How to get rid of sunspots: 19 best remedies (OTC & Natural)

get rid of sunspots

Are you looking to get rid of those ugly sunspots that are ruining the otherworldly-look of your face ?

Are those brown spots on your face are proving difficult to cover up by makeup and you can’t step outside in front of the people?

Are those dark sunspots giving you the fear of skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging?

If you have all sorts of these questions haunting your mind again and again, then you have come to the right place.

There is absolutely no doubt that if you don’t take appropriate care of those sun-damaged faces not only you risk the development of serious skin complications like skin cancer but the process of those ugly sunspots removal becomes difficult and expensive by the time too.

So, If you are suffering from all those sorts of questions and you are really urgent about getting rid of those sun spots on your face, then this article is something you can’t afford to miss out on.

What actually are sunspots on the skin and what causes them?

sunspots and their causes

Sunspots also called ‘liver spots or ‘solar lentigines’ are flat brown spots that develop on your skin when it is exposed to unprotected & prolonged exposure to harmful UV radiation.

As a result, your skin cells become pigmented and when these pigmented skin cells, melanocytes, spread out in other nearby skin areas by multiplication, we called those as sunspots on skin.

Who are at risk of developing these sunspots?


While anyone can get those dark sunspots due to unprotected sun exposure, but they tend to be more common in fair-skinned people and those are older than the 40s.

Moreover, their size and shape vary and the area of your body most exposed to the sun like your face, shoulders, forearms, and backs of your hands are prominent areas to develop those ugly brown sunspots.

With that being said, you don’t need to worry much as true sunspots are harmless and noncancerous but can be treated for a variety of cosmetic purposes.

Removing sunspots: The best treatments and home remedies

treatment tips and remedies for sunspots

As pointed out earlier, sunspots are not that dangerous, and there are a lot of both professional/OTC and home options available for treating them.

We first begin with some professional treatments to remove them permanently that is done only after proper diagnosis by a professional skin specialist or dermatologist and can be a little expensive according to Healthline.

Then we end with some effective home remedies as a cheaper effective alternative to those expensive ones.  Let’s go, and try to permanently remove those ugly sunspots that are wrecking hell on your face.

A) Professional treatments to remove brown sunspots

skin treatments for sunspots

These treatments should only be performed by a trained skin care professional.

1. Laser resurfacing for sunspots removal

Laser resurfacing is one of the first sunspots removal professional techniques. In this method, a laser throwing device is used to deliver strong beams of laser light that can strip away the sun damage/sunspots skin layers.

As a response to skin surface removal, a brand new skin layer surface is able to grow in its place as a natural response which is free of any sunspots or damage.

While the process of laser resurfacing itself lasts for about 30-120 minutes depending on the extent of damage you have, but the overall resurfacing of new skin surface/renewal can take up 14-21days. 

2. Cryotherapy for sunspots removal

It is the second professional sunspot treatment option. It involves using a liquid nitrogen solution (generally Nitrous oxide) that works to remove those dark sunspots by freezing them off.

Also, Cryotherapy is generally tolerable and does not lead to blistering, etc. Pulse, it can be done in a very quick time i.e 2 – 5 minutes at most.

3. Chemical peels for sunspots removal

As the name indicates, Chemical peels work to remove those sunspots by making use of an acid solution applied directly on the skin surface which then strips/peels away sunspots dark skin and new, spot-free skin brings up as a natural response.

However, it can sometimes lead to a mild burning sensation lasting for a couple of minutes which is perfectly treatable with a cool compress or an OTC pain killer but this little pain is worth the effort in the end.

4. Microdermabrasion for sunspot removal

Microdermabrasion works on the same principles of removing the sun affected skin surface to bring up the newer, healthy skin surface. 

It employs a special applicator with an abrasive tip followed by a suction to strip away the dead, sun-spotted skin surface which then gives way to healthy, newer, sunspot-free skin from underneath it.

 This procedure can last for up to an hour and does not cause any serious pain and that’s why you needn’t take an anesthetic. However, you might feel your skin being pinkish and tight but don’t worry, it’s just temporary.

B) OTC sunspots treatment to lighten the dark spots

OTC sunspots treatments

A cheaper yet reliable option to those professional treatments mentioned above is OTC(over-the-counter) treatments which can be equally helpful to lighten up those sunspots treatments.

 Just visit a nearby medical or beauty store and try to search out for the following types of otc sunspots remedies.

1. Topical retinoids

OTC Topical retinoids are another effective for sunspots.

Essentially, a derivative of vitamin A, recent research has shown them to be effective against acne by stimulating skin cell turnover which can be helpful in minimizing sunspots and wrinkles over the skin surface.

Common topical retinoids include benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, and hydroxy acids. However, their common some side effects are 

  • Dry skin
  • Joint pain
  • High cholesterol levels 
  • Temporary hair fall

With that being said, most people can tolerate these side effects and you should not give up your regular anti-sunspot treatment until you don’t see a real problem for quite some time.

How to use topical retinoids?

  1. First, properly clean up your unaffected area and leave it to dry for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, simply squeeze out a pea-sized topical retinoid cream and use your fingers to spread over the affected area.

You can use topical retinoids daily safely.

2. Hydroquinone bleaching

Hydroquinone is another otc available bleaching agent that can fade away any potential sunspot or scar.

How to use it?

  1. First, wear on a pair of latex gloves 
  2. Now squeeze out the pea-sized hydroquinone bleaching cream on your gloved finger and rub gently on your sunspot area.
  3. Follow the prescription guidelines to use it effectively.

Note please: Hydroquinone bleaching cream takes some time to express itself so be patient and keep using it for 8-12 weeks to see some results.

3. Kojic acid

OTC cream containing kojic acid – an acid made from fermented rice when used before bed has been found to lighten the dark sunspot skin.

How to use it?

  1. About an hour before you go to bed, first clean up your face to prepare it for night cream application.
  2. Now, squeeze out the night cream containing kojic acid and lather it directly on the sunspot area using your fingers.
  3. Be patient and keep using it regularly for 8-12 weeks if you want to see results as these products take time to express results.

If you have sensitive skin, using it won’t help as it can cause irritation, redness, and inflammation. As soon as you notice these symptoms, stop using the cream and find a better-suited alternative

C) Natural remedies to get rid of sunspots

natural remedies to get rid of sunspots

Even if you are not comfortable with those OTC chemical products too or can’t have access, don’t worry, there are plenty of natural remedies straight out of your pantry or fridge which does the job nicely.

 The following are some of the best home remedies that you need to give once a try to get rid of those sunspots.

1. Lemon for sunspots

lemon for sunspots treatments

What do you need?

  • Just a lemon
  • Few cotton balls

How to use it for sunspots?

  1. Simply squeeze out the lemon juice out of fresh lemon and rub on the sunspot area for a few minutes.
  2. Now, leave it on for about half an hour. After that, simply rinse it off your skin.
  3. Finally, simply pat dry and use a good moisturizer after it.

How Often to do it?

While the lemon juice can be applied daily without worrying about side effects, the lemon-sugar scrub should not be used more than 2-3 times a week.

 

Why does lemon juice work for sunspots?

  • Lemon juice has some of the excellent bleaching properties which make it an old remedy for whitening/lightening up sun spotted dark/brown skin.  That’s why you would find it a common ingredient in skin lightening creams.

Beautywised tip!
Or, instead of simple lemon juice, you can add a few tbsps of sugar and press on the affected area as a scrub for 3-4 minutes before you rinse it off with plain water after 10-15 minutes.

Moreover, While there is no doubt in its ability to fade away those ugly dark brown sunspots, but due to its acidic nature, it can cause irritation on the skin and eyes. So watch out for that.

 

2. Aloe Vera for sunspots

Aloe vera for sunspots

What do you need?

  • Fresh Aloe Vera gel

How to use it?

  1. Extract out fresh aloe gel from an aloe leaf and simply rub on the affected area and leave it for 20-30 minutes.
  2. After this much time, simply wash it off with plain water and let it dry.

You can safely apply to your sun affected skin daily.

 

What Aloe Vera gel works for sunspots?

  1. Various studies have shown that few of the active compounds found in aloe vera plants, aloesin, and aloin, can be effective against hyperpigmentation, dark spots like sunspots as it can lighten them up.
  2. Moreover, being a great natural healing agent, it can soothe damaged skin and help in skin regeneration.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar for sunspots

Apple cider vinegar for sunspots

What do you need?

  • Just 1-2 tbsp of ACV
  • About half a cup of water
  • About 1 tbsp of honey 

How to use it?

  1. Simply mix all the ingredients in the given quantities and apply the mixture on the affected area.
  2. After 10-15 minutes, simply wash it off and let it dry.

You can do this sunspot removal remedy every day in moderation without worrying about side effects.

 

Why ACV works for sunspots?

  • The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar, just like lemon can help improve the dark tone of sun spotted skin (blemishes & scars) to visibly improve the overall appearance of skin.

4. Buttermilk for sunspots

butter milk for sunspots

What do you need?

  • About 2-3 tbsp of buttermilk
  • Cotton balls

How to use it?

  1. Taking cotton balls in your hand, simply dip it in a bowl full of buttermilk and gently massage over the affected area.
  2. After 10-15 minutes, just rinse this off your face and let it dry.

You can safely use this for 1-2 times a day.

 

Why does this work for sunspots?

The lactic acid found in buttermilk can not only lighten up the dark sunspots but it’s good astringent and exfoliating properties can benefit the skin greatly overall.

5. Castor Oil for sunspots

castor oil for sunspots

What do you need?

  • Just a few tbsps of castor oil

What do you need to do?

  1. Simply massage the castor oil on your unaffected area using your fingers for 2-3 minutes.
  2. After 25-30 minutes, simply rinse away with cool water and let it dry.

You can safely do this 1-2 times a day without worrying about side effects.

 

Why does castor oil work for sunspots?

  • Rich in deeply nourishing fatty acids, castor oil can be used to improve the texture of dark sunspots to lighten them up and remove any blemishes or scars.

6. Green tea for sunspots

green tea for sunspots

What do you need?

  • Just a small green tea bag
  • About a cup of hot water

How to use it?

  1. Simply put the tea bag in hot water over the stove for 10-12 minutes.
  2. After this, simply take out the tea bag and let the tea solution to cool down.
  3. Once it has cooled down to touchable temperature, simply apply on the sunspot affected area with cotton balls and rinse off with plain water.

You can safely use this sunspot home remedy for 1-2 times a day as you desire.

 

Why does green tea work for sunspots?

  • Applying green tea bags onto the sun affected area can help you with sunspots but there is no research evidence to support it. However, green tea bags do have been found to exhibit a depigmenting effect which is enough to treat spots, blemishes etc.
  • It is rich in antioxidants that can benefit a range of skin concerns like tanning and spots 

7. Orange juice (vitamin C) for sunspots

orange juice for sunspots

What do you need?

  • Just a fresh piece of orange
  • Few cotton balls

How to use it?

  1. Simply extract out the orange juice in a separate bowl.
  2. Now with cotton balls dipped in the orange juice, simply apply over the sunspot affected area and leave it for 3-5 minutes.
  3. After this much time, simply rinse it off with plain water

 

Why does orange juice work for sunspots?

  • Orange juice is rich in Vitamin C, when applied on the sun spotted skin surface, can benefit it in a number of ways.
  • L – ascorbic acid found in orange juice not only fights back against sun spots by protecting it from UVA & UVB rays but also stimulates collagen regeneration which brings forth newer, spot-free skin from underneath thus effectively curing lightening dark sunspots.

8. Black tea water for sunspots

black tea water for sunspots

Why does it work?

According to a 2011 study ranging on 4 weeks about treating sunspots, black tea water was found to have spots-fading effects as it lightened up tanned spots when applied on guinea pigs twice a daily. 

9. Red onion for sunspots

red onion juice for sunspots

Why does it work?

According to a study published in 2010, applying a dried onion skin on sun spotted skin could improve the tone & texture of that skin surface as it has some skin lightening ingredients.

10. Tomatoes for sunspots

tomatoes for sunspots

Why does it work?

  • Tomato is another great source for improving your sunspots and texture as it is very helpful in dealing with blemishes, spots and acne scars on your skin. 
  • Since it is a very good source of Vitamin C, it has antioxidant properties to protect your skin from free radical damage to keep your skin protected to give it even, smooth and soft texture.

How to use it?

  1. To use it for your sun spotted skin benefits, extract its juice and apply directly to your skin surface.
  2. After letting it there for at least 20-25 minutes, wash it off with slightly lukewarm water.

11. Papayas for sunspots

papayas for sunspots

Why does it work?

Papaya is a wonder fruit for our skin and it offers a range of benefits for our tone and texture to fade away sunspots.

  • Being rich in Vitamin C, it serves as a great source of antioxidants for your skin
  • It is very good at reproducing and rejuvenating papain enzymes which have great beautifying properties for your skin.
  • Overall, it is a wonderful asset to have for your improved skin tone and texture.

How to use it?

It is best to use it as a mashed papaya slice and applied directly to your skin. After applying on your skin, take a sitting for at least 15-20 minutes and then remove it by washing with lukewarm water.

12. Vitamin E for sunspots

vitamin for sunspots

Why does it work?

A vitamin E rich diet can offer a range of health and skin benefits especially if complemented with Vitamin C.

Moreover, using vitamin E oil topically directly on the sun spotted skin can effectively lighten up the dark sunspots and improve the overall tone & texture of your skin.

Foods rich in Vitamin E are.

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Avocadoes 
  • Spinach
  • Kiwifruit
  • Broccoli
  • Trout
  • Olive oil
  • Shrimp

Or as a good alternative, buy some vitamin E in the form of oil or supplements.

13. Fuller’s earth clay for sunspots

fuller earth clay for sunspots

What do you need?

  • About 2-3 tbsp of fuller’s earth clay
  • About 1-2 tbsp of aloe vera gel
  • About half a cup, ½ of rose water.

What do you need to do?

  1. Simply mix up the three ingredients and get a smooth paste
  2. Now, simply lather this on your sun affected area and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
  3. After this much time, simply wash away the paste on your face surface with cool water.

You can safely use this paste for 2-3 times a week without worrying about side effects.

 

Why does this work for sunspots?

Also known as “multani mitti’’ in south Asia, it is one of the most popular skin cleansing agents.

It offers a number of benefits for the skin.

  • It can help exfoliate your sunspots’ skin surface to reveal smoother and lightened skin complexion underneath it.
  • It can greatly improve blood circulation to the applied skin surface which helps in improving the nutrients flow towards the surface to make it appear healthy.
  • The best of all benefits is that it unclogs your pores and remove away and dirt & sebum accumulated to clear off your skin from those darker blemishes & scars.

14. Sandalwood for sunspots

sandalwood for sunspots

What do you need?

  • About 2-3 tbsp of sandalwood powder or oil
  • About 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Half a cup, ½ of rose water

How to use it?

  1. Simply mix all the raw ingredients together and get a smooth paste out of it.
  2. Now, simply lather this mix over the affected area and let it sit for 10-20 minutes before you rinse it away with water.

You can safely use this sunspot remedy 2-3 times a week.

Note: You can also use sandalwood mixed with an olive in a 1:2 ratio and store in it a container to be used every day.

 

Why does sandalwood work for sunspots?

Sandalwood has some excellent anti-aging, antimicrobial and exfoliating properties that combine together to give you a solid anti sunspot remedy that effectively gets you rid of any type of scars, blemishes or hyperpigmentation.

How to tell if you have sunspots, melasma, or skin cancer?

sunspots, skin cancer or melasma?

Are those dark spots on your skin worrying you because you can’t figure out whether those ugly spots are just sun spots, melasma or something serious like skin cancer?

Let’s help you understand each of these three by its symptoms and other distinguishing factors to put your anxieties to complete rest.

1. Sunspots

Sunspots are simply flat areas of pigmented skin which can be either tan or brownish in nature.

Where they appear? 

They generally appear on areas of the body directly exposed to the sun like

  • Your face
  • Shoulders
  • Backs of your hands
  • Neck

At which age they appear?

Although sunspots can occur at any age if the skin surface is exposed for long periods of time to the sun but they generally appear around the age of 40 and beyond.

Is it dangerous/treatable?

Sunspots are perfectly not dangerous. It’s just that they ruin the look of a person and are easily treatable through a range of professional and home remedies. Check out the treatments (both professional & home ) mentioned above

2. Melasma

Melasma is patches of brown or gray-brown on the skin areas directly exposed to the sun.

Where they appear?

Although they can appear on all the areas of skin that directly face the sun like your forehead, cheeks, nose, and upper lip. However, they are a more common face.

Who is generally affected by it?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is generally more common in women, especially during their pregnancy period. That’s why it is called “the mask of pregnancy.”

Is it dangerous/treatable? 

Melasma is noncancerous and more of an aesthetic concern than a medical one. So it is not dangerous at all and easily treatable.

3. Skin Cancer

According to an estimate by Skin Cancer Foundation, about 1 in 5 Americans would develop signs of skin cancer as they reach the age of 70.

How skin cancer is caused?

Skin cancer develops when your skin suffers from uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells formed due to the number of factors like a genetic mutation, excessive sun damage or too much tanning treatments.

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

Skin cancer can be recognized by new, changing or growing mole with lesions that can bleed, itch but never heal shelves. Further, they are differentiated by spots having irregular, unrecognizable borders.

Two main types of skin cancer are.

  1. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type
  2. melanoma is the deadliest and is relatively rare.

Sunspot risks to be aware of:

While there is no doubt that sunspots are harmless and do not imply a serious health risk but just because it is easily treatable and there are a lot of different types of treatments, it does not mean every treatment is guaranteed to work.

It also means watching closely if a treatment/remedy is working or not or else it is aggravating the underlying sunspots concerns.

Finally, you must be seriously concerned if you notice the following changes to your spots.

  • It is dark
  • It is growing in size
  • It has an irregular border
  • It is itchy, painful, red, or bleeding
  • It is unusual in color

How to prevent sunspots?

How to get rid of sunspots and get clear skin?

As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”, this is obviously true for sunspots as avoiding those harmful UVA & UVB rays is a zillion time better than curing them.

By preventing that ugly dark, brown spots in the first place would save you from going through a whole lot of treatment and home remedies which would save you both time & money.

The following are some of the best sunspots prevention tips you need to adhere to.

  • Always avoid exposing yourself to the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Always choose makeup products that have sunscreen in-built in them.
  • Never go in the sun without fool-proof protection like clothing & hats.
  • Finally, and most importantly, make it a habit to step out in the sun with a quality broad-spectrum sunscreen.

FAQs

Q: How to get rid of age spots?

Ans: The  followings are the treatments (both medical & OTC) and home remedies to help you get rid of those age spots.

Medical treatments to get rid of age spots:
1. Laser resurfacing
2. Cryotherapy
3. Chemical peels
4. Microdermabrasion

OTC treatments to get rid of age spots

1. Topical retinoids
2. Hydroquinone bleaching
3. Kojic acid

Home remedies to get rid of age spots

1. Lemon juice
2. Orange 
3. Aloe Vera
4. Apple cider vinegar
5. Buttermilk
6. Castor oil
7. Green tea
8. Fuller’s earth
9. Sandalwood
10. Black tea water
11. Red onion
12. Papayas
13. Vitamin E

Q: Why do sunspots appear dark?

Ans: Sunspots appear dark because of hyperpigmentation i.e unusual production of melanin by the skin which is a dark brown pigment produced when our skin is exposed to harmful UV sun rays for an extended period of time.
The normal color of your eyes, skin, and hair is simply of this skin pigment ‘melanin’.

Q: Do sunspots go away?

Ans: Yes, sunspots can easily be treated can go away if you follow these medical, OTC and home remedies.
Medical treatments to get rid of sunspots:
1. Laser resurfacing
2. Cryotherapy
3. Chemical peels
4. Microdermabrasion
OTC treatments to get rid of sunspots
1. Topical retinoids
2. Hydroquinone bleaching
3. Kojic acid
Home remedies to get rid of sunspots
1. Lemon juice
2. Orange 
3. Aloe Vera
4. Apple cider vinegar
5. Buttermilk
6. Castor oil
7. Green tea
8. Fuller’s earth
9. Sandalwood
10. Black tea water
11. Red onion
12. Papayas
13. Vitamin E

Q: Can sunspots be removed?

Ans: Yes, sunspots can easily be removed and treated by following these treatment methods.
Medical treatments to remove sunspots:
1. Laser resurfacing
2. Cryotherapy
3. Chemical peels
4. Microdermabrasion
OTC treatments to remove sunspots
1. Topical retinoids
2. Hydroquinone bleaching
3. Kojic acid
Home remedies to remove sunspots
1. Lemon juice
2. Orange 
3. Aloe Vera
4. Apple cider vinegar
5. Buttermilk
6. Castor oil
7. Green tea
8. Fuller’s earth
9. Sandalwood
10. Black water
11. Red onion
12. Papayas
13. Vitamin E

Q: Are sunspots a sign of cancer?

Ans: No, absolutely not. Sunspots are not a sign of cancer. In fact, they are not dangerous and easily treatable.
Difference b/w sunspots & cancer spots 
Sunspots are simply flat areas of pigmented skin which can be either tan or brownish in nature.
Skin cancer can be recognized by new, changing or growing mole with lesions that can bleed, itch but never heal shelves. Further, they are differentiated by spots having irregular, unrecognizable borders.

Q: What is a sunspot on the skin?

Ans: Sunspots are simply flat areas of pigmented skin which can be either tan or brownish in nature.
Where they appear? 
They generally appear on areas of the body directly exposed to the sun like
Your face
Shoulders
Backs of your hands
Neck
At which age they appear?
Although sunspots can occur at any age if the skin surface is exposed for long periods of time to the sun but they generally appear around the age of 40 and beyond.
Is it dangerous/treatable?
Sunspots are perfectly not dangerous. It’s just that they ruin the look of a person and are easily treatable through a range of professional and home remedies. Check out the treatments (both professional & home ) mentioned above.

Q: how to remove brown spots on the face?

Ans:  The brown spots on your face can be removed by the following treatments
Medical treatments to remove brown spots on face
1. Laser resurfacing
2. Cryotherapy
3. Chemical peels
4. Microdermabrasion
OTC treatments to remove brown spots on face
1. Topical retinoids
2. Hydroquinone bleaching
3. Kojic acid
Home remedies to remove brown spots on face
1. Lemon juice
2. Orange 
3. Aloe Vera
4. Apple cider vinegar
5. Buttermilk
6. Castor oil
7. Green tea
8. Fuller’s earth
9. Sandalwood
10. Black tea water
11. Red onion
12. Papayas
13. Vitamin E

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