8 min read

In the Spotlight: How to Get Rid of Age Spots

Three very ripe bananas with spots on them

Sun spots, liver spots, or age spots - are they the same and sporting a triad of names just for fun?


Dark spots on face and body areas are expected as the skin ages. All of us here were younger than we are now. Well, it happened to me just this morning. A couple of hours older (wiser) now, I'm here to offer some treatment options for those brown spots on the skin. If you have no issue with your spots and even enjoy connecting them into various shapes just because - good for you. If, on the other hand, dark spots annoy you, you can fade or prevent them from getting darker and also stop the formation of new hyper-pigmented areas.


Also, this will be a realistic discussion of aging skin, and we will not walk on eggshells, coddle, or feel sorry for anyone enjoying the privilege of growing older. That being said, back to seeing spots.


Sun spots, liver spots, and age spots difference

Before we delve into the available treatments, we must disperse one myth and set things straight. Age spots are the same as liver spots, while sunspots are skin occurrences directly related to UV radiation exposure. Both formations appear on the areas of the skin that were most sun-kissed during your life - the hands, arms, shoulders, chest, and face are prime real estate for developing these brown spots on the skin surface.


Age/liver spots can be tan, brown, or pinkish and are mostly oval-shaped and bigger than freckles. They are also very social—you'll rarely see one alone; they love to cluster. They might remind you of your birth certificate more than you'd like, but alas, they are entirely harmless and inactive. So, if you wish to have them faded, this is purely for aesthetic reasons.

A woman with hyperpigmentation on her face looking in a mirror


On the other hand, sunspots on skin form mostly on areas exposed to the sun all year long. You may have a job that demands you to be in intense sunlight for hours, or you are just a reckless, avid gardener. Sunspots are called actinic keratoses in lab-coat jargon and stand out amongst peaceful age spots primarily by their texture. In contrast to the smooth and flat age spot, sun spots on skin will feel rougher and scaly. If you notice any of these, especially if you see a change in shape, scaliness, or color, visit your dermatologist. They'll be glad to see you, and you'll be able to (beauty) sleep better. 

How to Remove Dark Spots on Skin?

To eliminate hyperpigmentation, the best dark spot remover technique should combine treatments to fade existing dark spots and preventative measures to prevent new ones from forming. Age spot remover treatment is valid if it recognizes that the pigment visible on the skin surface is located at the base of the epidermal (top) layer of skin, meaning a dark spot treatment must penetrate the top skin layer to be effective.

A graphic representation of an age spot deep into the epidermal skin layer


Effective treatments:


You can always choose to try with topicals first as the most lifestyle-friendly option. Although you can find some over-the-counter medications in your local pharmacy, we suggest not wasting time and money on self-medicating. See your dermatologist and ask for advice on what would be best for your type of discoloration. Prescription dark spot remover creams are more potent and will solve the problem faster. You will most likely get a variant of a bleaching cream (hydroquinone) alone or with retinoids (tretinoin). These are the best to remove age spots on the face and can be paired with a mild steroid.


As usual, the key is consistency. No cream will ever help if you don't use it. Follow the instructions for use in your box or from your dermatologist, and be aware that there may be some itching, redness, burning, or dryness, but this will pass.

A blond woman with cream on her face staring into the eyes of  white statue on white background



Movies and medical shows have popularised liquid nitrogen as an instant freezing agent. In addition to being (really) cool, a cotton swab dipped into liquid nitrogen and applied to the age spots on face and body for 5 seconds will do the trick. The freezing destroys the pigment, fading the spot as the skin patch heals. It is somewhat irritating to the skin and, if done unprofessionally, can leave a scar. If you choose this option, look for skilled professionals specializing in this dark spot remover method.



This means basically sanding down the skin, allowing it to heal, and then repeating the process. Here, you can use the more aggressive dermabrasion, and its less pushy but still effective sister, microdermabrasion, which may be more appropriate for sensitive and thinner facial skin.


Dermabrasion uses a fast-rotating brush to remove the top skin layer, which may result in swelling, scabbing, redness, and the feeling of raw pinkness. This will disappear eventually, but it may take weeks or months, depending on the intensity of the procedure. Microdermabrasion has smaller-sized granules or crystals to get the job done - a milder treatment better suited to facial skin. You'll need more of these consistently over a few months to see results, but on the plus side, the side effects are lesser - some redness and stinging.


Abrasive procedures are not recommended for people with extremely sensitive skin, rosacea, or visible red veins.



You're peeling away the old to make room for the new. Chemical peels mainly involve an acid-based solution applied to the areas you wish to renew. They are as harsh as they sound. There can be some scarring, infection, or change in skin color, and the redness should subside in a couple of weeks. You will also need a few visits to see significant results.



Like many methods we've seen, microneedling is a sort of planned destruction. The procedure consists of minuscule needles punching shallow holes in your skin, evenly spacing them out across treated areas. The little insults kick your body into repair mode, making it step up with greater collagen and elastin production. Although primarily a tool for rejuvenation, microneedling can somewhat help with dark spots on the skin.



Lasers are like light therapy on steroids, packing enough power to be called ablative (wounding). They remove (basically burn off) the top skin layer to help you eliminate age spots over time.

We've mentioned so many options. So, what is the best dark spot remover for the face? For those who don't really know how they feel at the thought of having their face lasered off, LED light therapy is a milder version with no side effects and is also the least invasive of the bunch, surpassing even topicals due to its lack of side effects.


Light therapy works by cumulative improvements over time and will demand some discipline. If you like to be led through the LED process, you can, of course, set up appointments at your dermatologist's or a well-equipped salon and walk out happier every time, without anyone even knowing you've had a procedure done.


Non-invasive Light Therapy - The Best Dark Spot Remover


Since LED light therapy is such a safe, non-invasive intervention, it requires no recovery time. The therapy illuminates your skin with therapeutic wavelengths of light, so you can easily skip the repeated expenses in salons and derma offices and do it at home. If you are serious about skincare, the beauty-tech revolution, make sure you can get an LED light therapy mask for at-home use. Also referred to as LLLT - low-level light therapy, or photobiomodulation, the premise of the therapy is that different colored (various wavelengths of) light penetrate the skin at different depths to nudge the skin's natural processes and target the most common skin concerns. This includes the woe of age spots and hyperpigmentation - especially if we move into the NIR (near-infrared) wavelengths - which the FAQ™ 202 Anti-aging silicone LED face mask does with flying (additional 7) colors.

FAQ 202 LED light therapy mask showing all 8 LED light colors in a grid of four in each row, and on a black background


As the world's most potent fusion of professional and home beauty, FAQ™ Swiss, a new brand under the FOREO umbrella, is a high-tech, respectful bow to the natural process. It acknowledges that no one can influence IF we age. Still, we can take charge of HOW we age—taking it one step further into clinical-intensity technologies for easy at-home use. With this in mind, FAQ™ Swiss is proud to lead the way into an entirely new era of anti-aging, raising the bar of what is possible.


Their FAQ™ 202 is the latest in beauty-tech wearables, the impossible made possible, blowing competitors out of the water with the power of LED lights, perfect light coverage, and a design that considers the real wearer and their lifestyle. No wires, bulky machinery, or complications, with an open-eye design, a headband to keep the mask in place, and a flexible-fit material that feels like a comfortable second skin as you tailor your light therapy to current skin needs.


LED Light Mask Wavelengths and their benefits:


It penetrates more deeply than a red LED. It is said to help improve fine lines, sun spots, wrinkles, and sagging.


RED LED (650 nm) 
It is said to combat signs of skin aging for a more youthful look.


BLUE LED (420 nm)
It is said to reduce the appearance of blemishes.


GREEN LED (519 nm) 
Is said to brighten a dull complexion and even skin tone.


ORANGE LED (590 nm) 
It is said to revitalize skin and help improve skin texture.


PURPLE  LED (450 nm)
Is said to reduce the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation.


CYAN LED (463 nm) 
It is said to calm and relieve stressed skin.


YELLOW LED (570 nm)  
It is said to reduce the appearance of redness and soothe skin.

Common sense prevention for common skin problems


For the love of all that is unwrinkled, please protect your skin from extreme sun exposure. We need some natural light on our skin and hitting our eyes. We are a part of this planet and have evolved to tune our physiology with the sun's cycles. A body deprived of sunlight gets its circadian rhythm thrown out of whack, disrupting the sleep-wake cycle and making our skin and organs age faster. All is connected, and nothing exists isolated from its environment. So sure, go out into the sun, especially the early morning sun and the calming afternoon sun, but avoid crackling into the scorching mid-day rays like you were in an old cowboy movie, ready to face off with your salon nemesis. They even wore hats (albeit more so to see the cows they were hearing in the sun glare, I presume, but still).


Intense sun protection is absolutely necessary, especially if you're going out after undergoing some of the more invasive age spot treatments, as your skin will be irritated and sensitive for a good while. Seriously, DO NOT go out without a sun guard of some sort. Even if the least invasive LED light therapy masks have done their job and you're spotless now, they can return. So listen to the dermatologists' pleading all over the globe and make it a life rule to stick to the shade in the burning heat, to drink a lot of water when active in the sun, to burrito yourself up into protective clothing (something light and breezy but covering), and wear a hat on the beach and in direct sunlight. There are a million hat models out there. Please choose what you like and staple it onto your summer style, any chance you get.


An SPF should protect all skin exposed to the sun. Choose a sunscreen that provides wide-spectrum protection against all harmful rays; go for SPF 30+. Make sure it has a level of water resistance, or you'll lose the protection as soon as you start sweating.


This is the best life advice on preventing age spots from appearing or reappearing after you've invested so much effort to turn back time (Cher would be proud). A leopard may not be able to change its spots, but you can—IF you stay out of the sun.

gorgeous spots on the leopard's fur


I hope we helped you find the right treatment for dark spots that fit your lifestyle, level of impatience, and pain threshold. Stay cool and enjoy living in your skin -spots and all. 

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