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How I’m Treating Age Spots On My hands

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:

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  • 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.

AMBI FADE CREAM  / DIFFEREIN DARK SPOT CORRECTING SERUM

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.

MAELOVE “THE GLOW MAKER” VITAMIN C  /  AMBI FADE CREAM / MDSOLARSCIENCES MINERAL CREAM SPF 50

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.

DIFFERIN DARK SPOT CORRECTING SERUM  JOSIE MARAN PRO-RETINOL BODY BUTTER

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 .

MDSOLARSCIENCES SOLAR STICK

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.

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55 Comments

  1. As an esthetician for many years I agree with these recommendations for preventing and fading sun damage.
    Just a word of caution on keeping the SPF in the car. Heat can break down the ingredients in an SPF so just be aware it may not be as effective if exposed to heat for a long time.
    I personally use fingerless cotton spf gloves for my hands.
    I keep them in the car and don’t find it difficult to slip them on every ride .

  2. Thank you, I ordered these products & have been following your regimen.
    I think I am starting to see a small fade of my spots on my hand which make me crazy by the way.
    Thank you, I LOVE posts like this!!!!!
    Ha, ha, so much might be my second comment.

  3. I apply sunscreen year round for decades and we have a very short “summery” season to garden. Yet still have aging!
    It is checked regularly by my dermatologist but haven’t addressed spots as you have. I also have thinning skin and enormous veins on hand tops – the 70s have brought many challenges. I’ll keep you posted on mohs.

  4. I tried creams but my spots kept getting worse. I had laser treatment and the results were excellent. I follow up with Gold Bond dark spot corrector cream and wear sunscreen everyday.

  5. Hi Jennifer. I just wanted to let you know that I have been subscribed to your blog for several years. About a week or more ago I was no longer receiving your emails. I checked my junk emails and they were not there. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog daily and so I re-subscribed. I just thought I would alert you since there is a possibility that this may have happened to others. I thought something possibly happened to keep you from posting so I googled you website and realized that I was just not receiving them.

  6. This is an extremely helpful, informative post. Thanks so much! I’m going to try some of your suggestions.

  7. I haven’t found any OTC options that work on fading sunspots thus far.
    You asked a while back about topics we would like to read and this is one of them. Thank you!
    Fashion and style are fun but health and self-care are becoming more and more important to me.

  8. This is a wonderful, informative post. I bought most all of the products you recommend and I can’t wait to try them. I’m hoping I’ll see a difference. I’ve had many sunspots on my hands for years. Too bad there’s nothing that fades veins! I have tried just regular foundation on them and it looks pretty good, but of course does not stay on all day and easily rubs off.

  9. I have used my Olay Night cream ( in the lavender jar ) also on my hands. When I do, it works pretty well.
    Problem is Ian not consistent. But when I do, the results are pretty good.

  10. I could write a book about age spots. I did try the laser treatments more than once and they did work but it was not lasting as the spot came back. I tired retinol creams and none to those worked. What has worked Musely body cream. It takes a while but it does work but requires maintenance. Musley also has a treatment for the face which I have used. I use the face treatment along with night cream. The face treatment took longer to see results. Some people see results very quickly which was not my case. It does work but you need to be consistent.

    1. Good information Mary! Question: what is Musely body cream and where do you buy it. I’m from Canada but hopefully I can buy it here or at least order it from the US. Thanks!

    1. Not only dark spots on my hands but white spots on my legs. I live in Mexico 6 mos of the year and although I slather sunscreen every 2 hours, the spots continue. Any help for those?

      1. I think those sound like the depigmenting spots I get. More sunscreen is all I can think of.

      2. Hi! The white spots are areas in which the pigment has left to clump in the dark age spots. My dermatologist told me that this happens when you abuse your pigment by dark tanning for years. He said nothing can be done, except for prevention.

  11. On another of your skin recommendations. The Tan-Luxe, The Butter, I ordered from HSN after reading and seeing how it looked on you. I was/am truly amazed how well and how fast it worked. Applied two days in a row on my legs only, it would of taken all summer playing golf and being outside to get even close to get this much tan. It has been 5 days and I’ve seen very little fading. I would recommend just use sparingly at first. Thank you for your recommendation.

    1. Glad you shared this. I, too, bought the Tax Luxe Butter and found it to work well, almost too well! After 2 days in a row of lotioning my legs as I normally do, the skin around my ankles were a little streaky and orange-y. So use sparingly and evenly!

      A side note on my purchase from HSN: I bought 2 bottles of the Tan Luxe Butter. HSN charged me $10 more for the second bottle. I would imagine that 2 bottles will be the only purchase I ever make from HSN😕

  12. I use tried and true Ponds which I feel is a wonderful moisturizer as well as a great fade cream. I have dark spots on my legs which bothers me more. Ponds does not work on those. Any suggestions??! Perhaps I will try these.

  13. What a thorough article and so informative! Your hands look great so what you’re doing is working. My husband and I both use Ambi and love it. And it is inexpensive. I don’t have many spots on my hands yet but at 67 I expect to wake up one morning to find them covered in “freckles”. I have been encouraged by your article and I will do better with using sunscreen on my hands. I’ll start by buying a stick to keep in the car for our trip to Florida next week. Thanks again for sharing such good information!

  14. Oops! I need to correct my opening statement. I should have said Hydroquinone cream has been pulled off the Over-the-Counter Market in the USA. Sorry! It is available by prescription now.

  15. I clicked on your link for Differin and they’ve replaced the hydroquinone with niacinamide. Do you think you will change your routine, or not use this product, with the “new & improved” version?

    1. Ambi one of several hydroquinone products FDA has required to be removed from the market. Probably should do some research before starting one of these. There are alternatives.

      1. Differing formula was changed so probably a good choice. Tried the epilator you recommended and while it did sting first time, I’m very happy with results.

      2. Next time you’ll hardly feel it because the hair will be so much softer!

  16. Fascinating post. My mother had spots as long as I can remember and she said it was from using birth control pills. Your hands look fabulous. I may try some of these products. Do you happen to know if there are any harmful ingredients?

    1. Apparently there are some risks associated with them. I know Porcelana has been sold for this for many years.

  17. FYI- Hydroquinone cream has been pulled off the market for sometime now in the USA precisely because it’s only supposed to be used for a short time. Many Dermatologists want to see it come back on the market but in a lighter percentage. Finding at all now is going to be difficult.
    I just watched Dr. Dray’s YouTube video last week( a board certified Dermatologist) talking about 12 brands still selling it over the counter but, the govt. is starting to crack down on those brands. Ambi is one of them. Here’s the link to her
    video about it.
    https://youtu.be/_rlmdQEu0pY

    I’ve been using Tretinoin at night. It’s slow going but the spots are fading, and I’m one of those ladies that bought and wear sunblock gloves. I need another pair. One for the house for grabbing for my walks and one to leave in my car. I bought the fingertopless ones rather than full finger ones. I find them very comfy and I can use my cell phone with ease.

    1. I did not know they’d been pulled off the market.I’ll continue using my Retin A to keep the fading going.

  18. I have been using this product I got on Amazon
    Retinol by Robanda Anti-Aging Hand Treatment │ Broad Spectrum SPF 15 + Retinol Cream to Repair Dry Skin, 2 pack Around $28 for the two,pack

    I use it in the morning and if going out I also use Elta MD 46

    I also use it on my hands before bed. I’ve been using for about a year and a half and can tell a difference. I practically have no spots now.

  19. I have been using the Maelove products for a few years. I’ve had great results plus you can’t beat the price point.

  20. I just had my 6 month body check w my dermatologist. (I had melanoma on my face 6 yrs ago that required surgery. Hence, every 6 months. )
    I had her freeze a spot on my right hand. Once that disappears I think I’ll try the products you recommended.
    Freezing hurts 🤬😖

  21. Thank you Jennifer for the great information.
    Will you please tell me about your watch ? I am looking for one with silver and gold tones and I like yours very much.

    1. This is a vintage Cartier my husband bought me about 40 years ago. Michelle brand makes a very similar one.

    2. This was a gift 40 years ago from my husband. Is a Cartier tank. Many brand make ones that look similar. Y

      1. Had to jump in here – I was the watch buyer for a high-end jewelry store for many years – this beautiful Cartier watch is the small Panther (Panthère de Cartier), not a Tank. That’s a different model. Both are wonderful! The Panther was introduced in the early 1980s. It’s stainless steel and 18k yellow gold, and came in one, two, and three rows of gold. I own it myself, in two rows! For a while, production stopped on the Panther (available in several sizes, by the way) and they could only be found on the second-hand market. But Cartier reintroduced them seven or eight years ago, and they’re as elegant as ever. Also available in all stainless steel.
        I have a few sunspots on my left hand – waiting for then to show up on my right – and will try these products. Even with the use of sunscreen on my hands for many years, I’ve still managed to get them. Maybe from damage when I was younger, before sunscreen…

  22. I had the sun spots on the back of my hands removed by laser, which was successful. I have had sun spots on my face removed this way as well, but am contemplating having a CO2 Fraxel Laser treatment done. This is more extensive (and expensive) but is supposed to remove fine lines and sun damage to the skin.

    1. Let me know how the Fraxel goes. My dermatologist is telling me it’s the only way to reduce the solar elastosis pitting on my chin but it scares me

      1. I am still weighing up about the fraxel (only because I am lazy), but I know a couple of women who had fraxel to their faces and the results were amazing.

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