It's totally normal for women over 50 (and younger women who spend lots of time in the sun) to get age spots on their arms, face, hands, and shoulders. While they are harmless, that doesn't mean we have to like them. Luckily, a dark spot corrector can help brighten skin, even out complexions, and fade our pesky little friends.
Age Spot or Something Worse?
A new spot anywhere on your body can cause a fright (and it's never a bad idea to consult your doctor when one appears), but before your inner hypochondriac takes over be sure to check whether your mysterious spot looks like one of these three common age spots:
Cherry hemangiomas: Also called Campbell De Morgan spots or senile angiomas, cherry hemangiomas are small red bumps that can appear anywhere on the body. These red dots are usually no bigger than a pencil eraser and appear red due to an abnormally high concentration of blood vessels.
Lentigines: You've probably already heard of this type of age spot but under a different name — liver spots. Lentigines pop up on areas of skin that are often exposed to the sun and may not have a uniform shape. They're darkish in color and tend to increase in number as you get older.
Seborrheic keratoses: These spots are either flat or raised and may have a scaly texture like a wart (they are not warts, however). Seborrheic keratoses often appear in clusters and are dark in color.
If you're still unsure whether it's an age spot or something cancerous, refer to the ABCDEs of skin cancer: asymmetry (one half of your mole looks different from the other), borders (irregular borders may be a sign of skin cancer), colors (lesions shouldn't be more than one color, and darker hues are more of a cause for concern), diameter (melanomas are typically larger than a pencil eraser), evolving (changes in size, shape, or elevation as well as new symptoms like bleeding, crusting, or itching may signal skin cancer). Suspicious spots should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.
How to Get Rid of Dark Spots
When it comes to fading age spots, look for products that contain hydroquinone. This topical skin lightener has been used for decades to restrict the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme that plays a role in the creation of melanin. Dark spots, age spots, and hyperpigmentation are the result of an overproduction of melanin, so it makes sense that less tyrosinase means less melanin.
Hydroquinone is available over the counter in two percent concentrations, though you can get as high as four percent or even greater with a prescription. You may see results in as little as four weeks depending on your skin, but expect to wait eight to 12 weeks to see a visible difference in your complexion.
In addition to hydroquinone, azelaic acid, glycolic acid, kojic acid, retinoids, and vitamin C are all powerful skin-brightening ingredients, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists. And lucky for you, there's no prescription needed to use these products.
How to Choose the Best Dark Spot Corrector
Knowing your specific skin type will help you find the best dark spot corrector. Is your skin extremely sensitive? Is your hyperpigmentation years old? To help navigate the confusing world of age spot creams, serums, and oils, we've rounded up the best dark spot correctors on the market so you can make your decision with ease.
Keep scrolling to shop Woman's World's picks for the best dark spot correctors to fade age spots and hyperpigmentation.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.