Can Skin Peels Reduce Age Spots?

Have you ever seen a banana covered with brown spots? Not real pretty, huh? Age spots on your face and body aren’t so attractive either. As much as you’d like to wish away your age spots, it’s a bit of a process to fade them.

Can Chemical Peels Really Reduce Age Spots?

The short answer is yes. All chemical peel solutions are formulated to remove the top dead layers of skin to even out your skin tone. A new layer of skin replaces the old top layer as your skin heals.

Age spots or liver spots are more visual the lighter your skin is. So a chemical peel will deliver more satisfactory results depending on the following:

  • The acid type and bleaching strength of the chemical peel solution used.
  • Your skin’s ability to absorb the solution.
  • Your therapists skill level. Only have this procedure done by a qualified therapist, dermatologist or doctor.
  • The number of visits involved.
  • Following after care instructions such as avoiding sun exposure, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen and not smoking.

Where Can I Get A Skin Peel?

Chemical peels are usually done in-office or other procedure facility. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect:

  1. The skin is thoroughly cleansed before the chemical solution is applied.
  2. The acid solution procedure is ususlly completed within an hour. However, this time may vary with deeper chemical peels.
  3. Cold compresses or cool air will be used to ease stinging or burning sensations during your peel.
  4. An ointment is applied to your skin to speed up recovery time.

Which Skin Peel Solution Works Best?

Age spots are the result of years of sun damaged skin, so correcting this issue is not going to be an overnight success. It will depend a lot on the type of skin peel ‘acid’ being used and its lightening concentration.

The following chemical peel solution types are a guideline to determine what solution might work best for you:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peels (AHA) – are gentle or light solutions that may contain an acid such as salicylic, glycolic acid, lactic, or acetic. These acids deliver a mild lightening effect to age spots with little recovery time involved.
  • Combination Acid Peels (Jessner) – contain a combination of acids: lactic, resorcinol,and salicylic acid. They are great middle of the road peels that lighten skin better than AHA peels with up to four days downtime, and less possibility of scarring with only skin peeling as a side effect.
  • Trichloracetic acid (TCA) or Phenol Peels – come in different strengths which can dramatically affect your age spots’ appearance. These advanced chemical peels are more advanced by removing a greater portion of the top layer of skin and involve a longer recovery time. On the upside, these peels fade age spots faster and can be done in one visit and last for several months.

Age spots are uneven clumps of melanin (skin pigment) located underneath the top layer of skin. Undergoing a chemical peel can successfully fade their appearance but usually involves several visit to improve your facial and/or body skin’s overall look and texture. A chemical peel is more likely to deliver an even skin tone when you follow after care instructions correctly.

Does Laser Hair Removal Cause Age Spots?

Laser hair removal is a really popular aesthetic treatment because it helps us get rid of unwanted hair, in a whole variety of places where we don’t it!

Despite its popularity though, some people worry that laser hair removal may cause age spots, and avoid the treatment as a result. However, do not worry folks, because laser hair removal does NOT cause age spots.

What Are Age Spots?

Age spots get their name because they occur as people get older. They are darker in color ranging from brown to black and sometimes even gray. Age spots are sometimes called ‘liver spots’ or even if we go all technical – ‘senile lentigo’.

So What Causes Them?

Most of the time, age spots can be attributed to sun-exposure over a period of time. This would be why older people tend to have more age spots compared to younger people. UV light exposure from tanning beds can also contribute.

The most common areas for age spots to show up are the face, the hands, the shoulders, the chest, the upper back, and the arms. Simply because these are the areas that typically see the most sun exposure over a lifetime.

The best ways to prevent age spots is to limit sun exposure by avoiding the sun during peak UV light hours (10 AM to 2 PM usually). And then to wear protective sun screen when outside. But we all tend to get them eventually anyway – there are however some ways to get rid of age spots.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a laser treatment that helps to limit and remove unwanted hair. Using a laser, a technician zaps the treatment area, which then kills and damages hair follicles. This limits the amount of hair that grows as well as well as permanently removes some hair.

It’s most commonly used on underarms, legs, upper lip, chin and the bikini line. Men, in particular, have also been known to use laser hair removal on their chest and back.

Laser hair used to only be effective for people with lighter colored skin and darker colored hair. But laser technology has improved and it has become possible for even very dark skin people to benefit from the treatment too. Just check your beautician is experienced at treating darker skins, and has the right modern technology to do it.

No Age Spots But Are There Any Other Side Effects?

Laser hair removal only has a few minor possible side effects. Laser hair removal does not cause age spots, but it may cause one of these minor side effects:

  • Skin Discomfort: Redness & Swelling, typically temporary
  • Changes in Skin Color: darkening areas or lightening areas, typically temporary

If you do experience any of these, discuss them with your laser hair removal technician who can offer advice and treatment. Thankfully, laser hair removal is a simple procedure that rarely comes with any problems.

Does Glycolic Acid Help To Fade Age Spots?

For centuries people have actually been using glycolic acid to reduce the looks of age spots and wrinkles. It is one of the ‘alpha hydroxy acids’, or AHAs, and can be naturally derived from sugar cane.

Like the other AHAs, glycolic acid treats the skin by loosening the protein bonds that hold dead, dry skin cells to the very top layer of the skin, or the ‘stratum corneum’. When these dead cells are scrubbed away, the skin automatically looks brighter and feels softer.

Glycolic acid also increases the synthesis of ‘mucopolysaccharides’, which are chains of sugar molecules that lock moisture into the skin. It stimulates the body to produce springy collagen beneath the deeper layers of the skin, which makes them firmer and juicier. Some researchers found that glycolic acid and other AHAs act as antioxidants and protect the skin from damage from pollutants and the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Glycolic acid is not considered a drug and is not strictly regulated, so it can be found in all types of skin care products. An over-the-counter skin cream can contain about 1 percent glycolic acid, while the cream used by a professional salon can contain as much as 15 percent. Cream prescribed by a dermatologist may have as much as 20 percent. Glycolic acid is also used in chemical peels. It is probably the most popular of the AHAs because it has a very small molecule size. Because of this, it is able to more effectively penetrate the skin.

Dermatologists believe that glycolic acid helps to fade age spots by encouraging the turnover of cells before the melanocytes can impart color to them. Melanocytes are the pigment producing cells.

How To Use Glycolic Acid Products At Home

The best way to use a skin care product that contains glycolic acid is to put it on in the morning and at night. Products with larger concentrations of glycolic acid should be used only at night after the face has been washed.

Glycolic acid can be used with vitamin A based creams, especially Retin-A. In this case, dermatologists and aestheticians recommend that the Retin-A be put on at night and the glycolic acid be used in the morning. Morning use protects the skin, which is a little bit acidic, from the alkalines of many makeup products. While being more effective than other AHAs, glycolic acid is known for stinging a bit more, but the sensation goes away in less than a minute. People with sensitive skin may wish to use glycolic acid or other AHAs sparingly.

Since glycolic acid takes away the dead skin cells of the stratum corneum, it is a good idea to use sunscreen when going outside.

Glycolic Acid In Chemical Peels

Glycolic acid is famously used as part of a salon based chemical peel formula. It is painted on your face and left on for a few minutes to soften roughened skin and reduce the look of lines, wrinkles and uneven pigmentation. A chemical peel is admittedly not the most comfortable procedure, but most people enjoy the way it leaves their skin.

Glycolic acid is used for light or medium peels, while more powerful acids are used for deep peels. After a light peel, you can return to their daily tasks right away but may experience some mild swelling. It takes about a week to recover from a moderate peel, but you will likely see a reduction in age spots and an improvement in the overall look and texture of their skin.