When skin is exposed more to the sun, there is an increase in the production of cells known as melanocytes and due to which the skin turns darker. These dark skin patches are known as brown spots, age spots, dark spots, sun spots and liver spots. Brown spots generally appear on exposed skin areas like the face, back, neck, chest, shoulders and hands. Some of the main causes of brown spots are sun exposure, aging, genetics, menopause, pregnancy, stress, improper skincare, weak liver, hyper-pigmentation of the skin, lack of vitamin C or B12, smoking, cancer, dermatitis, and diabetes and so on.
Brown spots are harmless but as these spots can make one look ugly, people look for ways to get rid of them as soon as possible. To lighten brown spots, there are a few easy and simple natural treatments that you can try at home.
Why go natural?
There could be something even worse lurking in skin lightening creams… mercury. Sometimes it’s right on the label as mercurous chloride, mercurio or calomel – but it’s not always listed. The results of this potent neurotoxin can be devastating to the mind and body, causing gastrointestinal and kidney damage, extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing and loss of coordination. Right now, the health departments in at least 7 states are investigating the resurgence of mercury poisoning as a result of skin lightening creams.
- Yogurt. There’s a good reason yogurt is a popular ingredient in do-it-yourself skin care. It has lactic acid (LA), a natural alpha-hydroxy acid. Preliminary research has shown that LA may help promote cell turnover and interfere with melanin formation. Yogurt is also anti-bacterial, which makes it great for acne. Use plain, organic, unsweetened yogurt for best results.
- Marine Phytoplankton – Live Phytoplankton may be the ocean’s best cure – bursting with chlorophyll, omega-3, and anti-oxidants. All three have been shown to fade spots. Many people reported major improvements in just 6-8 weeks taking PhytOriginal.
- Lemon juice. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto a cotton round and gently massage it over your sun spots. Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your skin’s sensitivity. Rinse thoroughly. The results will be gradual but noticeable within 2 weeks. Take before-and-after photos for the fun of it. If your skin is sensitive to the lemon juice, try mixing it with chamomile or yogurt. One thing you should know: Lemon juice can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so I recommend using it at night.
- Retinoids. If the other methods don’t get you the results you want, talk to your health care provider about using retinoids. (You’ve probably heard of the brand name Retin-A, but there are many others.) These are very effective for correcting discoloration and evening out skin tone. Retinoids also make your skin much more sensitive to the sun, so it’s important to be aware of your exposure. Your doctor may recommend using the treatment at night.
- Onion – Onion juice, or a slice of onion rubbed on the face is also supposed to be effective in removing skin pigmentation. But the idea of rubbing a smelly onion on the skin may not really appeal. Onion can be grated and applied fresh on the face. It needs to be applied twice daily. However, as the preparation does require some effort, people may prefer to use some of the less labor-intensive remedies listed on this page.