Age spots, sometimes also known as sun spots, are brown spots that appear on your face, chest, hands, and other areas. Age spots are a result of sun damage and tend to become more frequent with age. While harmless, age spots can mar your appearance and make you look older than you'd like. Luckily, there are proven methods and cosmetic treatments for fading or eliminating age spots. Here are a few that are especially worth trying:
Retinoids are one of the few active skincare ingredients proven to help fade age spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation. Retinoids also help reduce and prevent fine lines and wrinkles, and can even help with acne so they are a good option if you have multiple skin concerns. Prescription retinoids from your dermatologist tend to be more effective than those that can be purchased over the counter. Retinoids are usually prescribed in the form of a cream you apply daily to clean, dry skin and before moisturizing.
Chemical peels are another great option for age spots. Chemical peels use gentle chemical exfoliation to help lift away hyperpigmented skin and dead skin cells, revealing the newer skin underneath. While you can buy chemical peels to use at home, these are usually the most mild versions which require time to show results. An in-office chemical peel at your dermatologist will lead to faster fading of your age spots. Your skin may be red and tender for a few days afterward, so it's best to plan a chemical peel for when you have some downtime.
If your age spots are especially dark and difficult to get rid of, a laser treatment may be your best bet. Laser treatments target the excess melanin in your sun spot, briefly making the spot appear darker. After a few days, the spot should begin to flake off, revealing younger, healthier skin underneath. Laser treatments are often more expensive than the other options on this list, but can definitely be worth the cost since they tend to work so quickly.
All three of these treatment options can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure, so plan to wear sunblock or avoid the sun following the treatments. If you are dealing with age spots, it's a good idea to consult your dermatologist. They will help you come up with a treatment plan that works for your unique skincare needs, the severity of your age spots, and your budget.