Age spots are usually caused
by sun damage. I highly recommend using a zinc
oxide or a zinc oxide plus titanium dioxide based sunscreen to
protect your skin and to prevent future age spots from forming.
Many natural based sunscreens also double as moisturizers (so
you may or may not need to use an additional moisturizer in the
morning). Most natural based sunscreens are rich in antioxidants
and vitamins too. Some of the other all natural beauty website,
anb portal, and anb mall vendors sell nice sunscreens.
Several natural ingredients can help improve the
appearance of some types of age spots and sun damage, however it
may take a long time to see improvement: anywhere from several
weeks to many months to a year or longer. The results will
usually not be as immediate as using lab derived or synthetic
ingredients, but many of the natural ingredients used to improve
skin clarity are super gentle and in the long run are very
effective. In addition, different ingredients work for different
people, so what works for you, may not work for another person.
You may need to try several different ingredients to find the
right ones that work for your skin.
In my personal experience, I think that the appearance
of many light colored, flat brown spots (hyperpigmentation) can
be greatly improved with topical application of natural
ingredients. Iíve had many customers tell me that my products
have helped improve the appearance of their skin. I also have
recommended many natural DIY (Do It Yourself) recipes to friends
and customers, and they can help improve the look of these types
of age spots too. However, sometimes
topically applied ingredients and products canít help; it really
depends on your own skin. If you try many different ingredients
or products, and there is no improvement within 6 months to a
year, you may want try some lab derived ingredients or go to a
dermatologist for more aggressive treatments.
For raised, crusty, very dark colored spots, in my
personal opinion, I think that topically applied ingredients can
only help a little. Natural ingredients may help improve the
crustiness a little bit (by softening them), but as far as I
know the only way to deal with raised, crusty spots is to get a
doctor to remove them. These types of spots are similar to
moles, and a doctor needs to look at them (to make sure they are
truly benign moles, or if they are something more serious).
Many essential oils can be used to help improve skin
clarity (many different skin issues, including age spots), but I
think it is best to use more than just essential oilsómany
different natural ingredients would be beneficial. I believe a
combination of antioxidant and nutrient rich ingredients,
exfoliants, emollients, and lighteners and brighteners would
help. There are many different plant and natural ingredients
that can help improve the look of the skin. I have listed a few
of the more common, DIY, easy to find, local, or food based
ingredients that you may want to try. I have also listed a few
lab derived ingredients too (ingredients that are found in many
natural based skin care lines).
I recommend trying honey! Honey is very rich in
nutrients. Use it as a cleanser, a mask, in scrubs, add it to
toners, creams, and more! Many of the recipes below contain
Aloe vera gel or juice is often suggested for age
spots. Aloe is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and trace
nutrients, including vitamin E and C. I recommend buying one
from a natural health food store, a natural skin care company,
or an herbal online vendor, since they are usually not made with
fillers (many natural or organic aloe brands are made only with
aloe, a thickener, an anti-fungal, and citric acid). Or buy an
aloe plant! You can use aloe as a toner, a spot treatment, in
masks, or in creams and lotions. It is safe to use daily, a few
times a day. Here is my anb mall eco living recipe for a super
easy green tea toner, which contains aloe vera. It also contains
green tea (a rich source of antioxidants) and honey!
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Vinegar toner makes a wonderful toner that very gently
exfoliates, and improves skin clarity. Most people can use
vinegar toner daily. Here is my recipe from Earth Alkemieís (my
skin care company) forum for vinegar toner (I would read the
whole thread since there is a lot of information about vinegar
and rotation of ingredients).
Some herbalists recommend yogurt for age spots. Yogurt
mildly exfoliates and softens the skin, and it is a mild
brightener and lightener: it is a source of natural lactic acid.
You can use it as a cleanser or a mask. For a good recipe, check
out my anb mall eco living article for yogurt cleanser or mask.
Lemon juice is a mild exfoliator, lightener, and
brightener. It needs to be well diluted before use. Read my anb
eco living and DIY natural beauty formulating expert article on
lemon juice in cosmetics (for dark spots and acne).
Some aromatherapists recommend lemon essential oil for
age spots. Be sure to dilute well (1/2% to 1% total
concentration of essential oils in 1 ounce of carrier. Which is
a total of about 3 to 6 drops of essential oils added to 1 ounce
of carrier oil, cream, or lotion). I would suggest just using
lemon essential oil at night, since many lemon essential oils on
the market are photo-toxic. If you canít get essential oils
locally, make your own lemon essential oil by squeezing a few
drops of the oil from a fresh lemon peel.
You may also like to try a brightening or lightening mask.
Papaya contains papain, which is a natural enzyme that
exfoliates and softens the skin. You can use fresh or frozen
papaya (just defrost the frozen kind before use). Check out my
eco living article for a papaya mask!
Try the humble potato! Here are some of my eco living
recipes (my article is geared toward eye remedies but raw potato
is an excellent ingredient for age spots too).
A weekly banana mask can help the appearance of some
brown spots, plus it leaves the skin super soft and hydrated!
Any good carrier oil or butter will provide emollience.
Many oils and butters also improve skin clarity. If the oils and
butters are cold pressed unrefined or expeller pressed
unrefined, they are good sources of antioxidants, nutrients, and
vitamins. Try to get an organic one if available. Many people
love to use cold pressed or expeller pressed, virgin, organic,
unrefined coconut oil (a lot of coconut oil is solvent extracted
and refined so try to buy coconut oil in a health food store or
online). Coconut oil is very emollient. An easy to find local
butter is cold pressed, unrefined, and organic shea butter (many
brands sell solvent refined shea, which is often refined with
hexane and stripped of its nutrients. In addition refined shea
butterís texture is very different from the unrefined. So pay
close attention to extraction methods). Shea is a good source of
natural vitamin E.
You may want to add vitamin E to a carrier oil, butter,
cream, or oil (vitamin E is a lab derived ingredient which can
be completely synthesized in the lab, or it can be naturally
derived. I personally prefer using and crafting with the
naturally derived one). Another popular choice is using lab
derived vitamin C serum (many natural and commercial brands make
vitamin C serum or you can make your own too. I suggest buying
one from a natural brand or making your own since they tend to
have little to no fillers). A lot of natural based brands make
products that contain lab derived acids and enzymes (which are
more concentrated than the acids and enzymes found naturally in
natural ingredients like many fruits and yogurt). Examples are
lactic acid, glycolic acid, and papain. They are either
synthesized or naturally derived (but they are still lab
derived, altered, or concentrated ingredients).
Please note: Many of these ingredients are exfoliating (I
have noted which ones are exfoliating above or in the recipe
articles). So take care not to overexfoliate.
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental studies/biology and an M.S.
in Environmental Science and Policy. She has studied a wide
range of ecological and plant related topics including
biology/botany, ethnobotany (the cosmetic and medicinal uses of
plants in indigenous cultures), conservation, and organic
standards in cosmetics. Other environmental interests include
mammals, urban wildlife, public perception, human-wildlife
conflicts, and local environmental issues. She has also been
formulating all-natural beauty care for over a decade and runs
her own all-natural beauty business, Earth Alkemie. She's happy
to help you learn more about living a clean, green lifestyle...
and help you with your DIY formulating.
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