Age spots have nothing to do with your age but are instead spots of discoloration that arise when your skin is damaged by the sun's ultraviolet rays. Likewise, scars can appear on people of any age and are signs of past surface damage. Reverse both these signs of damage with a lotion containing proven active ingredients that can help repair and restore your skin's natural health and beauty.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA, is widely used in both over-the-counter lotions and creams, as well as in prescription lotions for fading photodamage like age spots, writes skin care expert Paula Begoun, author of "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me." Columbia University's Health Services also recommends AHAs for the fading of scars. AHAs accelerate skin cell turnover to get rid of damaged skin and reveal newer, blemish-free cells.
Dermatologists typically view hydroquinone as the ideal active ingredient for fading skin blemishes and correcting uneven skin tone, whether it's caused by age spots or scars, according to Harvard Medical School. The school says you'll see positive results within six weeks. The chemical works by inhibiting skin pigment production.
Beta Hydroxy Acid
Beta hydroxy acid, typically noted as salicylic acid on lotion and cream ingredient labels, functions as a chemical exfoliant, according to Begoun. Over time, it sloughs off dead skin to fade existing skin discoloration or growths. Not only might it fade such blemishes, but it can also help reduce size and depth of wrinkles, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Silicone is common in lotions and serums, where it often appears as amodimethicone or phenyltrimethicone on the ingredient list. It can help flatten and lighten scars, reports Columbia University's Health Services, and can also make skin appear smoother to help hide other types of skin blemishes.
Retinol is often found in face lotions and is less common in body lotions. The University of Maryland Medical Center says it's extremely effective at repairing the skin. An important drawback is that it also makes skin more susceptible to damage from the sun's ultraviolet rays, which could make your age spots or scars darker. You must stay out of the sun while using lotions formulated with this ingredient to experience optimal fading of skin blemishes.
Onion extract, typically titled Allium cepa on lotion labels, works as an anti-inflammatory ingredient that may help lower the production of collagen that leads to scarring, according to Columbia University. It's often found in lotions specifically formulated for the fading and removal of scars. The university cautions that it may take several months before you see any effect.
- "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me"; Paula Begoun; 2003
- Harvard Medical School: Topical Treatment for Age Spots
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Skin Wrinkles and Blemishes
- Penn State Milton Hershey Medical Center: Aging Skin
- Columbia University: Embarrassing Scars
- IR_Stone/iStock/Getty Images