Everyone knows that aging causes lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. You may not realize, however, just how aging the dark spots, called age spots, can be. By using sunscreen wisely and adding treatments that can undo the damage you’ve done in the past, you can minimize and prevent age spots today.
Know Your Sunscreen
Skin protection starts with sunscreen, and the most important factor in choosing a sunscreen is knowing its SPF, or skin protection factor. A sunscreen’s SPF is a measurement of the percentage of the sun’s rays that make it past the protective barrier and onto your skin. For example, if you’re wearing a lotion that is SPF 20, one-twentieth of the sun’s damaging rays will reach your skin. Choose sunscreen with a high SPF, and make sure it blocks both type of UV rays. UVA rays cause most of the visible signs of aging, including wrinkles and age spots, while UVB rays cause painful sunburns. Protect yourself against both with a full spectrum sun block.
Apply Sunscreen Correctly
Start by putting on your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you leave the house. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using approximately 1 full ounce of sunscreen to cover the exposed parts of your body. Sunscreen decays upon contact with the sun, so you also need to reapply it regularly, especially if you get wet. Pat the sunscreen or sunblock onto your skin gently, so that it forms a good layer of defense against the sun. Good sunscreen use is the best way to prevent age spots and to keep any you’ve already gotten from getting darker and more noticeable.
Undo Earlier Damage
There are a few options for fixing the damage that the sun has done to your face. Ingredients like Vitamin C or Vitamin A have been shown to repair damaged skin and reduce some signs of aging. For age spots specifically, consider using a hydroquinone face cream on affected areas, although a non-hydroquinone cream like Skin Enhancer by Dermesse may prove less irritating to already damaged skin. Regular moisturizing will make your skin tone appear smoother and more even.
Protect yourself from the sun now and your future self will be grateful. Almost all preventable signs of aging are caused or increased by sun damage, and though age spots can be reduced, it’s better to prevent them.