproduce), and it's thought to be one of the mechanisms that our bodies use to prevent the formation of tumors. This theory suggests that age spots are the result of an accumulation of these senescent cells as we age.
Additionally, you may have read that age spots are related to chronic sun exposure, and are the result of photodamage, which occurs when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources, such as tanning beds. While this is true to some extent, it's worth noting that age spots can also form in areas of the skin that are not regularly exposed to sunlight.
Are Age Spots Dangerous?
While the cause of age spots is not clear cut, it can be agreed that age spots are a common part of the natural aging process, and are not necessarily indicative of an underlying health condition. However, if you notice any sudden changes in the size, shape, or color of your age spots, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional, as this could be a sign of something more serious.
An age spot is not the same as melanoma (a type of skin cancer), and you can have peace of mind in knowing that age spots don't turn into skin cancer either. The two can, however, appear similar so it's important to check with a healthcare professional if you notice any of these melanoma signs and symptoms:
- An increase in the size of the spot
- A change in color
- Breakdown of the skin in the area
- Pain on or around the spot
How can you prevent age spots?
While you can't permanently stop the natural aging process, the importance of sun protection cannot be overstated when it comes to preventing age spots and other more harmful skin conditions.
Here are the World Health Organization’s guidelines on sun protection:
- Limiting time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m, especially at midday when the sun is strongest
- Monitoring the UV index and staying out of the sun when levels are predicted to be moderate or higher
- Using shade to protect yourself from the sun
- Wearing protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses when you're exposed to the sun
- Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15+ and re-applying at least every two hours
- Avoiding tanning beds and sun lamps
Common Treatments for Age Spots
Age spots are harmless, painless, and pose no threat to your health. However, they can affect your appearance, which is why many people wish to remove them. There are a range of treatment options that include procedures and topical creams. The American Academy of Dermatology Association advises that that procedures tend to work faster but do come with the risk of side effects and, of course, are a much more costly solution. Topical creams and gels can provide results that are just as effective but, in most instances, you need to persevere over a longer period of time to see sustained results.
Laser Therapy and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment
Laser therapy uses targeted light to destroy the melanin causing the age spots. IPL works in a similar way but uses a range of light wavelengths rather than just one. A position statement by the European Society of Laser Dermatology provides clear recommendations for the use of laser therapy and IPL, emphasizing that while these treatments can be very effective, they can also come with side effects such as mild to moderate pain and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and can worsen some skin conditions.
This is a procedure where age spots are frozen with liquid nitrogen. It works by destroying melanin-producing cells and can result in the formation of a blister. The skin will heal, and the age spot should disappear over time. You might experience discomfort during the procedure, but this should only last for a few minutes. There is also a small risk of scarring and hypopigmentation (skin lightening).
Chemical peels remove the outermost layer of skin, which contains the age spots. The area is then allowed to heal and new skin will form. Chemical peels come with a risk of side effects such as pain, redness, swelling, and blistering, but these should all subside within a few days. Sun protection is essential following a chemical peel to avoid damage to the skin.
Microdermabrasion is a procedure where the age spot is "sanded away" using very fine crystals. The area is then vacuumed to remove the crystals and exfoliate the skin. Microdermabrasion can cause some discomfort, redness, and swelling, but these should all dissipate within a few hours. There is also a small risk of bruising and hypopigmentation, and the procedure can be costly.
Topical Creams and Gels
Topical treatments for age spots, such as lightening creams, have been proven to be effective. Some doctors, however, prescribe brightening creams containing hydroquinone or retinoids, which can come with serious side effects, including skin irritation, redness, and burning. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises to use products containing Hydroquinone only under supervision of a licensed health care professional, so it’s important to know exactly what is in any cream or gel you're considering using.
Remove Age Spots Gently and Safely
At Good Science Beauty, we’re dedicated to formulating skincare solutions that are gentle and safe, while remaining highly effective. Our 004-Br Skin Brightening Cream has been developed specifically to treat uneven skin tone and age spots. It contains a blend of powerful ingredients that will help gradually fade age spots without the use of bleaching agents like hydroquinone, or costly procedures that come with the risk of uncomfortable side effects.
A Trio of Natural Brighteners
A potent partnership of Vitamin C, Glutathione and Melatonin is the key to 004-Br Skin Brightening Cream's effectiveness in targeting age spots:
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that protects against free radicals and enhances the effects of Glutathione.
Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in the body and works to deactivate the enzyme that produces melanin. And it also helps stabilize our third power partner: ascorbic acid.
Ascorbic Acid is the most bioavailable form of Vitamin C and it has been shown to be highly effective at giving the skin a brightening boost and evening out skin tone. While ascorbic acid produces exceptional results, it is inherently unstable. This is why it lives alongside glutathione in our topical age spot treatment.
Our patented carrier technology, Good Silicon+, ensures that these all-star ingredients are protected from degradation (meaning they won't break down before they've had a chance to work their magic) and are delivered deep down into the skin where they're needed most.
A Skin-Loving Solution for Age Spots
While some of our customers have seen age spot reduction after just two weeks, skin brightening requires time. You can typically expect to see your age spots fading after two months of regular use twice a day. When you consider that you won't have to expose yourself to potentially painful procedures, and that you'll be nourishing your skin with premium quality ingredients that are gentle enough for sensitive skin, we think you'll agree that a couple of months is worth investing for optimal radiance and a renewed sense of confidence!
Ditch the hit-or-miss solutions and discover the difference Good Science can have on your skin!
The 004-Br Skin Brightening Cream contains small amounts of lavender oil. If you are allergic to this otherwise beneficial ingredient, this product is not suitable for you.
While we do make every effort to produce accurate and up-to-date content, the information in this blog article is provided for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.