Little reddish marks or brown spots on the skin that occur due to regular exposure to the sun are called sunspots. Sunspots can be lighter or darker than your natural skin tone. Due to prolonged and regular exposure to the sun, these spots appear on the skin and predominantly on cheeks, nose, forehead, neck, ears, back of hands, arms or upper lip area. Sunspots look similar to freckles, but the latter happens to those with fair skin and usually on the face.
As said above, long exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays or artificial sources of UV rays causes sunspots. It can happen to anybody of any age. However, people with lighter skin tone are more likely to develop sun spots and are of course more visible. If your skin is allergic to sunlight or is sensitive, chances of sunspots due to sun exposure become more dominant.
Indian skin is blessed with a fair amount of melanin which protects us from such conditions. But there are rare cases when an increased amount of melanin aids in the development of sun spots or dark spots. These spots make you look older than your age and also cause skin’s premature aging.
Here is how you can prevent sun spots
-Limit your exposure to the sun. Cover your arms, hands, face, neck shoulders to prevent UV damage.
-Protect with cap, hat, and umbrella. Avoid going outdoors between 10 am and 5 pm when the Sun has the highest UV radiation and cause maximum harm.
-Use sunscreen with SPF30 and above. Check for the formula PA++ and UVA & UVB on the sunscreen bottles. PA is the protection grade. More the number of + means higher protection. UVA rays cause skin aging, permanent in nature, or even skin cancer and UVB cause sunburn. A pack mentioning UVA UVB means it protects against both. Apply 20 minutes before stepping out. Don’t just rely on cosmetics or foundations with SPF, since they alone cannot protect you from sun damage.
Here are ways to remove sun spots naturally
1. Lemon Juice
Rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and skin lightening ingredients, lemon juice lightens the dark spots, gets rich of dead skin cells and regenerates new skin cells. Rub a thin slice of lemon or dab lemon juice on face directly. This will lighten the spots. However, if your skin feels irritated, you can mix lemon juice with water or rose water to reduce the burning effect. Never go out in sun with lemon juice applied on face, since your skin turns extra sensitive with the application of lemon.
2. Green Tea
A powerhouse of antioxidants and healing properties, green tea works wonders for suntan or sunspots. Soak a green tea bag or loose tea in boiling water for some time. Let the water cool. Squeeze the tea bag on a cotton pad or dip the pad in tea water and rub on the sunspots twice a day.
3. Aloe Vera
Many sunscreens have aloe vera gel in the formula since it helps soothe the skin and treat sunburns or itching. The aloe juice naturally heals sun damage. If you have an aloe plant at home, you can apply the gel directly on sunspots. You may also apply aloe-based cream on the affected parts of the skin. The sunspots would fade away slowly within two months.
4. Milk or buttermilk
Both contain lactic acid that helps in treating the spots and discolorations of skin besides skin lightening. Apply on face directly for 15-20 minutes and wash with water. This will relax your skin and also get an even tone with faded spots.
5. Apple cider vinegar
This is a superb agent full of alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA), which works wonderfully to lighten age spots and sun spots. Hence many anti-aging creams have AHA in their ingredients. Add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice and apply with a cotton ball on face and neck. Leave it overnight. Do this for 5-6 weeks to see a noticeable difference. It is okay for the skin to get a little tingling or burning sensation initially. You can dilute with water if you feel itchy.
6. Besan or gram flour
From our granny’s beauty secrets, gram flour has proved to be very effective in skin care regimen. It exfoliates skin, reduces dark complexion and cures the spots. All you need to do is make a paste of gram flour, a pinch of turmeric and 1 teaspoon milk. Apply the paste on face and rinse with cool water after 15 minutes.
These natural ways would definitely help you get rid of sunspots. There is nothing better than using ingredients easily available at home. They are pocket-friendly and safe which can treat your skin gently without harming. Use these to reduce sun spots and tell us if they worked.