How to Avoid Dark Spots on the Face

by Eric Mohrman ; Updated July 18, 2017

Woman wearing sunglasses and a hat on a boat

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Areas of darker pigmentation appear on skin that has been damaged over the years by ultraviolet radiation exposure. This makes the face, hands, arms, legs and shoulders most susceptible. These dark spots, otherwise known as solar lentigines, liver spots, sun spots and age spots, are a typical part of the skin's aging process. The only way to avoid developing these dark spots is to actively protect your face from ultraviolet radiation exposure over the course of your life.

Put on a wide-brimmed hat when you go outside during daylight hours. Choose a hat that wraps all the way around so that it shades the back of your neck in addition to your face. Or wear one with only a brim in the front for some protection.

Wear large sunglasses that filter out ultraviolet radiation while outdoors during the daytime to protect the think skin around the eyes.

Apply a generous layer of sunblock to your face 20 to 30 minutes before going out during the day. Choose a product with an SPF of 15 or greater and broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.

Re-apply sunblock every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Do so regardless of how long the product claims to provide protection and even if it is labeled waterproof or water-resistant.

Put up a beach umbrella to shield your face when at the beach or sitting outdoors for an extended period of time.


  • Hats made from tightly woven fabrics are most effective at protecting the face from the sun, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Avoid straw hats and others with holes.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Eric Mohrman is a food and drink, travel, and lifestyle writer. He contributes to numerous print and web publications, and spent about 10 years working front- and back-of-house in restaurants. He lives in Orlando, Florida.