Liver spots — who doesn't want them to vanish? Whether you call them by one of their other names — age spots, brown spots, or sun spots — those pigmented areas that crop up on your hands, face and neck as a result of sun exposure can make you look older than your years.
The best ways to get rid of them? Conquer liver spots once and for all — and make yourself look younger with these natural, at-home cures that won't cost a lot.
1. Fade them with carrot oil.
At least 85 percent of us can fade even large age spots by smoothing beta-carotene-rich carrot oil on our skin each evening. Carrot seed oil is rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids, that protect the skin from sun damage and delay signs of aging,? says New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD. Plus, they promote cells to turn over and regenerate, bringing healthy, radiant ones to the surface. One option: Leven Rose Organic Carrot Seed Oil ($13.97, Amazon.com).
2. Lighten the right way.
Hydroquinone is the gold standard for diminishing age spots, but it can be irritating. Combining it with gentler alternatives, such askojic acid, alpha-arbutin or vitamin C, not only reduces that risk, it actually amps up the effectiveness even further, says Manhattan dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. "All of these products work by decreasing the enlarged pigment cells or inhibiting an enzyme that triggers pigment production." One option: Skin Beauty Solutions' Skin Lightening Cream ($19.99, Amazon.com).
3. Get a bonus benefit with retinol.
Use dermatologist-favorite retinol to lighten dark spots by speeding skin cell turnover, and you'll smooth lines and soften wrinkles, too. Plus, if future age spots start to form, retinol will stop them from reaching their full maturity. "Retinol helps the skin shed cells that are already loaded with extra pigment," smoothing your complexion in the process by accelerating collagen production, confirms Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital., smoothing your complexion in the process by accelerating collagen production. One option: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer ($23.99, Walgreens.com). (Important: Never use retinol if pregnant or breastfeeding.)
4. Even out pigment with licorice.
Dab your skin with diluted all-natural licorice root extract twice daily and any age spots will start fading in as little as three weeks. "Licorice extract contains glabridin, a natural compound that helps to even out pigment and lighten brown spots," explains Dr. Jaliman. "It's slower than a prescription strength lightener, but gentler," adds Dr. Fusco. One option: Skin Power 10 Formula LI Effector with Licorice ($8.91, Amazon.com).
5. Rub away the years.
"Exfoliating cells loaded with pigment is a key component to brightening the your skin," says Dr. Zeichner, making exfoliating twice a week a great option for large areas of age spots. The best choices are chemical exfoliants, such as glycolic or salicylic acid, which gently lift away dead cells and make it easier for active ingredients to penetrate to deeper layers of your skin. Options include: glycolic-packed Fab Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($30, Amazon.com) or CeraVe Renewing SA Lotion from head to toe to exfoliate away hyper-pigmentation as you moisturize.