Age spots are a common version of hyperpigmentation that appear on the surface of the epidermis as small flat marks that are darker in tone than the rest of your skin. They are prevalent among people who are over the age of 40, and from a health perspective, they are considered harmless. Age spots are also painless, but they can be frustrating to deal with and can impact your sense of self-esteem about your appearance.
What do age spots look like?
Age spots can range in colour from light brown to black. Unlike a mole, they are smooth and appear the same texture as the rest of your skin. If you detect changes in a spot such as its shape, size or colour, or if it becomes itchy or begins to bleed, then you should see your doctor in order to rule out melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer.
Are age spots and sunspots the same?
Y-E-S! “Age spots” is an umbrella term that also includes sunspots, liver spots and dark spots.
What causes age spots?
Age spots are caused by an excessive production of melanin, which is the natural pigment in your skin that produces its colour or tone. Skin aging, sun exposure and exposure to other types of ultraviolet (UV) light, such as a tanning bed, can all trigger the development of skin pigment. Melanin also provides a protective function: It acts as a natural shield against harmful UV rays. But when skin gets excessive UV exposure, melanin production increases and clusters of melanin develop, causing a liver spot to form. This explains why liver spots on the skin tend to appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face and chest, the back of the hands, along the shoulders and on the upper back and forearms.
How to cover age spots on your face
As you may have discovered, these tiny clusters of melanin are hugely stubborn. When it comes to how to get rid of age spots, the goal is to address current spots caused by previous damage while also preventing future spots from cropping up. A skincare routine that combines effective products with consistency and patience in equal measure is essential to successfully treating age spots on the face.
To diminish existing dark spots while brightening overall, start by using a corrective serum with ingredients designed to fade sunspots. La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Anti-Aging Dark Spot Correcting Serum contains a phE-Resorcinol, gingko and ferulic acid complex that helps to notably reduce dark spots and even out skin tone. You’ll also notice a smoother complexion, thanks to a boost of soothing niacinamide and micro-exfoliating LHA lipohydroxy acid (LHA). With consistent application in the a.m. and p.m., you can expect a visible reduction in the appearance of dark spots after four weeks that will improve with ongoing use.
If you’re serious about fading and preventing age spots, you’ll also need to understand the importance of wearing daily sun protection. An SPF 30 or higher that provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection will help prevent your melanin production from switching into high gear when exposed to UV. The best sunscreen is one you’ll use every day, rain or shine, so find a formula that suits your skin type and feels pleasurable to apply. A daily sun protectant is also vital support for corrective serum use; it shields skin so treatments can make progress, not regress.
While working on your skincare game to reduce future dark spots, there is one quick fix you can try today. Using makeup for dark spots and hyperpigmentation is the best way to cover age spots on your face immediately. A go-to in professional makeup artist kits, the La Roche-Posay Dermablend line is designed to cover all types of hyperpigmentation, redness and rosacea, birthmarks and more. And there’s no need to worry about a cakey look. Choose Dermablend Cover Care concealer. It’s a full-coverage concealer, that hydrates and has a zero-weight feel.
How to remove age spots
Patience and over-the-counter skincare products can help fade existing age spots, but you’ll need a pro if you want to remove spots promptly and completely. Treatment options include prescription creams, like hydroquinone, which inhibits melanin production, as well laser therapy (such as IPL), microdermabrasion and chemical peels that work on deeper layers of the skin where dark spots take hold. Consult with your dermatologist or skin therapist to find out which treatment is the right fit for you.