Oh Those Dreaded Spots

Remember “liver” spots – that’s what our grandmothers used to call those little dark spots that seem to appear on our skin as we age. While they have nothing to do with your liver, other than they may be a similar color, they are an unsightly nuisance we could well live without. It’s too bad our grandmothers didn’t know that those dark spots were most often the result of sun damage. Yes they come with age, but that is probably due not so much to the aging process, as it is to the amount of sun exposure we encounter over the years.

Now that we do know that those dark spots are caused by the sun, we can’t emphasize enough just how important it is to use sunscreen, not just on sunny days but every day, summer and winter. The sun’s harmful rays are at work even when it’s cloudy. Many of us are careful during the hot and sunny summer months, but become much more complacent during the winter. And if you live in a northern climate where it snows, those rays bounce off the snow and become even more intense. It is important to choose a sunscreen that blocks both the harmful UVA and UVB rays, and that has a rating of at least SPF 30.

You can also limit your exposure to the sun, especially between the hours of 10:00 in the morning and 2:00 in the afternoon when the rays are at their strongest. And don’t forget to wear a wide brimmed hat for further protection. Though many of us don’t like wearing hats, there actually are some pretty fashionable ones available, and just think of the protection they offer.

Even with conscientious care, many of us will still get dark spots as we age. Genetics may play a role in this as some of us are far more prone to them than others. Skin bleaching has been a quest people have pursued for years. The good news is that you don’t just have to live with dark spots—you can fight back. Some people swear by lemon juice. Others believe that the topical application of milk reduces the dark spots. There are over the counter creams that can help diminish those unsightly dark spots. Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Skin Brightener is an especially effective topical cream that contains no harmful ingredients.

Beware of the many over the counter skin bleaching products. Most of these products contain bleach which for some people can be very irritating, especially when used on the face. Even more concerning are products that contain hydroquinone. This is a dangerous product that may even lead to cancer. The health risks associated with this ingredient make it one you should completely avoid. Instead look for products that contain Alpha Arbutin, a newer and much safer skin bleaching agent.

We may not be able to achieve perfection, or even the skin we enjoyed in our youth, but with careful monitoring of sun exposure and the use of newer safer skin bleaching products, we should be able to achieve more even skin.