Remove Age Spots On the Face & Body With A Holistic Approach

What causes age spots? The sun does.

As we age our skin is subjected to more and more sun damage. Our skin has what is called ‘melanin pigment’ which absorbs sunlight and helps naturally protect our skin from UV rays. However as we age, our skin's natural ability to fend off UV rays from the sun begins to deteriorate, and as a result, we see the development of age spots.

The External Approach 

Protect your skin from further damage and the worsening of existing age spots through the use of sunscreen every day even in the winter (although it is vitally important to remember to get sufficient vitamin D). You will not see results from a treatment for age spots if you do not protect your skin from UV rays every day. The sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps all produce UV rays. Use a sunscreen that offers a SPF of 30 or greater and broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection. Zinc oxide is a great natural one, although there are some European sunscreens that go as high as SPF 100, ideal for the sunny summer months.


This is a beautiful solution that is often hard to find. A beauty product containing glycolic acid and licorice extract can work wonders to lighten or eliminate age spots. Glycolic acid consists of natural sugar acids derived from citrus, papaya, and other foods. It gently exfoliates the top layer of the skin, while the licorice bleaches the spot. Follow the instructions on the label when applying.

If you can't find a product with both these ingredients, you can use them separately with great results too. Licorice is one of the herbal ingredients that has been studied for the past 20 years to find out how effective it is as an ingredient in skin care products. The site reports that licorice is among the herbs named the most promising for treating skin conditions, especially those involving hyperpigmentation, age spots or discoloration of the skin. Here is some licorice extract that could be added to your face products.

A glycolic acid peel used alone is very helpful too. It is a chemical peel commonly used to treat sun damaged skin. As stated above, the acids typically used in this type of peel are natural fruit acids, otherwise known as alpha hydroxy acids. Glycolic acid peels will lighten brown spots and even out other irregularities in pigmentation to give the skin a more uniform color. The glycolic acid Peel is thought of as a milder peel compared to others, thus side effects or downtime is practically non-existent. If you want a stronger peel, scroll down to TCA peels.

The citric acid in lemons makes this fruit one of the strongest natural skin lightening remedies. Use the juice of the lemon. Rub on the skin where the age spots are. This remedy will take from 6 to 8 weeks before you start to see the spots fade. The juice of the lemon will safely remove the upper layer of the skin and will help to lighten the spots. However, since lemon juice increases the skin's sensitivity to sunlight, be sure to wash off the juice and use sunscreen before going out.

You can also use lemon oil, instead of lemon juice, which also has excellent bleaching properties. Combine two or three drops with an oil, such as almond, or any face product, and then apply the mixture to the age spots twice a day.

There have been excellent results from apple cider vinegar with age spots. It is one of the best ones to try. The high acid and sulfur content in apple cider vinegar makes it an excellent skin exfoliator. Dab the apple cider vinegar on age spots every night before you go to bed. Leave this on overnight. Repeat this for 3-4 weeks and you should see age spots lighten. If it stings too much, you can dilute it with water, raw honey or juice such as lemon. Taking apple cider vinegar internally and using externally as well can help to fade spots quicker.

There have many reports of people getting rid of every single age spot and freckle with a TCA peel. A TCA, short for Trichloroacetic Acid, is a medium depth peel, strong enough to remove the 2 outermost layers of skin. It is a relative of vinegar. This peel is stronger than glycolic peels. When the old skin is peeled off, it exposes a new layer of undamaged skin, which has a smoother texture and more even color. TCA peels can treat the face, neck, chest, back, arms and legs. Non-facial areas do not heal as quickly as the face though. TCA is great as a spot treatment. Begin with a low percentage, such as 8% or 12% if you haven't used TCA's previously, and then gradually increase up to 18% or 21%. Here is a quality TCA peel at 10%.

There are many anecdotal evidences available about the effectiveness of aloe vera to reduce age spots. Aloe vera is a healing herb that can greatly promote skin growth and repair. There are 21 minerals and key vitamins in the aloe vera along with 22 amino acids and saponins, ligin, anthraguinones and complex enzymes. Rubbing fresh aloe vera juice or gel on age spots can help fade them. Leave it on the skin for at least 45 minutes at a time. Direct application of the liquid straight from the plant to the skin sloughs away dead skin cells and promotes growth of healthy new cells. You may mix the aloe vera liquid with lemon juice. The lemon juice acts as another fading agent.

Rosehip oil is a natural source of Tretinoin the active ingredient in Retinol, Retin-A, Renova etc, and a very good source of Vitamin C. Unrefined rosehip oil helps restore and reverse damage to the skin from the sun and age spots. This restoration occurs due to the healing properties of the oil’s trans-retinoic acid that prevents the formation of keloid scar tissue and loosens up fibrous cords. Dramatic improvements can be seen in just four months of daily use. For best results, apply once in the morning and once at night.

Studies show that avocado oil is an excellent remedy for age spots. The oil is high in skin nutrients such as E and A, protein and is also rich in fatty acids. Avocado oil is also high in sterolins, which have been found to diminish age spots. Oils with the highest levels of sterolins are Shea Butter, Avocado oil, Sesame oil, Soybean oil and Olive oil. Repeated applications of avocado oil reveal an increase of hydration of the upper layers of the skin, and an improvement of the skins elastic and collagen properties, and will fade age spots with time.

High in vitamin A and E, high quality shea butter has been proven to remove age spots on hands in 4-6 weeks. Shea butter is highly recommended for age spots. In various studies shea butter has been shown to even out pigmentation and reduce brown age spots. Lourdes Gali, a clinical aesthetician at Body Science in Tampa, Florida, says many of her patients have successfully banished brown spots with aloe vera and shea butter. Make sure to purchase unrefined and raw only. Try here.

Found in sake (rice wine) and shiitake mushrooms, kojic acid is a newly discovered, successful treatment of age spots and other pigment problems. Research shows Kojic Acid to be an effective lightening agent that inhibits the production of melanin (brown pigment). Its low risk of oxidation creates a more stable product, resulting in a longer shelf life. A product with kojic here or you could try straight sake on the spots which probably works very well.

There are so many people who rave of bio oil for taking away their age spots. Supposedly it works real well. I found the ingredients to include calendula oil, vitamin A, E, lavender oil, rosemary oil, chamomile oil, which are all good, but then there are a few undesirable ingredients such as BHT. I recommend skipping the bio oil and opting for buying the beneficial ingredients separately and mixing up your own concoction.

Retin-A, the prescription wrinkle cream, will also make liver spots fade or disappear, a study has concluded. Doctors who tested the cream found that it lightened or cleared up the age spots in more than 80 percent of users. They concluded that Retin-A, along with using sunscreen and staying out of the sun, "is an effective, nondestructive approach to improving and sometimes clearing" these spots. Retin-A works by blocking production of melanin, the skin pigment. For quickest results, dermatologists recommend applying the strongest dosage that you can tolerate directly on the age spots. The area will proceed to peel, and after a few months, the spot should diminish and possibly even disappear. Many combine both glycolic acid and retin-a for even quicker results. One in the morning and one at night. Retin-A is usually only available by prescription.

Nutgrass is one of the medicinal plants frequently use in Asia, India and Europe. The extract inhibits melanin production, but without causing irritation. The root extract naturally inhibits melanin-clinical trials have shown a dramatic reduction in melanin production by up to 40% at a 0.5% concentration. People that have tried it report a significant difference of age spots after only a few weeks of use. It can gradually whiten your skin and help reduce skin irritation. Extrapone Nutgrass is the main ingredient in one of the Xtendlife products called Natural whitening day cream, and the Xtendlife products have phenomenal and rave reviews. It might be worth checking into.

The Internal Approach

Your diet has a direct effect on your the way your skin looks. Research indicates that you can help to protect your skin from age spots- the result of a life time's accumulation of sun damage - by getting sufficient selenium and vitamins A and E. 

Age spots are a sign that years and years of toxic wastes have accumulated in our bodies. Our bodies are not able to ward off damage from the sun, as when we are young, because of accumulated toxins, excessive free radicals and vitamin deficiencies. This buildup of waste products is called lipofuscin accumulation, a by-product of free radical damage in our skin cells. These spots on our skin are sending us a serious message that these accumulated wastes are slowly destroying our body’s healthy cells, including our liver and brain cells. More aptly stated, they are a surface sign that free radical intoxication of our bodies may destructively affect many of our internal structures, including the retina of our eyes and our heart muscles.

This formation of  lipofuscin is indicative that we have deficiencies in a certain number of  healthy nutrients such as: Vitamin E, selenium, chromium and glutathione dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). Consumption of alcohoic beverages makes this condition worse.

Liver and colon detox is recommended with milk thistle. Limiting sun exposure and reducing our consumption of red meats and fried foods will certainly slow down the toxification process. Eating plenty of fresh raw fruits and vegetables and avoiding excessive caffeine of course, will help to cleanse the body of toxins.

Keep in mind that certain fruits and vegetables--particularly celery, parsnips, carrots and limes--contain psoralens, chemicals that can increase your sensitivity to the sun. Unless you're sensitive to psoralens, eating these foods before going out in the sun is not likely to be a problem, says Douglas Darr, Ph.D., director of technology development at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park. You'd best wash your hands--which are already susceptible to sun exposure and age spots--after handling these foods, however. Anyone's skin can be more susceptible to burning after direct contact with psoralens

Vitamin C is the sunblock vitamin. It is an antioxidant vitamin and can prevent skin damage from sun exposure, including wrinkling and age spots. Use vitamin C both topically and internally as one of the natural remedies for age spots. Internally, you can take about 300 to 500 mg daily to maintain good skin quality. I like whole food vitamin C supplements.
Here is a whole food vitamin C supplement that I take. Food sources include berries, red pepper, rosehips, papaya, kiwi, dark leafy greens, oranges, 

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant vitamin and is helpful in preventing sun damage as well. It's highly effective as an anti-inflammatory agent, and it reduces sun damage to the skin. Internally, you can take 400 IU of vitamin E in the form of d-alpha-tocopherol daily. Vitamin E can also be used externally; researchers have shown that vitamin E oil can prevent inflammation and skin damage if applied within eight hours of sun exposure. Food sources include sunflower seeds, almonds, chard, kale and olives.


Selenium is a very powerful antioxidant, it helps protect the skin from aging, especially effective against liver or age spots. There are some nutritionists who believe that sun spots are signs of a selenium deficiency and suggest taking supplements, or eating a few brazil nuts daily, to remove age spots. Other food sources are crimini mushrooms, garlic, eggs, soybeans and barley. Also some seafood. 

Grape seed extract is a dense source of antioxidants that protect your skin from the sun, may heal and minimize the risk of sunburn and reduce the appearance of age spots. It also helps maintain the strength of collagen structures in your skin. Definitely a worthy supplement. Resveratrol, too.

Gotu kola stimulates the growth of healthy new skin cells and collagen. If you take it regularly your skin will reproduce healthy skin cells and diminish age spots. Mix 1/8 teaspoon of powdered herb into a cup of herbal tea or add it to plain hot water along with 1/8 teaspoon of ginseng and a pinch of cayenne. This concoction should also be used directly on the sun spots. Gotu kola powder.
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