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Age spots: What are they, causes & how to get rid of them

The ultimate guide on age spots, so that you can learn to reduce them

Age Spots on Skin

Do you have brown spots on your hands or small, dark discolorations on your face? Don't worry, these age spots are natural and harmless skin reactions. However, if you wish to reduce their appearance, this guide is for you. Discover what age spots are, their causes and helpful advice on how to effectively prevent and reduce them.

What are age spots on the face, hands and body?

Age spots are light brown to black discolouration of the skin. Because they increase in number and intensity over the years, they are called "Age spots". In principle, however, these are pigment spots that occur in the course of skin ageing and through years of exposure to the sun.

woman holding a Nivea Cellular Luminous630 face cream
  1. Age spots on the face:
    Age spots on the face are very common as it’s an area frequently exposed to the sun, which is a primary trigger for them. Age spots on the face are darkened patches of skin that typically appear in areas such as the cheeks, forehead, and nose.

  2. Age spots on the hands:
    Age spots usually occur on the back of the hands, and like age spots on the face, can grow and merge together.

    Age spots on hands can appear flat and brownish in colour which can make them appear like brown stains. Sometimes age spots on hands can appear as raised growths known as seborrheic keratosis. 

  3. Age spots on the body:
    Age spots can also appear on other parts of the body, commonly on the arms, shoulders and legs. They are the most common cause of discoloration and just like on the face, these pigmentations develop from sun exposure, hormonal changes, pregnancy, or some types of medications.
    Whether on the face, hands or body, age spots usually appear from the age of 40 and are a natural sign of ageing. After all, your skin has endured a lot for you over the years. They can affect people of all skin types, but are more common in adults with light skin.

The different types of age spots

woman holding a Nivea Luminous630 Spot Control

Age spots typically fall into two main types based on their causes and appearance:

  1. Senile Lentigines: 
    Senile lentigines are age spots that are a result of the natural ageing process and not solely due to sun exposure. They tend to be smaller and more numerous compared to sun-induced age spots. Senile lentigines may develop on areas of the body that are less frequently exposed to the sun, like the chest, abdomen and back.

  2. Solaris Lentigines: 
    These are the most common type of age spots and are caused by prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays. They appear as flat, oval, or irregularly shaped spots with varying shades of brown, tan, or black. These spots typically occur on areas of the skin that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, shoulders, arms, and upper back.

    It's important to note that age spots are generally harmless and not a cause for medical concern. However, it's essential to monitor any changes in the appearance of spots on the skin and consult a dermatologist if there is uncertainty about their nature or if they show signs of irregularity.
4 causes of age spots

What causes age spots?

Age spots are primarily caused by prolonged exposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Here are the 4 main factors that contribute to their development:

1. Sun Exposure: 
The primary cause of age spots is excessive sun exposure over the years. UV rays trigger the production of melanin, which leads to the darkening of the skin, resulting in age spots. 

2. Age: 
As people age, their skin becomes more susceptible to developing age spots. The skin's ability to regenerate and repair itself diminishes, making it easier for melanin to accumulate in certain areas. 

3. Genetics: 
Genetics can play a role in the development of age spots. If your parents or close relatives have a history of age spots, you may be more prone to getting them as well. 

4. Hormonal Changes: 
Hormonal fluctuations such as those during pregnancy or menopause, can trigger the appearance of age spots.

How to get rid of age spots?

Getting rid of your age spots can be quite difficult, however there are some approaches you can take to help reduce them. Here are some effective approaches to minimise their appearance (please bear in mind that some of these solutions can be invasive, so seek advice from your dermatologist where appropriate):

  1. Skincare Routine: 
    Adopt a skin care routine that specifically targets this concern by incorporating cleansers, serums, moisturisers and a sunscreen that can help to fade and reduce the appearance of  age spots overtime. This is one of the safest and easiest solutions to address skin concerns, and therefore our most recommended.

  2. Laser Therapy: 
    Laser treatments, such as intense pulsed light (IPL) or fractional laser therapy, can target and break down melanin in age spots, leading to a reduction in their appearance. These treatments are usually performed by dermatologists or trained professionals.

  3. Chemical Peels: 
    Chemical peels involve applying a chemical solution to the skin to remove the top layers, encouraging new skin growth and reducing the appearance of age spots. 

  4. Cryotherapy: 
    In this procedure, liquid nitrogen is applied to freeze and destroy the excess melanin in age spots, leading to their eventual fading.

  5. Microdermabrasion: 
    With this treatment, the upper layers of the skin are removed mechanically. This is done using fine crystals that are blasted onto the skin at high speed and then suctioned off again. As a result, deep discolorations are removed and the skin regenerates.

  6. Home Remedies: 
    Some natural remedies like Lemon juice, Aloe Vera, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Green Tea extract may help lighten age spots when applied topically. However, it's essential to use these remedies with caution and perform a patch test to avoid skin irritation.

    Before considering any invasive treatment (laser therapy, chemical peels, cryotherapy or microdermabrasion), consult a dermatologist to determine the most suitable approach for your skin type and the severity of your age spots. Remember, consistent sun protection is key to preventing new age spots from forming and maintaining overall skin health.

Reduce age spots

NIVEA Luminous630 Skincare Routine to reduce age spots:

Cleanse Routine:

Cleanse and Tone: Start your skincare routine with a thorough cleansing and toning process to remove dirt and impurities, preparing your skin to absorb the nourishing ingredients in your care routine.

man using NIVEA MEN Anti-Age 2 in 1 Power Serum

Care Routine:

Choose a serum that could help brighten your skin and fade dark spots, including age spots. Products like the NIVEA Cellular Luminous630 Anti-Spot 2-in-1 Anti-Age & Spot Serum contain Collagen boosting ingredients and Hyaluronic acid to pump the skin with moisture. It’s formulated to help target age spots, even out your skin tone and reduce wrinkles. Dermatologically approved, it is gentle to the skin and suitable for all skin types.

The NIVEA MEN Anti-Age 2 in 1 Power Serum also helps target signs of ageing. Formulated with Luminous630 and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate, combat wrinkles and reduce the appearance of age spots, it offers a convenient solution for men seeking effective anti-aging care.  

Day Cream:
A day cream provides essential moisture and hydration throughout the day, helping to restore the skin's natural barrier and shielding it from environmental aggressors like UV rays, pollution and other stressors that can contribute to the formation of age spots and other skin conditions. The NIVEA Cellular Luminous630 Anti-Dark Spot Day Cream is a lightweight moisturiser that not only provides intense moisture but also helps to reduce the appearance of age spots over time. Made with powerful Luminous630 technology, it’s suitable and effective for all skin types.

Night Cream:
At night, to support your skin's natural regeneration process while you sleep, consider using a night cream that contains ingredients that could help to reduce the appearance of age spots. The NIVEA Cellular Luminous630 Anti-Dark Spot Night Cream contains cell-activating Hyaluronic Acid that helps to rejuvenate your skin and contains Luminous630 to help reduce the appearance of age spots.

During the day, make sure to protect your skin from further sun damage and shield your skin from harmful UV rays by applying a sunscreen with a high SPF. The NIVEA SUN UV Face Specialist Dark Spot Control Fluid helps to prevent and visibly reduce sun-induced spots by protecting your delicate facial skin against UV rays. This light and non-greasy fluid formula enriched with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E offers a refreshing effect and a smooth skin feeling. It is also made with Luminous630 to visibly reduce sun-induced age spots within just 4 weeks.

Optional Weekly Mask Treatment:
Once a week you could also incorporate a brightening face mask into your routine. The NIVEA Q10 Power Anti-Age Brightening Mask helps to provide an extra boost of brightening. The serum-infused mask is enriched with dual action Coenzyme Q10 and acts as a powerful antioxidant to protect skin against aggressors. 
By incorporating NIVEA's Luminous skincare products into your routine, you could reduce your age spots and help prevent new spots from forming.

woman using a NIVEA Q10 Power Anti-Age Brightening Mask

How does Luminous630 help age spots?

women using Nivea Cellular Luminous630 products

After 10 years of research and testing, NIVEA has introduced a revolutionary solution to dark spot treatment through the patented ingredient, Luminous630, to help address melanin production at a cellular level. 

Luminous630 is NIVEA’s breakthrough patented ingredient that can help fade and prevent dark spots and age spots, developed by a team of skincare experts. Luminous630 acts as an ingredient to safely fade dark spots and help prevent future pigmentation.

The range is also enriched with effective ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, which can be found in the advanced treatment serum to brighten the skin. There is also a Collagen Booster infused in the anti-age and spot serum to fill deep wrinkles. 

How to get rid of age spots on hands

To minimise age spots on hands, you should apply sunscreen to the back of them. Regularly applying sunscreen can help prevent further development of the age spots caused by sun exposure.

The NIVEA Luminous 630 Anti Dark-Spot Advanced Hand Cream is a hand cream enriched with NIVEA’s break-through ingredient Luminous630 and Hyaluronic Acid to nourish dry hands. The cream contains SPF15 to help protect the hands against sun-induced darkening which could help with reducing the appearance of age spots. In addition, this hand cream reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How to prevent age spots?

Preventing age spots involves adopting protective measures to minimise exposure to harmful UV rays and taking good care of your skin. Here are some effective strategies to help prevent age spots:

Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Sunscreen creates a barrier that helps protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. 

woman standing in the sun

Seek Shade: 
Limit your time in direct sunlight, especially during peak hours when the sun's rays are strongest (usually between 10 am and 4 pm). Seek shade under trees, umbrellas, or wear protective clothing. 

Protective Clothing: 
Wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts and pants made from tightly woven fabrics to shield your skin from the sun. By adopting these preventive measures and making sun protection a priority, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing age spots and maintain healthier, youthful-looking skin over time.

Keep Hydrated:
Staying hydrated helps to maintain your skin's moisture barrier, which acts as a protective shield against external factors like UV radiation, pollution and free radicals. A strong moisture barrier can aid in preventing damage that can lead to age spots. To stay hydrated, it’s recommended to drink a minimum of 1.2 litres of water a day.

Age spot - Takeaway

Age spots are a common skin condition that many people encounter as they age. Age spots are natural and commonly appear on sun-exposed areas like the face, hands, and legs. Despite being a natural and harmless reaction of the skin, they can be a cause of concern for some individuals who wish to remove them. 

The good news is that you are able to prevent and treat age spots by applying sunscreen regularly and avoiding sunbeds to protect the skin from UV rays. There’s also various treatments available, including creams, serums, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, and home remedies.

While age spots are generally not dangerous, it's strongly advised to have any skin discolouration examined by a dermatologist to rule out serious skin conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Who is most likely to develop age spots?

Age spots can affect anyone, but they are more common in individuals over the age of 50. People with fair skin, who have spent a lot of time in the sun without adequate protection, are more susceptible to developing these spots.

Q2: Are age spots dangerous?

Age spots are generally harmless and do not pose a health risk. However, it's essential to monitor any changes in the appearance of the spots, as certain skin changes may require medical attention to rule out other conditions.

Q3: Can age spots be prevented?

While age spots cannot be entirely prevented, you can take measures to reduce their appearance. Regular use of sunscreen, protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak sun hours can help minimise the risk of developing new age spots.

Q4: Do over-the-counter products effectively treat age spots?

Over-the-counter products, such as brightening serums and creams containing ingredients like Luminous630, Niacinamide or Retinoids, can be effective in reducing the appearance of age spots. However, results may vary depending on the severity of the spots and individual skin types.

Q5: How long does it take for age spot treatments to work?

The timeline for visible results from age spot treatments varies from person to person. Some may notice improvements within a few weeks, while others may require several months of consistent use for significant changes. With NIVEA’s Luminous630 serums you’ll be able to see visible results in 2 weeks. Old age spots might take longer to fade.

Q6: Are there any home remedies for age spots?

When looking for how to remove age spots naturally some people may find that certain natural remedies, such as Lemon juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, or Aloe Vera, could help lighten age spots. However, these methods may not be as effective as clinically proven treatments, and caution should be exercised to avoid skin irritation if you’re looking to remove age spots with home remedies.

Q7: Can age spots be removed permanently?

Dark age spots can be lightened or diminished with various treatments, but complete permanent removal may not be possible. Maintaining a consistent skincare routine and protecting the skin from further sun damage can help prevent new spots from forming.