If you find yourself examining your complexion in search of signs of aging, you may have noticed that you have age spots. Before you type “What are age spots?” into your search engine, allow us to explain. Age spots—also referred to as sun spots, liver spots, and lentiges—are flat, dark areas on the skin.I They can vary in size and shape, and are common in people of all skin types, regardless of race or gender. Age spots are caused by sun exposure and are most common in adults over 50.
When ultraviolet (UV) rays hit your skin, they speed up the production of melanin (the pigment that gives your skin its color), which can cause it to cluster and form areas of darker skin—also known as age spots. If you want to help reduce the appearance of age spots, the right skincare products and tips—along with an age spots treatment—can help manage spots on your face, hands, and other areas of your body. Below, find four tips to do just that.
Tip #1. Use a Dark Spot Corrector
Age spots aren’t necessarily reversible with product use, but their appearance can be faded over time with over-the-counter creams and lotions, depending on how dark the age spots are and how often you apply the product.Ⅱ Our number one recommendation for age spots is none other than a dark spot-correcting serum. Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution contains activated C, white birch, and peony extracts, and is clinically demonstrated to help correct dark spots and discolorations. Apply the dark spot corrector (a Kiehl’s best-seller) morning and night all over or as a spot treatment before moisturizer. You can use it to fade age spots on your hands, neck, and chest, in addition to those on your face. Follow up with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, such as Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+ to protect your skin from further visible sun damage.SHOP NOW
Tip #2. Brighten Up Your Complexion
Products that help boost skin’s radiance may not directly fade age spots, but they can help reduce their appearance by promoting an overall brighter complexion. Taking steps to brighten skin can also help it look healthier and more youthful in general. Below, find a few skincare products to help brighten your complexion and complement the rest of your age spot routine.
Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser: This skin-brightening face wash contains white birch and peony extract. The formula cleanses and purifies while gently exfoliating, leaving you with soft, smooth, and visibly brighter skin. Apply the cleanser to your fingertips and massage it onto your face with clean fingertips, working in circular motions. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Clearly Corrective Brightening & Soothing Treatment Water: To hydrate and soothe while helping to visibly even tone and brighten your complexion, use this lightweight treatment water formulated with licorice root, activated C, white birch extract, and illuminating minerals. Gently shake the bottle before saturating a cotton pad and gliding it over your face. This step fits into your routine after cleansing but before applying a serum or moisturizer.
Clearly Corrective Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment: All that’s left to complete your brightening routine is the right moisturizer. This formula contains activated C, white birch extract, and glycolic acid—an mild acid that helps exfoliate the skin to fade dark spots and discolorations.II In addition to giving your skin intense hydration, the moisturizer is clinically-demonstrated to help fade the appearance of skin discolorations and rough texture for improved skin clarity. Smooth it on as the last step in your routine (before sunscreen).SHOP NOW
Tip #3. Take Preventative Measures
We already mentioned that age spots are also referred to as sun spots, so you could probably see this tip coming from a mile away. Sunscreen may not reduce the appearance of age spots that have already formed, but it can help prevent further age spots from popping up.II Use broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days, to prevent sun damage that can result in age spots. You should also wear sun-protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses and take other protective measures, like minimizing your time in the sun during peak hours (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).III If you’re in need of a sunscreen recommendation, consider one of the following.
Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+: To kick your sun protection up a notch, consider this lightweight facial sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 50+. The formula helps protect skin from environmental aggressors, including UVA/UVB rays and pollution, which can contribute to the first signs of aging. It’s also suitable for all skin types and is non-comedogenic.
Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30: If you’d rather not add another step to your skincare routine, try a facial cream with SPF. This daily moisturizer is formulated with broad-spectrum SPF 30 to protect your skin against damaging UVA and UVB rays. Aside from sun protection, it has a lightweight, non-greasy formula that will leave your skin feeling soft, balanced, and comfortable. It’s also suitable for all skin types.
Apply either option as the last step in your skincare routine, making sure to apply the SPF as directed.
Kiehl's Expert Tip: Don’t use SPF as a spot treatment that you apply specifically on age spots—it should be applied all over to effectively protect your skin from the sun. This is true for everyone, regardless of whether they have age spots—it’s a non-negotiable healthy skin habit.SHOP NOW
Tip #4. Turn To The Pros
When in doubt, you can ask your dermatologist for alternate ways to reduce or even completely remove age spots. Treatments such as prescription creams, laser therapy, cryotherapy, and chemical peels can help improve the appearance of age spots.II Your dermatologist can help you determine the best option for you and your skin. A doctor can also help you determine whether any of your sun damage is a cause for concern. Remember, it’s recommended that everyone get yearly skin exams.
Next up: Age spots aren’t the only skin concern sun damage can lead to, which is why proper sun protection is vital. Head over to our article, Discover Kiehl’s Best Sunscreen for Your Skin Type, to find your sunscreen match.
I.Harvard Health Publishing. “5 skin spots you shouldn't worry about.” Harvard Medical School. 2019. https://www.health.harvard.edu/skin-and-hair/5-skin-spots-you-shouldnt-worry-about.
II.“How to get rid of age spots (or liver spots) and avoid more.” Cleveland Clinic. 2020. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/think-beauty-spots-arent-cute-heres/.
III.“Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin From the Sun.” United States Food and Drug Administration. 2019. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/understanding-over-counter-medicines/sunscreen-how-help-protect-your-skin-sun/#spf.