As we age and mature, so does our skin. The way we take care of our skin at 18 should not be the same way we do it when we are older. Adapting to the changes is part of the process of aging gracefully, and remaining open, and flexible to changing our skin care routines is a big part of that process. Skin care for aging skin may revolve around noticing the shifts in pigmentation, or dark spots, that occur, or how your skin reacts to the elements in a more immediate way. Seeking a natural skin care routine can help improve the skin’s look and feel, and help you keep your inner glow for lasting wellness.
What Are Age Spots, and What Causes Them?
Age spots, “liver spots”, or “sun spots”, are all names given to those flat brown-toned freckle-like spots or patches that happen on our skin as it ages.
What are they, how do they form, and what can we do to help prevent them from coming in the first place? Age spots also called “lentigines”, are concentrations of the brown pigment that all of us have in our skin, called lipofuscin. Related to melanin, the substance that gives our skin its pigment, this type of pigment is localized in a specific area of the skin causing it to clump together and give the discolorations in our skin color.
Who is At Risk for Age Spots?
- All ethnic groups around the world can get these discolorations, which can range in many shades of brown to black and even grey, but they are more prevalent in those with lighter skin tones.
- People over age 35-40 may start to see them. People over 50 will definitely see them! This is why skin care for aging skin is important to learn about!
- Genetics – If your parents had them, there’s a good chance you will!
- People with a sun-loving history. If you have spent a great amount of time outdoors in the sun, even with sunscreen on, you may be at risk. Studies show that most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, or forget to reapply. Tanning beds are just as bad.
- Hormone imbalances may play a part as well. As we age, our production of many hormones slows down, but estrogen sometimes does not. Elevated estrogen not only increases our risk of cancer but its also responsible for regulating melanin production. It also causes us to lose elasticity in our skin, and this may add to age spots.
What Age Spots Are, and What They Are Not: What to Do
If you have a natural skin care routine in place, you’re likely spending a little extra time in front of the mirror. The first thing you should do if you notice any unique changes in any part of your skin, is to see your doctor. If the doctor tells you that it is an age spot, then they will also tell you that age spots do not require medical attention. They may recommend a dermatologist for additional clarification or testing, but often times there is not much that they will suggest that you do, apart from staying out of the sun.
What you do not want to do is assume that any lesion on your skin is merely an age spot. If you see any changes in skin, especially those that may be raised in appearance, you should schedule a doctor for their opinion. There are early types of cancer that may appear similar to age spots, and you want to get a doctors opinion to ensure that it is not cancerous.
Common areas to first see age spots are on the areas of skin more likely to have seen more sun. These include the upper chest, face, neck, hands, and arms.
How are age spots treated?
Doctors sometimes will prescribe creams to be applied topically. These may include very harsh ingredients including bleach, hydroquinone, and retinoids like tretinoin. These take months to work and may be too strong for some people to use.
A dermatologist may suggest a medical procedure that can remove or reduce the size or color of the age spot. These may include laser or light wave treatments, chemical peels that remove the outer layer of skin, or cryosurgery. Cryosurgery is a process which freezes individual spots with liquid nitrogen.
Non-Medical, Natural Skin Care Routines for Aging Skin
There are many schools of thought that do not include invasive medical treatment. The first and most obvious is diet. Many factors come into why we get age spots in the first place. As noted above, genetics does play a part. Just because our parents have age spots does not mean that we are destined, however.
First of all, scientists have studied age spots more now, and understand that we need to take preventative care prior to age spots appearing! Just as any light skin toned person knows, if your family has a history of freckles or burning quickly, then you absolutely need to wear sunscreen and a hat when you are in the sun. It’s no difference for age spot prevention. Do not skip putting sunscreen on your hands when you are out of the house! Wearing sunscreen is probably the best prevention for the formation of age spots.
A diet rich in antioxidants, and enjoying a natural skin care routine using antioxidant-rich products, are two ways that you can help yourself before you are old enough for age spots. There may also be added benefits to a clean diet and being selective about what you put on your skin.
Eating foods rich in antioxidants from natural food sources like fruits and vegetables is healthy for all of us. If you believe that you are not getting enough antioxidants like vitamins C, E, A and selenium, please look into a supplement. Fun fact: One Brazil nut a day has enough selenium to help brain function as well as improve the overall health of the skin.
Vitamins for the skin are very popular right now. Vitamin C is hands down the winner in the antioxidant race and in skin care for aging skin, in particular. Many creams on the market contain vitamin C, but it is important to know how to use them. Creams that have vitamin C may be using an inexpensive or less effective form of the vitamin, or they may not contain enough of it to be effective.
Remember that vitamin C can cause photoaging when exposed to sunlight. Use your vitamin C at night, and wear sunscreen during the day. Ayr Skin Care uses the highest quality vitamin C in our Restore Replenishing Night Cream. Combined with a rich supply of antioxidants, vitamin C, and peptides, this cream works hard to feed the skin while you slumber.
Certain organic ingredients are at the forefront of natural skin care. Ingredients like licorice root, kojic acid, and alpha-arbutin have been used in the skin care market. Ayr Skin Care uses a wonderful new ingredient, organic mulberry root extract, which is a natural organic alternative to hydroquinone in helping with uneven skin tone. Rich in vitamin C, we are in love with all of the benefits of this ingredient when it comes to natural skin care routines. Over time, organic mulberry root extract helps reduce the appearance of age spots and skin discoloration. For premium skin care for aging skin, we use it in our Pure Moisture daily facial moisturizer, as well as our Tranquility Hand Cream. Our hand cream is closer in appearance to a hand treatment or body butter, rich with organic oils, butters, and enhanced with the organic mulberry root extract.
Our suggestion is to always monitor any changes in color or texture or appearance of your skin. You will understand your body more than anyone else, will be the first to notice any changes, and now you have more insights about what age spots are and how to deal with them. In the meantime, you can use our simple suggestions of eating a diet rich in antioxidants, incorporating our day cream, night cream and hand cream in your natural skin care routine, and use sunscreen on your exposed skin every day.
Take care of yourself from the inside out first, and pamper your skin for a lifetime to thank it for all the hard work it does for you!
If you have any questions or comments, we would be happy to answer you personally! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.