Age spots (also called liver spots) look a little like freckles. When I was younger, I thought my mom’s age spots were in fact charming freckles, and I wondered why I didn’t inherit them. But, as their name suggest, age come with age, or more specifically, cumulative UV ray exposure (this includes tanning beds!).
Depending on your genetics, complexion, and lifestyle, “wisdom freckles” may make an appearance any time in your adult life. (This is the part where I remind you to wear mineral sunscreen daily and seek shade if you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time!)
But sometimes age spots can’t be prevented. My mother’s age spots appeared soon after she received radiation treatment for cancer nearly 20 years ago. We’re so grateful the treatment worked, and we accept our anti-age spot mission with a light heart.
How age spots happen:
Melanin, which pigments the epidermis (the upper layer of skin) becomes darker (tans) when exposed to UV rays. This tan protects the deeper layers of skin (but this is not an excuse to get a “base tan”). Areas of skin that get more frequent exposure to the sun often develop age spots where the melanin becomes clumped or is produced in greater concentrations.
My mom has a pretty low maintenance beauty routine, so she hasn’t tried any remedy for her age spots–and most natural remedies require extended use. For example, applying lemon juice to your face daily (leaving it on for 30 minutes, then rinsing) for two months may improve the appearance of age spots (and acne scars!). My mom is going to try applying lemon juice and rose hip seed oil to each hand, respectively (when in doubt, experiment on your mother :)).
These and other DIY remedies are certainly worth trying, but sometimes you just want to see immediate change, even if temporary—and that’s where a little strategically applied makeup comes in.
Makeup tips for age spots:
As you cleanse your face, gently exfoliate with a soft washcloth—anything too rough may make skin look inflamed. Ditto the cleanser itself: use a cream cleanser with soothing ingredients (like aloe) that won’t strip your skin of moisture. Alternate water temperature between hot and cold to stimulate blood flow and brighten your complexion.
For a facial serum, use a single organic oil or a blend of organic oils and essential oils. Rose hip seed oil and argan oil are particularly good for improving the moisture balance of skin while anti-aging fatty acids and antioxidants nourish and protect skin. Pat on suncreen.
Apply a creamy concealer to age spots, blending well. (My mom applies Josie Maran Argan Creamy Concealer with her fingers.)
Follow with a light layer of non-matte liquid foundation. Work foundation into wrinkles (if you have them) by gently stretching the skin.
If you have mature skin, you’ll want to stick with creamy textures that reflect light and add a warm glow to your complexion. That being said, if you find your concealer or foundation slipping as the day goes on, try setting you makeup with a very light layer of mineral powder. Too much powder can make skin look crepey.
Keep the rest of your palette soft and warm—think cream blush, brown pencil eyeliner, dewey pink lips.
More Beauty Secrets: Youthful Eyes – Makeup Tricks
Also by Mary: Lilac Eyes Tutorial
Photos: Amanda Veneer via Flickr, Mary Hood, Josie Maran Cosmetics