Often incorrectly called age spots, these brown blemishes are not just age-related. A mere 10 per cent are due to ageing skin, while 60 per cent are the result of prolonged exposure to the sun with insufficient protection. Repeated sun exposure messes up both skin cell renewal and melanin production, and these age spots mean you've overdone it. Liver or age spots can appear as early as our twenties, but it's after 50 that they really kick in, with a 90 per cent greater chance of them appearing. No skin type, including darker skins, is spared and you don't even need to get sunburned for them to crop up.
As melanin production is affected by sunshine, there's only one sure way to prevent age spots: wear a sunscreen! Once you start to bare your skin, apply an SPF 50 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays ; once your skin's accustomed, you can gradually lower the SPF. Whether in winter or summer, in town, up a mountain or lazing on a beach, always make sure you use a sunscreen on your neckline and cleavage. Bear in mind that UV rays penetrate cloud cover, so make sure you're protected at all times. Finally, it's worth noting that sun exposure is often passive; when playing sports, gardening, or even sitting by a window.
Start by moisturising and soothing your skin as soon as you're out of the sun. You'll then be ready to attack any age spots. As for cosmetic treatments, you can apply a home-peeling lotion at night to diminish their appearance. You can also book in sessions with a dermatologist, who'll freeze affected zones using a technique called cryotherapy. After just one session, these dark blemishes could have lightened by up to 80 per cent. Professional skin peeling is another effective method: thanks to depigmentation agents in the mask, the applied substance will exfoliate the skin's surface and stimulate cell renewal; the upper layer of the epidermis is peeled away, revealing evenly toned, glowing skin.
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