Age spots are more of an aesthetic problem than a health concern. Your skin has limited sun protection resources. Once that “capital” is exhausted, you get dark melanin spots among others. Among the best natural remedies we have essential oils for age spots. They can whiten and even out the skin’s color, as well as nourish it.
In this article, I’ll be telling you about:
- The reason why you can use essential oils for dark/brown spots. With details on what these essences can do for your aging skin.
- Some of the best essential oils for sunspots that have whitening effects. Some of them are also backed up by science (medical experiments). With pros and cons to help you decide which one is better suited for you.
- How to use these aromatic oils for an even skin tone on face and other body parts.
- Blend recipes that can help you remove age spots with essential oils. A list of some really nice and easy to make blends for the age spots on your face, hands, etc.
- Details and facts about age spots (a.k.a. sunspots), plus a few good tips to prevent them in the first place.
This article contains information, details and tips to help you better understand the phenomenon of age spots. Hopefully, this small guide will help you prevent and improve their appearance.
Best Whitening Essential Oils for Age Spots (Sunspots)
Aging is a normal process that begins once we are born. The passage of time causes chronological aging. Chronic sun exposure causes severe changes in the skin, which lead to photoaging.
Chronological aging is characterized by:
- Decreased elasticity,
- Seborrheic keratosis,
- Hair depigmenation,
- Increased risk of hair loss, etc.
Photoaging is characterized by:
- Skin dryness,
- Other irregular pigmentation,
- Age spots (lentigines),
- Lack of skin elasticity and reduced thickness,
As you can see, the natural process of aging is accelerated by sun exposure. Excess sun exposure damages all the areas that are most exposed (arms, hands, legs, shoulders, back and face). This is the main cause for age spots.
They are also known as liver spots, lentigines, sunspots, etc. Their color may be brown or black, or sometimes grey. I will tell you more about their forming and other facts in the last chapter of the article.
Why Use Essential Oils for Age Spots?
Today, there are many available surgical procedures that can help you get rid of unaesthetic age spots. There are also countless expensive products that help with the brown spots.
But even so, there is still increased interest in natural remedies and plant extracts. They have fewer side effects and they’re very effective. It’s been noticed that some plant extracts can:
- Scavenge for free radicals.
- Protect the matrix of the skin.
- Inhibit cell degradation.
- Boost collagen production.
- Whiten the skin. White skin makes you look younger.
- Inhibit further hyperpigmentation.
Essential oils for age spots (sunspots) are very concentrated plant extracts. Their chemical profile is very complex. The molecules in their composition are highly active and volatile. Volatile means they disperse and evaporate into the atmosphere.
That’s what gives these aromatic oils their unique fragrances. Some essential oils are good for dark spots on face and body, but they’re also great in perfumes.
To remove age spots, the best oils would have to:
- Have astringent properties. They tighten the small blood vessels under the skin and make the skin appear more firm.
- Be able to exfoliate the superior layer of the skin. That promotes cell regeneration and renewal. Such an effect can speed up the improvement of age spots.
- Soften the skin and make it more elastic. In other words, you should use mainly oils that boost collagen and elastin production.
- Nourish and hydrate the skin while evening out its tone.
- Essential oils for age spots need not be phototoxic. The phototoxicity of some essential oils causes sunburns, irritation and other skin damage. I will give you a list of phototoxic essences to avoid before sun exposure. Generally speaking, you should not go out into the sun for at least 12 hours, after using such an oil.
Finding just one single aromatic essence to do all that is not really possible. Each type of oil is unique. Thus, you’ll have to mix several essential oils for liver spots to cover all the areas that need attention.
I’ve done my research and found some really interesting information on certain essential oils. You can check them out below. Their pros and cons, and my personal opinion will hopefully help you make the best informed decision.
1) Cinnamon Cassia Essential Oil
Latin (botanical) name: Cinnamomum cassia/Aromaticum.
This specific type of spice is also known as Chinese cinnamon. It has a very strong and sweet characteristic scent. That’s what makes the oil very loved and popular in Aromatherapy.
- Cinnamon is among the best essential oils for age spots. It has tightening and firming action on the skin.
- The oil has shown impressive skin-whitening effects. It can do that by inhibiting the B16 melanoma cells.
- At the same time, the Cinnamaldehyde in its composition can suppress oxidative stress.
- It is G.R.A.S labeled by the FDA. That is generally recognized as safe.
- Cinnamon cassia has antioxidant effects too. This is one good essential oil for removing age
- It is also a powerful antiseptic and tonic for the whole system.
- The cassia variety is very different from Cinnamomum verum. The latter is considered to be the true cinnamon (Ceylon) and is more expensive.
- Cinnamon cassia essential oil should not be inhaled directly. It is strong and can burn the nasal membrane and cause your eyes to tear. Its diffusion should be done in the smallest amounts possible.
- It is also highly allergenic (induces allergic reactions). Always test it before widespread use. As you should with any essential oils for age spots (and not only)!
Why I like it:
That really pleasant fragrance of cinnamon makes you relax and think nice thoughts. This oil is great for age spots removal blends because of its many benefits. Besides the obvious skin benefits, the oil has a good effect on the nervous system too.
2) Vetiver Essential Oil
Botanical name: Vetiveria zizanoides.
This plant has a special place in the traditional Indian medicine. It is so mostly because it’s considered the “vital force” of the earth. Its specific woody fragrance is also appreciated in perfumery.
- Studies show that the oil of Vetiver is a strong antioxidant.
- The oil can also decrease the production of melanin by suppressing the right cells.
- All these make Vetiver essential oil great for both hyper and hypopigmentation.
- Vetiver also has anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is another cause of hyperpigmentation. That’s why when a zit heals, it leaves a scar behind.
- The oil of Vetiver can stimulate the blood flow in the uterus and promote menstruation. While for some women, that may be a good thing for others, this oil must be avoided.
- Vetiver is a thick oil. You should warm it on a double boiler before taking it out.
Why I like it:
I like the smell of Vetiver, but I like it even more because it can deal with varicose veins as well as age spots. It can also strengthen the immune system and protect against many viral diseases. It is safe to be used as an essential oil for sunspots, as it’s not particularly allergenic either.
3) Lovage Essential Oil
Botanical name: Levisticum officinalis.
Unfortunately, this oil is underrated, though it has many useful properties. From now on, you can enjoy its many benefits for a beautiful, white and firm skin.
- The oil of Lovage contains phthalides. They are aromatic molecules that whiten brown spots on the skin. These molecules act on lipofuscin – a pigment that results after cell degradation. Lipofuscin is also known as the age pigment and increases with age. Melanin can also increase (age spots formation) but it can also decrease. The latter leads to gray hair among others.
- Lovage oil limits the cellular aging process, which in turn leads to less sunspots or liver spots.
- The oil can also stimulate the release of toxins through the skin. Toxins can also contribute to the apparition of dark spots on face and body.
- Lovage essential oil for age spots must be used only indoors! It is phototoxic, thus sun exposure is not recommended.
- Avoid using this oil for a long time. That may sensitize the skin.
- The oil also has cortisone-like effects, thus it can put more stress on your mind and body. The oil should not be used in periods of great stress.
Why I like it:
If used in small dosages and on short periods of time, Lovage oil is safe. Even if it’s phototoxic, its benefits are well worth the treatment during colder months. Once spring comes back, your darker spots may look much improved!
Other very good essential oils for age spots on face and body:
- Carrot seed – illuminates the skin and fights free radicals. Makes a great synergy with Celery essential oil.
- Celery – thanks to its impressive anti-pigmentation effects, Celery eliminates brown spots. Unfortunately, it is also phototoxic so its use must be limited to nights and colder seasons.
- Rose Geranium – anti-inflammatory, tonic and astringent. It also helps regenerate cells and close enlarged pores. Rose Geranium oil improves the aspect of wrinkles too.
- Frankincense – soothes inflammation and other skin conditions. It is nourishing and can speed up cell renewal.
- Helichrysum – favors and accelerates the cell regeneration, stimulating the blood flow as well. Helichrysum can be replaced with Cistus essential oil for age spots. They’re both good anti-wrinkle ingredients. The alternative for Helichrysum is Cistus essential oil.
Please note that ALL essential oils must be tested for allergic reactions. Simply dilute a drop of EO with some carrier oil and massage into the inside of the forearm. That’s a very sensitive spot, just like the face. Leave it like that overnight and watch for negative reactions.
Also, essential oils for age spots (sunspots) should never be used undiluted! You can use good quality and appropriate carrier oils for a beneficial blend. Their internal use is not recommended without the guidance of a doctor.
The following categories should not use essential oils for brown spots on face or body without medical approval:
- Elderly people.
- Epileptic patients.
- As well as pregnant women,
- And nursing women.
A List of Phototoxic Essential Oils for Age Spots to Avoid:
It’s important to be fully aware of the dangers of using phototoxic essential oils under UV light. These two don’t go well together. A phototoxic oil may cause your skin to burn faster and deeper, become red and irritated, dry and damaged.
Unless otherwise specified, these aroma oils should be avoided:
- John’s Wort oil macerate.
Citrus oils that are steam distilled though are not phototoxic. The responsible substances don’t make it into the oil by steam vapors. Only citrus oils that are cold-pressed or expelled, are phototoxic!
How to Use Essential Oils for Dark Spots on Face and Hands
The best and safest way to use essential oils for brown spots (liver spots) is by topically. Dilute up to 12 drops of essential oil per Oz carrier oil for any face blends.
For body blends, the dosage can be higher. You can blend up to 30 drops of EO/Oz carrier.
It is also important to use appropriate carrier oils for age spots. They are oily because they contain fatty acids, essential for skin protection and regeneration. They are cold-pressed from nuts, seeds and kernels.
The best carrier oils for age spots are:
- Sweet Almond.
All these carriers (vegetable oils) have skin-whitening effects. That is possible because they contain linoleic acid in various concentrations. Please make sure the oil you pick is the right one for your skin type!
Aroma Recipes with Essential Oils to Remove Age Spots
Essential oils can’t be used undiluted, and so it’s time to make some blends and put them all to the test. I’ve prepared a list of essential oil blends to help you remove dark or brown spots on face and body.
Age Spots Essential Oil Blend
- Lovage essential oil: 4 drops
- Rose Geranium essential oil: 3 drops
- Cinnamon essential oil: 5 drops
- Argan oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Mix all these oils well and shake before each use. Apply 2 – 3 drops of the blend on the affected areas, mornings and nights. Continue with this remedy for 3 consecutive weeks. If you’re not satisfied with the results, you can start again after a week’s break.
Anti-Brown Spots (Sunspots) Serum for Mature Skin
- Carrot seed essential oil: 15 drops
- Vetiver essential oil: 10 drops
- Rosehip seed oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Always shake well before use to activate the volatile molecules. Apply only once a day as this is a more concentrated blend (serum). 3 weeks on, 1 week off.
Skin-Whitening Lotion (Toner) Recipe
- Aloe Vera gel: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Carrot hydrosol (floral water): 1 Oz (30ml)
- Cucumber extract: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Preservative (Cosgard): 20 drops
The ingredients are all water-soluble so the preservative will prevent mold growth. It’ll also increase the shelf life of the toner. Apply on a clean, damp face and leave it on to dry on its own. Keep it stored in the fridge for a longer life. Make a fresh new batch every 2 – 3 weeks.
Anti-Aging Spots Blend Recipe for Face
- Cinnamon essential oil: 10 drops
- Evening Primrose oil: 2 tablespoons
The carrier oil should be replaced with one that’s right for your skin type. Apply mornings and nights on a clean, toned face with massage movements. Avoid the under eye area though. Cinnamon may irritate your eyes and the sensitive skin around them.
How long does it take for the age spots to diminish?
Those nasty brown/dark spots on your skin will not go away in a week. You will have to have patience for at least a month. That’s the average time the skin takes to renew its cells.
Plus, with age that process may be even slower. Between 6 and 8 weeks should be a reasonable expectation to see improvement.
What Exactly Are Age Spots and How to Prevent Them in the First Place?
Melanin and lipofuscin are two pigments that may give an irregular aspect to your skin. Chronological aging or photoaging can cause irregular skin tone. The sun though, is the main culprit. Why is that? In its presence (or UV light) only is the melanin production activated.
Since the skin is the most visible organ, it is only natural to want it to look its best. Thankfully, we have natural sources to turn to for age spots treatment.
- Free radicals cause the cells to degrade slowly. That’s why essential oils for age spots that have regenerative and antioxidant properties can prevent most damage.
- In time, the skin accumulates melanin. Essential and carrier oils can protect the skin from UV light and other damaging factors.
- Pollution also contributes to the forming of brown spots. The skin is the defense barrier of the body. All toxins and residues stop in it, which in time, may lead to their stacking up and causing dark spots. Essential oils for sunspots on face and body promote detoxification. That leads to a clearer skin.
Age spots may be seen in younger people too. But they’re usually seen in people past the age of 40. With the passage of time it’s normal to see some pigmentary changes in your skin. The aging process cannot be stopped, but it can be delayed.
Moisturizers and antioxidants can make a huge difference in how your skin looks. This and moderate sun exposure can greatly prevent the apparition of age spots, liver spots or however you want to call them.
As they say, the best treatment is prevention. Here are a few ideas and tips to take into consideration:
- To prevent age spots, you need to moisturize daily and use SPF lotions, regardless of the season.
- To avoid sunburns, hats and long-sleeved shirts are necessary.
- Tanning should be done gradually (an hour or two in the morning and/or evening). In the summer, avoid sun exposure between 11 am – 5 pm. If you must though, wear serious protection.
- Some medicines may be phototoxic and cause your skin to burn faster and deeper. Talk to your doctor about your intentions before undergoing any treatment.
- Avoid using phototoxic essential oils for brown spots on face and body.
- Cosmetic treatments, especially those with tretinoin can also sensitize the skin.
- Take vitamin supplements to strengthen your immune system. That will also strengthen the protective barrier of your skin.
In conclusion, you can use this article as a small guide to help you understand age spots. Their aspect can indeed be improved or even removed for good.
But the most important thing is that most age spots can be prevented. You can limit sun exposure and moisturize with good quality products on a daily basis.
Your skin can look whiter and suppler with some really good essential oils for age spots! It just takes some dedication and patience to see the results you want.
What did you use to use for brown spots on face and body? Know anyone who got rid of them with essential oils? I’ll look forward to reading your stories.