Age spots, or sun spots, are small dark marks that appear after years of sun exposure, in addition to free radical damage occurring inside your body. My first age spot appeared this past winter at age 46. It is located on my left lower cheek. I only found out it was there after my husband, several times, tried to wipe it off my face. Hell!

Age spots, sun spots, liver spots or brown spots also known as hyperpigmentation is a very common condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. Darkening of the skin is caused when excess melanin forms deposits on the skin. Unfortunately as we age, from the age of 40 onward, the skin is less able to regenerate from sun exposure, and these spots become more and more visible particularly in those who spend time in the sun.

So what can we do about these pesky age spots?

Stay away from cosmetic bleaching creams and skin lighteners with hydroquinone that actually cause discoloration and allergic reactions. Azelaic acid is a safer bleaching agent and some suggest it works just as well as hydroquinone creams.

Some natural approaches for age spot removal:

Eating a diet high in beta carotene which include apricots, carrots, sweet potato, cantaloupe, spinach and squash will help to eliminate free radicals that cause age spots. Unfortunately once they appear, diet changes will not make any difference.

Look for all natural age spot creams such as those containing arbutin from the bear berry plant, kojic acid, or dipotassium glycyrrhizate from licorice- all great natural skin lighteners which help reduce the appearance of age spots and even out your skin tone. There are many products on the market today containing these ingredients.

Versa pulse laser is another option for those with brown spots from sun damage. Now laser technology can virtually erase most pigmented lesions caused by sun damage or hormonal changes. Versa pulse laser produces short, adjustable pulses of light to treat a wide range of diameters at various skin depths. Age spots generally do well with one to two treatments. Performed properly by a trained physician, it  is safe and effective. It is actually the same laser procedure used to remove unwanted tattoos.

And finally for aesthetic purposes, all natural mineral makeup with it’s anti-inflammatory benefits will give good coverage without irritation while protecting your skin from the sun.