I'm only 33 and these age spots are trying to take over my face. Any advice, especially on sunblock brand?

I ran outside in my 20s w/0 sunglasses/hat and used a tanning bed for 3 winters, BUT I've always been decent about SPF! Josie Maran SPF47 (I prefer "natural" products w/o animal testing), Kiss my face SPF50, reviva 10% glycolic acid cream, DDF Glycolic toning complex, reviva brown spot cream, Murad rapid age spot lightener, red light therapy at a tanning salon 12 minutes daily (this is first month, I'll drop to 2x/wk next month). I also have baby quasar. Military salary kills my budget. advice?

Doctor Answers 9

Sun spots

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Thank you for your question. Age spots can be difficult to treat, however you have several options. A photo facial can help illiminate any brown spots. It will also help even out skin tone. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion can also help! Good luck!

Delray Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Age Spots

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Hi lilabet23!

Thank you for your question! I would seek out an IPL photofacial. You may need more than one treatment, depending on the severity of your age spots. This treatment will result in a more even skin tone and less age spots. If you're not a candidate for laser, a medium depth peel may be a good option too.

As far as sunscreen, I would try switching to a physical block instead of a chemical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens can cause pigment to become worse. Look for a sunscreen that has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active ingredients. Bare Republic is a great option! (find it at Target and its cruelty free brand!)


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Microneedling, or Collagen Induction Therapy might be effective to get rid of your dark spots.

Usually, multiple treatments will be necessary for the best results. The number of needling sessions depends on the individual’s skin condition. Three or four treatments may be recommended for mild to moderate acne scarring, whereas deeper scars and stretch marks may require upward of five treatments. An interval of 4 to 6 weeks between treatments is typically recommended. Maintenance treatments at intervals of 6 to 12 months. When utilized for generalized skin resurfacing, products such as topical growth factors like TNS Essential Serum and anti-aging serums are better absorbed in the skin as an adjunct to treatment.

Justin Harper, MD
Columbus Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

The BEST sunscreen is...

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The one you like. This is because you are going to use it frequently. In the US and in Australia, SPF factors are strictly controlled and tested, anything 30 or above will be fine. There is very little real world protection between expensive and cheap brands, however finding one that YOU like using is important. La Roche Posay makes a great sunscreen, so  does Obaji, and Neutrogena. As for reversing sunspots and age spots, lasers such as Fraxel 1927, BBL or TCA chemical peels are best, as they provide a predictable percentage of removal of sun spots. More in the web reference below under Pigmentation Solutions. Dr Davin Lim. Brisbane. Australia. 

Dark spots

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sun spots when they are they will not go back just with sun blocks that much. I do like Ultimate from Image line a lot and it is important to use regularly to protect against further damage. If you steel run use physical barrier to UV light as well. However to remove the ones you have you need to do more than sun block that needs photos and going through diagnosis however if it is really sun spot then Hydroquinone products should help beyond that there are peel and laser/IPL options that are more pricey. 

Parham Gharagozlou, MD, FACP
Walnut Creek Physician

Age sots and sunblock

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SPF 30 or higher is the best. If you have not recently done so, you might want to speak with your pcp and have them do a blood work up to insure nothing is going on internally. If everything is fine then seek consultation with a certified provider that specializes in this area. There are many things that can be done to assist you with your concerns. But its easier to speak face to face so that all your concerns can be addressed and both yourself and the provider can come up with the best plan that is available for your specific needs.  

Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Sunscreen for prevention, Laser for removal

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Age spots can be treated with bleaching cream, laser, or chemical peels. Depending on your personal case board certified physician will give you more specific opinion after evaluation of your case. It is important to continue to use sunblock with SPF 30 or higher. Try to accommodate your skin i.e. if it is oily, go for an oil free option, or if you wear make up over it, choose lighter options of BB or CC creams with high SPF factor as well, since you should reapply factor every few hours, if your skin is dry use ones that offer your moisture. Make sure that sunscreen that you are using contains at least one of the following zinc oxide, ecamsule, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone. Good luck!

Hardik Soni, MD (not currently practicing)
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician

Age spots

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The best way to avoid age spots is to wear sunblock with SPF 30 or higher and reapply frequently throughout the day. I prefer sunblocks with physical blockers such as titanium or zinc oxide which directly block the UV rays from touching your skin. Once you have an age spot, it can be treated with skin bleaching creams, chemical peels, or lasers/intense pulsed light therapy. It is important to have an in-office examination to determine your exact skin type. Certain skin types do better with certain types of treatment. Choosing the wrong treatment can damage your skin or make your skin spots appear darker than before. Hope this helps!

Johnson C. Lee, MD Plastic Surgery

Johnson C. Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Age spot solutions with lasers, microneedling/prp, sun protection

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Lasers, microneedling/PRP and skin care can be used to lighten age spots, in addition to sun protection. I recommend getting a formal consultation with a cosmetic dermatologist. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.