Age spots and skin hyperpigmentation have a common factor, and that is sunlight. This is in a way that lingering exposure to the sun can aggravate the effects of age spots and pigmentation of the skin. The absorption of excessive ultraviolet rays is a reason. The right amount of UV rays help in the production of vitamin D. Too much ultraviolet rays causes skin cancer and aging.
Through the use of sunscreen, the damage that the sun can bring to the skin could be reduced. Sunscreens work by reflecting or absorbing the extra UV rays that the body doesn’t necessitate. There are two types of ultraviolet rays that sunscreens inhibit, UVA and UVB. UVA is responsible for cell mutation, thus melanoma, while UVB damages the skin resulting to sunburn. Regarding its disadvantages, some sunscreens do not have a balanced UVA and UVB blockage resulting to more damage. So, when it comes to applying sunscreens to avoid or lessen age spots and pigmentation, how are you going to choose the best type of sunscreen for you?
The first thing to do is to identify what your skin type is. There are 6 skin types according to Fitzpatrick (1975).
Type I (1-5 von Luschan scale) very light (celtic/Nordic)
Type II (6-10 von Luschan scale) light
Type III (11-15 von Luschan scale) light intermediate, dark skinned European
Type IV (16-21 von Luschan scale) dark intermediate, Mediterranean
Type V (22-28 von Luschan scale) dark/ brown type
Type IV (29-36 von Luschan scale) very dark/black
After that, list down all the things you’ll be doing that will need the use of sunscreen. You can already select what sunscreen will be suited for you. But before buying check on its SPF or sun protection factor. The Sun Protection Factor determines how much protection a sunscreen can provide the user. In most countries, SPF levels extends up to SPF 50. Avobenzone, ecamsule and zinc oxide should be found in the sunscreen you are using to be sure that it is effective.
Sunscreens also come in many forms, be it gel, lotion or creams. Most whitening lotions have SPF, so they qualify in the sunscreen category. But it is best to use plain sunscreen for best protection. It is up to you to find what would be the best sunscreen suited for you, your skin, your lifestyle and your current level of age spots.
Age spots and dark skin cannot be cured with sunscreens. If someone with age spots and pigmentation engage in an active outdoor lifestyle, he must use sunscreens although it doesn’t assure complete protection. It is suggested to see a dermatologist when it comes to the removal of age spots.