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Various things can happen to your skin as you age. This includes developing age spots on frequently exposed areas, such as your cheeks, shoulders, arms, and chest. Also known as liver spots, age spots were once thought to be symptoms of a malfunctioning liver. In reality, they have nothing to do with your liver health and everything to do with how much time you spend under the sun.

What Causes Age Spots?

Age spots have another name — sun spots — and this moniker says more about what they are. Age spots are flat, dark spots on the skin that typically appear later in life, commonly in people over 50. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, they are typically in areas frequently exposed to the sun and they develop because of years of sun damage. 

can lead to an overproduction of melanin, which protects the skin. This excess melanin can form clusters of brown spots in more mature skin. However, you can also get them even if you’re younger if you spend too much time under the sun. Tanning beds can also cause age spots.

How to Prevent Age Spots

There’s no telling if you’ll be able to prevent age spots completely since our skin reacts to different stressors in different ways. Some may be more tolerant of the sun than others (lighter-skinned people are more likely to develop age spots). However, you should still do your best to avoid unprotected sun exposure to minimize your risk of other conditions, such as premature skin aging and skin cancer.

  • Use sunscreen all over your face and body. Apply a generous amount of at least 30 minutes before sun exposure on all exposed skin. Don’t forget the back of your ears and the tops of your feet! Reapply at least every two hours or after sweating or swimming.

Applying POND'S Age Miracle Anti-Aging Day Cream SPF 18 can add a layer of protection (you may want to add another layer of sunscreen on top). This formula has retinol C, niacinamide, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides to nourish skin and brighten dark spots for more even-toned skin.

In the evening, use POND'S Age Miracle Ultimate Youth Essence, a fast-absorbing serum that targets signs of aging, including age spots. This helps repair the skin by promoting collagen renewal, density, and elasticity. It also counteracts sun damage and brightens the skin.

  • Avoid the sun’s peak hours. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, these would be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.If you must be outdoors during this period, avoid burning by wearing sunscreen (a must!) and seeking shade as frequently as possible. The EPA notes that trees, umbrellas, and canopies do not offer enough protection.
  • Cover your skin. Is the worth it if you’re burning your skin? Consider covering up (for no other reason than protection from UV rays) when the sun is at its strongest. Wearing hats is a chic way to keep your face, ears, and eyes from burning. Tightly woven yet loose clothing can also offer sun protection if you can’t get your hands on clothes with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). You can strip it back down later in the day.

Age spots are a normal part of aging. However, they are also the result of years of sun damage. While they’re nothing to be ashamed of, it’s still advisable to try to prevent them for the sake of your skin health. The simple habit of wearing sunscreen daily can go a long way.