Age spots, also referred to as liver spots, are characterized by flat, large freckle-like, brown areas that appear on the backs of hands, faces, necks and shoulders. Caused by years of overexposure to sunlight, age spots usually do not pose a medical or health-threatening problem. While shunning the sun is the first line of defense in the battle to fight the condition, natural home remedies can offer effective methods in reducing age spots.
Gotu kola, an herb best known as a wound healer, contains a compound that accelerates collagen synthesis and “promotes connective tissue growth,” as per Dr. Linda B. White, author of “The Herbal Drugstore.” Brigitte Mars, a Colorado-based herbalist, also suggests in the book “Alternative Cures,” that gotu kola may help combat age spots by stimulating the growth of new skin cells. It helps with “the production of collagen, the protein that holds skin together,” states Mars.
You can prepare effective gotu kola preparations in several different ways. A simple method involves opening capsules of the powdered herb. Collect 1 tsp. of the powder and add it to 1/4 cup of water. You can also make a tea by steeping 1 tsp. of the dried herb into a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Drink either solution three times daily for best results. Use any cold leftover tea as a soothing skin wash. Alternatively, try mixing 1 tsp. of the powdered herb with 1 tsp. of aloe vera gel and apply the lotion directly onto your age spots.
Honey and Yogurt
Honey has a long history as an ingredient of countless natural remedies. Honey “offers incredible antiseptic, antioxidant and cleansing properties,” according to BenefitsofHoney.com. It also contains antibacterial agents that fight infection and accelerate tissue healing.
According to Pratima Raichur, a naturopathic doctor in New York City, as cited in “Alternative Cures,” a daily concoction of honey and yogurt produces a natural bleach that can lighten age spots. Simply mix 1 tsp. of honey and 1 tsp. of plain yogurt. Apply the poultice to your hands or other affected areas. Allow it to dry for 30 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water.
Although overuse of lemons may cause peeling of the top layer of skin, the citric acid in freshly squeezed lemons can work as a mild bleaching agent to fade age spots. Start with a diluted mixture of equal parts freshly squeezed lemon juice and water. Dip a cotton swab into the solution and dab it onto your affected areas. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. Repeat three times a day, and you will see a noticeable difference. As your skin becomes acclimated to the preparation, add more lemon juice and less water until you can apply a slice of fresh lemon directly onto your skin. As reported in “The Doctors Book of Home Remedies,” Dr. Audrey Kunin advises, “It won’t happen overnight, though. You’ll notice a difference in 6 to 12 weeks.”