Most of us associate skin pigmentation with age, but it is not always the case. Sun spots are caused due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays.

They are flat patches that are usually darker in color than the rest of the skin. They are common on the face and the hands. Medically, they are called solar lentigines and are rarely associated with genetics. They are not harmful; but they are also not desirable because they leave your skin with a blotchy appearance.

Home Remedies from your Kitchen Cabinet

Lemon juice –
The mildly acidic lemon juice helps fade sun spots. To add, vitamin C contained in it is good for the overall health of the skin. It leaves the skin with a smooth texture and even tone.

Use a cotton ball to apply some freshly squeezed lemon juice onto the discolored spot. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse with cool water. For the best results, apply it daily for 2 months. If you suffer dry skin, the lemon juice might dry it out further. In this case, you can dilute it with water or honey or drop in some olive oil.

Red onion –
Red onion juice works like bleach helping to gradually lighten age spots. Simply slice a red onion and apply it to the affected area. Leave the juice on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with cold water. Do it once every day for about 2 months.

Buttermilk –
Buttermilk helps improve the appearance of facial spots by acting as an exfoliant. It contains lactic acid that sloughs off the dead skin layers of skin. Buttermilk is better suited for dry skin as its natural fat content moisturizes it. However, if your skin is oily or acne prone, you can add a few drops of lemon juice to it.

Apply buttermilk with a cotton ball directly onto the sun spots. Another recipe you can use is a mixture of 4 teaspoons of buttermilk and 2 teaspoons of tomato juice.

Green tea –
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and hence beneficial to skin health. Put a tea bag in a cup of hot boiling water for around 5 minutes. Squeeze the tea bag on a cotton ball and apply it to the sunspot. The green tea will gradually fade the age spots.

Aloe Vera –
Aloe Vera works wonders by repairing and rejuvenating the skin. The best to use is fresh Aloe Vera gel. Slice open a leaf, take the gel and apply it to the sun damaged area. It should be applied twice daily for about 30 minutes.

The treatment must be followed religiously for 2 months if you want noticeable results. In case fresh Aloe Vera gel is not available, you can use fresh aloe juice or a cream infused with the same.

Apple Cider Vinegar
You will find apple cider vinegar listed as a natural remedy for a range of health issues. It is one of the best ingredients if you are looking to erase those sun spots permanently.

Apple cider vinegar is too strong to use on the skin in its undiluted form; hence, it must be diluted with an equal amount of water. Do not leave it on your skin for too long or repeat the procedure too often. It could irritate the skin. As an alternative, you can mix the apple cider vinegar with orange juice or onion juice.

At the doctor’s office:

Chemical Peels –
Chemical peels reverse sun damage. It involves the use of chemical solutions to remove the top layers of skin and expose a new layer of skin. There are side effects to the procedure. It has to be done at a dermatologist’s clinic and only after a spot test.

Laser Resurfacing –
Laser resurfacing refinishes the skin by removing the damaged layers using laser light. Although very effective and a permanent solution, it is expensive and requires a lot of after-treatment care. It is recommended for severely damaged skin.

Vitamin E capsules
Vitamin E is a silver bullet for all your skin and hair troubles. For faster results cut open a Vitamin E capsule and gently massage the gel-like substance to the sun spots. Leave it overnight and wipe it with a wet cloth in the morning. You can do the same if your skin is scarred.

You can also use skin brightening serums containing hydroquinone and licorice extract as the chief ingredients.

What else to keep them away

Sun spots will continue to rear their ugly head if you move out in the sun without protection.

• Try as much as possible to avoid exposing the skin to direct sunlight.
• Shield your face with a scarf or wide brimmed hat.
• Slather a good sun block with at least 30SPF or higher and one with Zinc oxide.

As a precautionary measure, you should have the sun spots checked by your doctor, particularly if they are extremely dark and slightly raised. These could be moles and not sun spots.

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