For most people, age spots are an inevitable part of getting old. However, for some they can be frustrating, embarrassing and even disfiguring. Expensive cosmetic surgery and chemical peels can make age spots disappear, but for those interested in a cheaper and natural approach to fading age spots, lemons are the way to turn.
Age spots, also called liver spots, are dark grey, brown or black spots in the skin due to an excess of melanin, a darker pigment produced to protect the skin. Age spots are harmless and typically show up on the face, hands, shoulders and arms, especially in people older than 40, according to the Mayo Clinic. A propensity toward age spots can be inherited, but typically the spots are caused by sun exposure; ultraviolet light increases the production of melanin. Age spots occur when the melanin clumps together, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In addition to being a flavor enhancer, lemons are known for their antibiotic and antioxidant effects, according to WHFoods.com. The vitamin C in lemons helps neutralize free radicals throughout the body, which can damage healthy cells, cause inflammation and pain. Lemons can also help improve the immune system. Lemons have a tart, acidic taste and are a fleshy fruit encased in a thick yellow peel.
Lemon juice acts as a natural bleaching agent, according to HomeRemediesForYou.com. Because of the acidity in the juice, it's effective at fading blemishes and age spots, and evening out skin tone. The bleaching won't be immediate, but over time it can create a noticeable difference in the skin's tone, according to HomeRemediesForYou.com.
To maximize the bleaching effects of lemon juice and get rid of age spots, apply fresh lemon juice all over the face twice daily, according to Health911.com. Once the juice has dried, use an oil-free moisturizer to hydrate the skin.
Lemon juice can be extremely drying, according to Health911.com. If you have sensitive skin, apply the juice just once daily. Never to go out in direct sunlight after applying lemon juice to your skin; the reaction between lemon juice and sunlight can actually cause age spots to darken.