What Are Age Spots?
Age spots are simply the body producing too much melanin. Although they are more common in those over the age of 40, they can appear at any age in life. Age spots can show up as a number of colors, including brown, tan, grey, and black and will vary in size and shape. Although they can sometimes be mistaken for cancerous growths, these spots are harmless and don’t require any treatment if you don’t mind their presence.
Age spots don’t present with any other symptoms. They’re usually more common in people with light skin, but they can present in people of all skin colors. They’re usually flat, overall areas of increased pigmentation. They can range in size from freckle size to half an inch across and can be grouped together or stand alone.
Age spots are still not fully understood by the medical community and their exact causes are not known. There are many speculations that they are caused by excessive sun exposure, ultraviolet light, and/or the aging of the skin – hence the name, age spots. These speculations are also backed up by the fact that many times age spots appear on the face, neck, shoulders and arms which are areas that are usually exposed to the sun more often.
Age spots can also be brought about by certain procedures, injuries or diseases. Acne and eczema sometimes trigger the skin to produce more melanin which leads to the appearance of age spots. Procedures such as chemical peels and laser therapy can also be a trigger for the skin to produce more melanin.
Types of Age Spots
Age spots are also referred to sometimes as liver spots. Contrary to their name, liver spots have nothing to do with and are not caused by any diseases or illnesses of the liver. Since liver spots and age spots are the same thing, they both appear on the parts of the body that are usually exposed to the sun or get more interaction with ultraviolet lighting. Liver spots are also more common as a person ages.
Treating Age Spots With Essential Oils
Since age spots have no effect on health, there’s no immediate or necessary need to treat them. If though, the age spots are something you would rather not have or if they appear in areas you would rather not have them, treating age spots with essential oils is more gentle and natural on your skin. Essential oils will not have numerous adverse effects unlike most of the conventional treatments out there for age spots.
Essential oils can also have other benefits as well, other than treating your age spots. Some essential oils can be highly moisturizing to your skin or can help with skin wrinkles. There are many different oils that can help with age spots, all of them at varying degrees. Keep in mind that some people might be allergic to specific oils, so always test them on a small area first if you have not used them before.
Ways To Use Essential Oils For Treating Age Spots
• Direct Application: Essential oils can be applied directly with a Q-tip only to the age spots over a period of time to get the desired effect.
• Massage: Essential oils can be massaged with the hands into the skin area where there are age spots.
• Carrier Oils: Essential oils should always be mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or apricot oil.
Best Essential Oils For Age Spots
1. Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense is known to be very beneficial in diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but the essential oil also has anti-cancerous and anti-tumor properties which make it ideal for dealing with age spots. Since cancer is basically the overproduction of one type of cell in a specific area, and age spots are the overproduction of melanin in a fixed spot on the skin, frankincense works very well in diminishing their appearance. Frankincense is also anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious and is also great for use on moles, warts and skin problems in general.
2. Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood has many benefits and uses including being anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-viral and antiseptic as well as being an astringent among a few others. It’s anti-aging properties are the most beneficial to the skin. Sandalwood combats the damage caused by free radicals, that occurs when a person ages, by being high in antioxidants. Its astringent properties also make it ideal for skin use and it is used in many aftershaves and facial toners to tighten and soothe the skin.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is most known for its calming and soothing abilities, but the essential oil also has regenerative properties. These make it beneficial to apply to scars and age spots as well as any sunspots. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat numerous skin conditions, including sunburns and aggravated or dry skin. The essential oil is also antimicrobial and anti-fungal.
4. Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum is a lesser known essential oil, but it has many healing and regenerative properties and has been used for a long time in Mediterranean medicine. It is very effective against acne and skin inflammation and due to its regenerative properties it can be used on age spots. The essential oil is also used to lessen the signs of aging and against the formation of skin cancer from ultraviolet light. Age spots can also be formed by exposure to sun or ultraviolet light, so helichrysum oil will work well on them.
5. Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed oil has many beneficial properties for the body and skin, including being antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic, and a stimulant to new cells and tissues. Being a stimulant, it can help with regenerating the skin and helping with the fading of scars or age spots. Its antioxidant properties are also great for the diminishing of age spots and the anti-carcinogenic properties means that it will help in dispersing/reversing the cells that are being overproduced — such as melanin cells in age spots.
6. Geranium Seed Oil
Geranium essential oil is beneficial to the skin in many ways — it helps to balance the production of sebum in the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, tightening the skin, and keeping skin elastic. All of these properties means that geranium oil is particularly helpful in dealing with and diminishing the appearance of age spots. Even better, geranium oil has been shown to help improve circulation in the areas that it’s applied to, which might help in breaking down the extra melanin in a certain area.
7. Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh is an overall powerhouse when it comes to benefiting the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties, helps to tighten skin and improve its elasticity, and also improves skin tone. This makes it ideal to help with age spots and with ageing skin in general. Since it is also helpful in dealing with sun rashes and sun damage, which age spots are sometimes caused by, its potential for dealing with age spots is almost unlimited.
8. Neroli Essential Oil
Neroli oil, which comes from a citrus fruit, has a natural ingredient called citral which aids the skin in regenerative processes. It is not only good to use on ageing skin but also for sensitive or oily skin types. It also has the potential to improve sagging skin and fine lines. Neroli oil is also antibacterial which aids in shrinking the pores and stabilizing the production of sebum. All of these qualities are beneficial to the treatment of age spots.
9. Patchouli Essential Oil
The essential oil patchouli is extracted through the method of steam distillation from the leaves of the patchouli plant. This potent essential oil has many uses, but the properties that are beneficial to the treatment of age spots are its antibacterial, anti-fungal, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these aid the skin when it starts to age. Since age spots appear with age and their cause is relatively unknown, any essential oil that aids the skin during this time can be beneficial in the treatment of and maybe even prevention of age spots.
10. Rose Essential Oil
The rose has many qualities, but the essential oil derived from this beautiful flower has many more benefits than most would think. Rose essential oils have astringent properties, reduces the appearance of scars, boils, or acne, and is one of the best oils to use for fresh and youthful skin. All of these properties are beneficial in dealing with age spots since the oil helps to keep the skin in top condition. Applying rose essential oil directly to age spots will decrease the appearance of the age spots.
11. Tea Tree Essential Oil
The skin benefits of this essential oil are well known and it is widely used even in conventional beauty products for this reason. The oil is very effective in helping the skin through the aging process, of which age spots are a symptom of. The main way the tea tree oil does this is by regulating the production of sebum in the skin’s layer, and in doing so, can be used with great success in the treatment of age spots.
12. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
The ylang ylang essential oil is steam distilled from the flowers of the ylang ylang tree, which grows in the rainforests of Asia and the South Pacific islands. This essential oil is also used in medicines and perfumes and the benefits for skin are numerous. The oil is effective in regulating sebum and may also help in skin cell regeneration. These properties mean that it can be used to treat age spots and to help prevent them from forming in aging skin.
13. Argan Essential Oil
Argan essential oil is almost eighty percent fatty acids, which means that it is a great oil to use on dry, aging skin. The high percentage of fatty acids also means that the oil is wonderful for helping to restore elasticity to the skin and fading wrinkles and fine lines which are signs of aging. Since age spots usually appear with age, using argan essential oil to stay the process and keep the skin in peak condition will also help with the onset of age spots.
14. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil has a whole host of benefits and uses for the body. It is one of the more common essential oils, and usually easily found even in general stores. When it comes to helping the skin, there are many ways to use lemon oil. One of the best ways to use it is to apply it directly to the age spots, as lemon oil has a lightening effect on the skin and will help to fade the appearance of the age spots. The oil can also be used as an anti-aging product — exfoliating the skin with a product that incorporates lemon oil will keep the skin looking healthy and glowing and stay the signs of aging, of which age spots are one.
15. Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress oil is extracted from the needles, young twigs, and stems of the cypress tree and has many wonderful properties. The most relevant ones for age spots are its astringent and wound-healing properties. Being an astringent, it helps to tighten the skin and keep it firm which begins to sag and show signs of aging with time. Its wound-healing properties are best used for improving the circulation of blood flow and minimizing the appearance of skin imperfections, such as age spots, on the skin.
Other Natural Remedies For Treating Age Spots
Age spots differ in everyone, and since there’s still no concrete evidence on what causes them, it doesn’t hurt to try other natural remedies to diminish their appearance. Along with essential oils, there are a number of other natural alternatives that have no side effects and have been shown to help fade age spots. Below are a few of them.
• Increase the amount of antioxidants in your diet
Antioxidants are the body’s best defense when it comes to aging. Increasing the amount of food that you eat containing antioxidants is one way to make sure that your body comes into contact with enough of them to make a difference and help slow the signs of aging. Choose foods that are high in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E.
• Apple Cider Vinegar
The high amount of acid in the apple cider vinegar makes it an excellent choice for a natural exfoliant. Dab some on directly on the age spots and leave it on overnight, or if it stings too much, wipe off after thirty minutes.
• Lemon juice
Just like the essential oil, the juice of the lemon can be just as effective in dealing with age spots. It is also an exfoliant and acts as a lightening treatment for age spots. Apply it directly to the area of the skin that is affected with age spots.
The lactic acid in the product lightens and exfoliates skin. Applying the yogurt in a thin layer on the skin, as a mask, and leaving it on for 20 to 30 minutes at a time can help to diminish age spots and improve the appearance of aging skin.
• Raw fruit
Some raw fruit such as papaya or pineapple contain certain enzymes that can help to accelerate the exfoliation of skin when used over a period of time. The fruit pulp can be applied directly to the skin, where there are signs of age spots, with a cotton ball.
We have no choice when it comes to our bodies aging, but we can decide how to take care of them and keep ourselves looking out best. Natural remedies to reverse or fade one of those signs of aging are your best bet when it comes to age spots. Not only do they not have side effects, like other conventional products, but they are also very effective in dealing with age spots. Try these natural remedies first before turning to conventional products for help with the age spots on your skin.