Can You Fight Sunspots Naturally?


Sunspots are to maturing women what acne is to hormonal teenagers.

In other words, they both turn into raging bull’s eyes when their owners look into a mirror. From the fairest to the darkest skin types, we all share in their, ahem, joy. Sunspots can be treated by chemical peels, laser or freezing treatments, and prescription creams—none of which sounds appealing to a person who has occasionally grown roots reading ingredients labels in the product aisle. The good news is that sunspots can be treated naturally. But do natural treatments for sunspots really work?

Let’s take a look at the deets. Sunspots are areas on your skin caused by excessive melanin, or the pigment that makes your skin dark. In some case, a lack of melanin can cause white sunspots. White marks are often caused by a reaction to sunburn or a skin fungus. What’s consistent about light or dark? They always stand out as a different shade than the rest of our skin.

Sunspots can be caused by a myriad of reasons, but the main culprit is that star in the sky that beats down on you. Overexposure to UV rays (from the sun or tanning beds) is the primary cause for sunspots. In layman terms, it is kind of like tanning gone haywire. Complicating the manner is the fact that, as we age, our skin loses its ability to disperse the melanin. And yes, you should always have them monitored by your dermatologist.

The best ways to avoid sunspots are to stay out of the sun and make best friends with your sunscreen. But while sunscreen can prevent sunspots from worsening, they can’t turn back the clock for the one we’re already carrying. (This is me, thinking of some epic childhood sunburns.) So this leaves some of us contemplating a chemical peel or the application of skin-lightning hydroquinone under the darkest of nights whilst hiding in a closet.

If you feel like your hatred of sunspots is clashing with your love of safe ingredients like a Brad Pitt-helmed blockbuster starring the undead, don’t despair. There are options to combat sunspots naturally.

The most recommended skin lighteners out there are products that naturally exfoliate your skin. Lemon juice, applied twice a day, is the old stand-by treatment. (Though lemon makes your skin sensitive, so for the love of Pete, cover your skin in the sun.) Another illustrious blogger offers up a mix of equal parts orange juice and apple cider to be rubbed dialed onto your sunspots for several weeks. The lactic acids in milk, buttermilk, and yogurt, all applied daily to the skin, are another solution. In fact, the natural sunspot treatments out there read like a grocery list, including onions, garlic, papaya, castor oil and more.

But, again, do these natural treatments really work?

I’m going to be honest, fellow EcoSalonista. I have one particular sunspot on my face that I have been battling for years. I’ve tried the lemon juice treatment for a week. I’ve slapped yogurt onto my face for several nights. Should I have continued these treatments, they might have worked. But the difference was so impenetrable to the naked eye that I eventually gave up.

If you have the patience to turn your face into a fruit cocktail every night, you are seriously my hero and a naturalista rock star. But if, like me, you want results yesterday, you might have to resign yourself to either living with slowly-fading sunspots or consider more aggressive treatments.

Or, you could cover your sunspots with this fantastic, safe product that work like a charm.

A recent trend exploding all over the faces of women across the globe is BB cream, otherwise known as Beauty Balm to us Westerners, blemish balm elsewhere, and even beblesh balm in South Korean, thanks to a trademark on the word “blemish.” This all-purpose cosmetic acts as a moisturizer, serum, sunblock and foundation all in one. And best of all? It’s a killer cover-up for sunspots.


COOLA is currently formulating a fantastic BB cream via their Face SPF 30 Unscented Mineral Sunscreen, Matte Tint. ($36.00). Providing a broad spectrum SPF 30, this lightly-tinted sunscreen works on all skin tone, giving an even coverage. It’s made with certified organic ingredients and rates a moderately-safe score from Skin Deep.

How about you? Have you ever found a natural treatment for sunspots that has worked for you?

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photo credit: little.light via photopin cc

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.