Age Spots, Liver Spots, Sun Spots: Natural Treatments
Age spots are also known as liver and sun spots. These appear on light-skin and are thought to be the result of abnormal melanin pigment, which is stimulated by overexposure to the sun. it is not related as much to age as it is to length of sun exposure. However, the spots generally take some time to develop and so tend not to appear until later in life, after much sun exposure.
Preventing sun spots by using a natural SPF (active ingredients either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) is wise. Argan oil is a very healing oil and is helpful for existing spots, while the zinc oxide helps prevent more spots from forming.
As the body ages, it can be less able to properly respond to cell damage from the sun. Liver support is always suggested in skin ailments and in this case, dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) is of particular value. The root is suggested for liver uses.
There are many types of spots due to skin damage from the sun, aging, or hormones:
- Age spots (solar lentigines) aka sun spots, liver spots
- Poikiloderma (reddish-brown in color)
- Melasma (mottled brown)
Natural Ways to Eliminate Age Spots
Daily Use of Natural Physical or Chemical Exfoliants
Exfoliating daily increases cell turnover, revealing new skin that is not damaged. Exfoliating stimulates circulation and generally promotes brighter, fresh skin cell growth. Check out homemade exfoliants for more ways to exfoliate your skin.
Exfoliating with cleansing grains recipes based in foods like beans, oats, or corn or using natural fruit chemicals is recommended.
Of the natural chemical exfoliants, buttermilk or soured milk (containing lactic acid) and lemon juice (containing citric acid) are commonly used with good results.
Lemon juice is a skin whitener and brightener in general and used for revealing fresh skin. To treat spots with lemon juice, you can apply the juice directly to them 2 times per day until the they subside. Note that citrus in general can make you more prone to sun damage, so be super sure to protect yourself from sunburn.
Lactic acid and milk products were made famous by Cleopatra, who is said to have kept her youthful beauty by regularly bathing in sour milk. I can attest to its skin softening and soothing ability, which lasts for about a week, before it needs to be repeated.
Herbs and Natural Substances for Topical Use
- Aloe vera is an aid in cell-regeneration and can also strongly protect the skin from sun damage to begin with. It has been used as a beauty aid among East Indian women in Ayurvedic practices. Apply twice a day until spots subside.
- Castor oil is commonly used to treat growths and marks of all sorts, including sun spots.
- Sap from the dandelion stem (Taraxacum officinale). In addition to its liver protective ability, the common weed dandelion has a sap within the stem which is used to ward off growths and marks. Just break the stems and apply the white, milky sap to the spots. I have heard reports that this can darken the skin where applied until new skin grows back; however, I haven’t personally experienced that. Something to keep in mind if you plan to use it on your face. Do a patch test first.
- Gotu kola, powdered and made into a paste is applied to age spots with great success.
- Rose hip seed oil is a powerful anti-aging oil that gently exfoliates with its retinoic acid content and helps to clear up pigmented spots. I have personally experienced success with using rose hip seed oil on a twice daily basis. It has significantly lightened a few age spots that I had.
- Pomegranate seed oil is another anti-aging oil which inhibits skin photoaging.
- Jasmine Absolute is commonly used in aromatherapy for its deeply relaxing, euphoric and enticing properties. It is also great for aging skin, and balancing skin tone and color.