What are Age Spots? 

Age spots are brown spots on the skin caused by sun damage. They are also commonly referred to as freckles, sun spots or liver spots (although they have nothing to do with the liver). The sun damages the melanocytes, cells in the epidermis that produce a pigment called melanin. About one in twenty cells in the epidermis are melanocytes. This pigment is transferred to the cells and protects the skin from the sun. When we are exposed to the sun, melanin reacts to the heat created by the body and disperses it through the skin. The process causes an increase in pigmentation, which is why we become tanned by exposure to the sun.  With aging and a history of sun exposure, the melanin may be dispersed unevenly across the skin appearing as random spots or blemishes. These are “age spots”. Dermatologists call them solar lentigos.

The causes: 

The sun causes age spots. As we age, age spots appear over time as a result of over-exposure to the sun. Dark skinned people are far better equipped to withstand the effects of sun. Light-skinned people are far more likely to develop abnormal pigmentation or age spots. A tanned skin is not a healthy skin.  A tan is simply the body’s way of telling us that the skin has been exposed excessively to the sun, and provides some protection against further damage.

Prevention: 

The best way to prevent age spots is to limit exposure to the sun. The usual sun protection methods apply: Avoid spending time in the sun, use high SPF sunscreen and wear protective clothing. As with all skin health prescriptions, a healthy diet, exercise and plenty of water assists in the prevention of age spots. Foods that are rich in antioxidantsprevent free radical damage and cellular inflammation. Examples are colourful vegetables, nuts and healthy fats. Water helps keep the skin hydrated and exercise increases blood flow to the cells, eliminating toxins and delivering nutrients.

Natural skincare and age spots:

There are various forms of treatment for blemishes. These include mechanical methods such as laser treatment, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and intense light pulse therapy. Although these methods are effective they are expensive and may have unwanted side effects such as inflammation to the skin and a long recovery time. There are also several pharmaceutical creams that are effective, but these may contain preservatives or other chemicals that cause allergies or are suspected of being carcinogenic. 

Natural organic skincare has a definite place in the treatment of age spots. If there is one natural ingredient you should look out for, it is Shea butter. Shea butter has a remarkable healing fraction, and is effective for scars wrinkles, stretch marks and age spots. It is important to find the right Shea butter (there are various watered down forms on the market). A pure organic grade cold pressed Shea Butter should be sought. High quality Shea butter has been effective in reducing age spots in numerous cases. Moreover Shea butter has a natural SPF and in the African culture has been used for centuries to protect the skin from sun and wind damage.

reNu Organic Skincare balms all contain Shea Butter as the dominant cold pressed oil. They are the ideal natural solution for age spots.