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How do I Lighten Sun Spots?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 21, 2024
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Sometimes referred to as age spots, sun spots are blemishes that appear on the surface of the skin after continual exposure to the sun. The spots usually appear on the hands and face, although they can develop on any area of the body that frequently receives ample amounts of sunlight. For people who find sun spots to be unattractive, there are several different ways to go about lightening the spots so they are less obvious.

There are several home remedies that are thought to make a big difference in the general appearance of the sun spots. Lemons are one of the more common folk remedies in use. By cutting a fresh lemon and rubbing the pulp and juice over the spots, they will lighten over time. The acid content in the lemons helps to remove the top layer of the skin, effectively reducing the prominence of the spots.

Red onions are also commonly used to battle sun spots. As with the lemon, the onion is sliced and applied directly to the area where the spots have appeared. It is important to only use a red onion, according to the folklore surrounding this sun spot treatment, since white and yellow onions lack the acid content to fade the spots effectively.

Some people recommend using castor oil to restore suppleness to the skin and cause the sun or age spots to fade. The idea behind this home remedy is that the castor oil helps to reverse the dryness of the skin, which in turn softens the surface of the spots and allows them to blend with the surrounding skin color. Generally, the recommendation is to apply the castor oil to the skin twice daily in order to expedite the softening and gradual fading of the sun spots.

For people who prefer skin care methods other than home remedies, there are several options that will help to fade sun spots. Over the counter skin products that contain hydroquinone can help to lighten the spots if used each day. In order to speed the process, limit the amount of time spent in the sun while attempting to lighten the spots.

In extreme cases, undergoing a chemical peel may be the best solution for sun spots. Conducted under the care of a professional, the peel removes the top layer of skin, exposing the smooth and relatively clear underlying level. Because of the tenderness and sensitivity of the newly exposed skin layer, it is important to stay out of the sun for several days after the treatment.

While many people assume age or sun spots only occur after the age of forty, the truth is that anyone can develop the spots at any age. Prolonged exposure to sunlight will dry the skin and greatly enhance the possibility of developing the spots. The only way to avoid this phenomenon is to avoid direct exposure whenever possible and wear a powerful sunscreen when it is necessary to be outside.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including BeautyAnswered, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By Sunny27 — On Jul 12, 2010

Great article- I didn’t know that lemons help with sunspots. What I did want to say is that using an exfoliating cream that provides cell-renewal and removes the dead skin also works.

For example, Clinque’s Turnaround cream does just that. The salicylic acid exfoliates the skin and lessens the appearance of fine lines and sun spots. It also leaves the skin feeling soft.

You don’t have to use this cream. Many creams out on the market contain salicylic acid which is the active ingredient that exfoliates the skin and reduces the appearance of sun spots.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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