Luckily, we’ve found safe, natural ways to lighten and prevent age spots. But bear in mind: Even though they’re benign, age spots signal overexposure to the sun—a risk factor for skin cancer—and some can resemble malignant growths, so ask your healthcare provider to examine any suspicious discoloration. Once you’ve determined your spots are purely cosmetic, try these simple solutions to watch those telltale signs of aging fade away.
Solution 1: Up your antioxidants
“Antioxidants are always good internally for the antiaging effect, but we can also benefit externally from these free radical–scavenging ingredients,” explains Myra Michelle Eby, founder of MyChelle Dermaceuticals, a bioactive skincare line. “Vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid in particular, is very good for reversing hyperpigmentation due to its bleaching effects.”
Try: MyChelle Perfect C Serum ($42, 0.5 oz; mychelle.com)
Solution 2: Try beta-glucan
According to Johnson, age spots typically signal a buildup of debris between the dermis and epidermis. He recommends using topical beta-glucan (a soluble fiber found in oats that stimulates skin-cell renewal) to clear the debris, boost circulation, and repair the damage at the dermal layer.
Try: Enkido Pure Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($60, 60 ml; enkido.com.au)
Solution 3: Raid the refrigerator
Look no further than your fridge for age-spot fighters. Stephanie Tourles, a holistic aesthetician and author of Organic Body Care Recipes (Storey Publishing, 2007), has had success using several food-based concoctions to lighten skin, even though studies on their efficacy are lacking. Yogurt, for instance, contains lactic acid, which lightens and exfoliates skin. Tourles recommends applying 1 tablespoon plain, organic yogurt to your clean face, neck, and chest and letting it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. Do this once or twice a week, and follow with moisturizer. Warning: Don’t apply the yogurt mask to sunburned or windburned skin, or if you’ve recently waxed your face or had a chemical peel, because it could cause further irritation.
Try: Amala Hydrating Yogurt Mask ($58, 1.7 oz; amalabeauty.com)