Because I’m a blogger, I have a ton of photos of myself. That means I see more than I like of my dark spots, scars, random red marks, and sun damage. I was editing a close-up photo of my hands a few months ago and was shocked to see how many age spots I had. I decided they needed to go, so today I’m sharing what I’m using to get rid of age spots on the back of my hands.
Age spots are nothing more than solar lentigo which is caused by sun exposure and sun damage. They increase with age because it accumulates with the amount of time you spend in the sun. Most of my damage was done in my younger, naive years but even now, I suspect the sun is causing damage.
If you have a lot of age spots like I did, be sure you get them checked by your dermatologist to rule out skin cancer.
Here are several popular ways to get rid of old age spots:
- Cryotherapy is when the dermatologist freezes them off with a blast of liquid nitrogen which destroys the extra pigment. I often lose pigment and get a white spot from this treatment so I reserve it for suspected precancerous spots she has to remove.
- A chemical peel removes the top layer of the skin but carries the risk of scarring and pigmentation issues…something they suggest I avoid because I depigment easily.
- Dermabrasion basically “sands down” the area with a wire brush and new skin has to grow back. This has downtime, possibly scabbing, swelling, and for me, depigmenting.
- Laser and IPL (intense pulse light) typically require several sessions and work by destroying the melanin-producing cells. I had a lot of downtime with a laser we tried for spots on my face last year and I was swollen for a solid week.
- Microdermabrasion takes a series of procedures to see results and they’re usually subtle and temporary.
- Kojic acid is made from several different types of fungi which inhibits the formation of the tyrosine that’s needed to produce melanin. It’s been shown to lighten age spots but it takes a long time and doesn’t always work.
- Hydroquinone cream bleaches your skin by decreasing the number of melanocytes present. Used alone or with retinoids (tretinoin) it gradually fades the spots with no downtime. Hydroquinone is not recommended for darker skin tones and can cause irritation so you need to do a patch test and ask your dermatologist if it’s right for your skin.
I opted for the hydroquinone option and headed out to Target. I came home with two products I’m having great success with.
The Ambi has sunscreen included so it makes sense to use that one during the day. I don’t want to wear sunscreen while I sleep so I got the Differin.
I apply my Vitamin C serum to the back of my hands, just like I do for my face and neck. I love the Maelove C because it’s very highly rated and affordable enough for me to feel comfortable applying it to the backs of my hands and forearms. I use topical Vitamin C because it’s an antioxidant that fights free radicals and helps protect our skin from ultraviolet rays.
Then I apply a small amount of this Ambi fade cream and let it dry. It has a built-in sunscreen, but that’s not nearly enough protection for me so I follow up with a healthy slather of this MDSolarSciences SPF 50 broad-spectrum sunscreen.
In the evening, I apply the Differin Serum and let it soak in. After that’s totally dry, I slather my hands and forearms with this pro-retinol body butter.
You should only use Hydroquinone cream for 4 months at a stretch. Then the trick is to prevent them from coming back and the name of that game is vigilant protection from the sun.
I see some women wearing cotton gloves with UPF to drive, but that seems cumbersome to me so I keep this sunblock stick in the car. Every time I look down and see UV rays pummeling my hands on the steering wheel, I swipe this stick on .
I now own 2 of these solar sticks. One lives in my handbag and one lives in my car. Windshields are usually coated with a filter to block some rays, but seeing the sun just beat down as I hold the steering wheel feels like I’m damaging my skin so I reach for this stick often. It’s not sticky or white going on so I use it a lot.
Have you tried to get rid of the age spots on your hands? Please share what you’ve tried.
Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.