Too much time in the sun over the years, even inadvertently, can lead to age spots. Like freckles, age spots are pockets of hyperpigmentation that manifest as flat brown spots. They are common on the hands, which see the most exposure to the sun in daily activities like driving. While it is important to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays with sunscreen on a daily basis, it is possible to minimize age spots naturally.
Citric acid is a natural lightener that gradually fades age spots. It is present in fruits such as berries and tomatoes, but lemons boast the highest content. For a daily treatment, dip a cotton ball in pure lemon juice and allow it to soak for 10 seconds. Pat the cotton ball onto your age spots and wait 10 to 15 minutes before washing your hands. If you treat the spots at night, leave the lemon juice on and wash it off in the morning.
Lactic acid evens skin tone by buffing away dead skin cells. It is most readily available in dairy products. Yogurt is rich and serves as an intensive lactic acid treatment. Combine it with honey to soothe skin. Measure 1 teaspoon of plain natural yogurt and 1 teaspoon of honey into a bowl. Use a mixer or spoon to blend them thoroughly until a paste is formed. Apply a thin layer to your age spots, and wait 20 minutes before rinsing. This treatment is also effective on acne scars and freckles and can be used daily. Milk can be massaged onto age spots daily for a quick treatment.
Aloe vera gel encourages cell turnover so that your skin sheds dark spots. Cut an aloe vera leaf in half and gently squeeze the gel onto the dark spots. Massage it in and allow it to absorb gradually throughout the day. Visit your local gardening center to purchase your own aloe vera plant for fresh gel daily that is free of preservatives. If you've been out in the sun, apply the gel to your skin straight away to prevent age spots from forming entirely.
Alpha-hydroxy acid does triple duty to exfoliate, even skin tone and condition. It is found in foods including papayas, pineapples and strawberries. Combine strawberries with cream for a spot-treating mask that suits all skin types. Wash and cut the stems off two strawberries and place them in a bowl. Use a fork to mash them completely. Pour 2 teaspoons of fresh cream into the bowl and mix them together to form a paste. Rinse your skin with warm water and smooth the mask over the age spots. Wait for five minutes and then rinse with warm water. Use a baby facecloth to wipe away any excess while gently exfoliating your skin.