How to deal with sunspots

Sunspots are usually harmless, but not everyone relishes them. Find out how to get rid of your dark spots, and prevent them from returning, with our golden advice.

If you're a worshipper of that beautiful golden orb in the sky, it’s likely that you’ve experienced plenty of sun exposure. While adoration of the sun’s rays may leave you feeling blissful and relaxed, the opposite might be said for the condition of your skin.

You might have noticed flat brown spots starting to appear on various parts of your body. Better known as sunspots, these harmless marks are caused by too much pigmentation. Of course, the marks and inconsistencies on your skin are a part of who you are, but not everyone wants their sunspots to stick around.

Luckily, there are some ways to remove sunspots and stop them from coming back...

What is a sunspot? 

Essentially, sunspots are dark brown spots that appear on various areas of skin. They are more likely to appear on the hands, feet, face, arms and chest, as these parts of the body are typically more exposed to the sun. Sunspots also go by the name of liver spots or age spots, and tend to be more common in older adults. However – if you’re young and can’t get enough of the sunshine, or pine for your next sunbed session, it’s worth noting that sunspots can appear on otherwise supple skin. 

Sunspots can sometimes be mistaken for freckles, but freckles tend to fade, while sunspots don't disappear on their own. They can also be mistaken for skin cancer, but it's important to point out that sunspots aren't usually cancerous. Always keep on eye on your skin, though, and remember: moles that change appearance or texture shouldn't be ignored. If you're concerned about a blemish on your skin or you're worried about a mole, see your GP for advice as well as peace of mind.

What causes sunspots? 

As the name suggests, sunspots are caused by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. These rays help produce melanocytes – cells which then produce melanin – the pigment that gives skin its colour. Pigmentation can also occur from UV exposure when using sunbeds.

UV light encourages melanin production, but with time, too much melanin may be produced on certain areas of skin, resulting in hyperpigmentation. Melanin can then cluster to form sunspots. Those who have been exposed to the sun more often, or people with fair skin, tend to be at a higher risk of this type of skin condition.

How to get rid of sunspots?

Although sunspots won't cause any harm, some people prefer to remove them for cosmetic reasons. To remove sunspots completely, a dermatologist may recommend a laser treatment such as laser skin resurfacing, or suggest a prescription topical cream. These creams are stronger than those that are bought over the counter, so it’s worth asking an expert.

Cryotherapy is also an option to remove sunspots, aiming to freeze off each brown spot. Another skin treatment option is a chemical peel – here, an acid is used to peel off the old 'sunspot' skin, to allow new, clear skin to come through. Microdermabrasion can also be considered, involving the removal of the top layer of dead skin cells.

Beauty buys for better skin tone 

If you want something less invasive, you’re in for a treat. We’ve got an array of products which can improve uneven skin tone, making blemishes such as sunspots and areas of skin pigmentation less prominent.

Our Fruit Peel Resurfacing Serum uses an exfoliating trio of alpha, beta and polyhydroxy acids to help brighten and soothe skin, while our Glow Berry Brightening Serum hydrates and brightens skin thanks to that trusty skincare powerhouse, vitamin C. Plus, Glow Berry includes tranexamic acid, which helps prevent dark spots from forming in the first place.  

The Tamanu Balm All-In-One Skin Saviour can also work its magic all over the body, honing in on marks and acne scars to reduce their appearance. It’s also great for those with a dry skin type.

For day-to-day confidence, you can cover up sunspots with the right makeup routine. Start off with our Beauty Booster Sheer Foundation and dab Illuma Light Diffusing Concealer on top using your finger. To finish off, the Soft Focus Perfecting Powder will help to blur fine lines and pores, offering a flawless finish. 

How to prevent sunspots?

Because sunspots are caused by UV rays, staying sun-savvy is vital to reduce the chances of a dark spot reappearing, or even appearing in the first place! 

When you’re exposed to the sun, be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen which contains an SPF of at least 30, such as our Great Barrier Sun Lotion, available in either SPF 30 or SPF 50. A facial SPF is also useful. Try our Sun Day facial UV Defence which offers an SPF of 50 as well as hydrating hyaluronic acid to stop skin from drying out under the sun's rays.

Be sure to reapply sun protection regularly – especially if you're swimming or sweating. It's also wise to avoid the hours of peak sun, between 10am and 3pm. If you’re out and about during these hours in summer, cover your arms and legs and try to wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover your entire head, face and neck.

If you're a sunbed lover, it’s a much better idea to swerve away from them completely and try a fake tan instead. For that year-round glow, why not try our Sun Drench Overnight Tanning Mousse? It creates a gorgeous glow as you sleep!

Sunspots are a common feature of skin that’s well lived in. Although we can’t turn back time and apply more SPF, there’s plenty that can be done to reduce the appearance of dark spots. Give our luxurious natural serums a try and see the powerful effects on your skin tone, and protect yourself from UV rays with our silky SPF suncare. You’ll enjoy glowing skin (without any help from the sun) in no time!

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