How To Combat Pigmentation And Age Spots

Age spots and pigmentation are common problems as we get older, and can end up affecting our confidence as well as our appearance.

Hormones, specifically oestrogen, could be on of the causes behind your pesky age spots and pigmentation. It’s a hormone that slows during menopause, causing melanin to rev up and old UV damage to surface as those brown or greyish sun spots we find on our faces and skin.

Most of us have pigmentation to some degree, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to fade and even reverse it. Arm yourself with our expert guide and remember it’s a long game. Patience and persistence pay dividends, and in the meantime, get to know a great camouflage concealer.

Make sure to protect your skin from the sun

“Nothing is as important for preventing and reducing skin discolouration as avoiding direct sun exposure and using sunscreen 365 days a year,” says US skin guru Paula Begoun. It’s the cornerstone of any regime. “Using any other skin lightening product or receiving a medical treatment without also using a sunscreen is a waste of time and money,” she adds, so no excuses!

Try Murad Luminous Shield SPF 50, £55, and Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily Defense SPF50, £35, which are so weightless you won’t know you’re wearing them. But, your skin definitely will.


Methods to help fade pigmentation

Now you’re protected, go into attack mode. Plenty of ingredients claim to fade pigmentation but there are a few that we really know work. A steady regime combining these treatments with sun protection should yield real results in three months.

Alpha-hydroxy acids

“Products that contain AHAs help to exfoliate dead and hyper-pigmented cells to stimulate the production of new cell growth” says top dermatolagist Dr Murad. AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid; use a couple of times a week for an instant brightening effect. Try Alpha H Beauty Sleep Power Peel, £54, or Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel, £25.

Also known as Vitamin B3, this has been shown to interfere with melanin production and boosts the skin’s barrier so it holds onto hydration. We love Eve Lom White Brightening Masks, £125.

These are either pure Vitamin A or Vitamin A derivatives and help skin create healthy new cells to treat dark spots. Try SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3, £54.45.

Vitamin C

“Vitamin C has long been established for fading pigmentation and restoring clarity.” Says Dr Murad. “It brightens to promote a more even tone while encouraging gentle exfoliation to promote cell turnover to help purge dark damaged cells”. Find it in new Sanctuary 1 Minute Flash Facial, £14

Ways to camoflague pigmentation

If you’re finding it tough to completely get rid of pigmentation, there are ways to cover it up in the meantime. These formulas are lightweight but give brilliant coverage as a base for the rest of your make-up.


Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, £27.50 With two shades to mix for tone-matching perfection

Vichy Dermablend Corrective Stick, £15 Waterproof, run-proof total cover, great on body too

Cover FX Perfect Pencil, £15 A skinny twist-up stick for targeted concealing

A gadget to help get rid of pigmentation

For a bit more of high-tech solution, try the Opatra Dermisonic, £299.95. It’s an anti-ageing and skin repairing device that uses LED light therapy and ultrasonic sound waves to promote cell renewal and repair and fade scars, freckles, age spots and redness.

Our tester reported brighter, firmer skin and much more even tone: “It makes your skin feel fabulously soft and clean and the massage function makes it a joy to use.” We’re sold!