Help! I’m Seeing Sunspots Around My Hairline
If you have noticed light brown or grayish patches on your skin at midlife, you're not alone! Nearly 83 million older Americans have discolored patches known as sunspots. They're especially common on the parts of the body most exposed to sunlight: the neck, forearms, hands and face—and this includes your hairline.
The good news is that even though these sunspots might be unwanted and bothersome, they usually aren't cause for concern. They're simply clumps of melanin that appear due to sun exposure. And even though preventing sunspots is ideal, there are many ways to treat your existing sunspots to lighten and minimize the appearance of these dark patches and prevent further spots.
Read on to learn more about preventing sunspots on your face and hairline, and what you can do about sunspots if you already have them!
What Are Sunspots?
Sunspots (also called "age spots" or "liver spots") are flat areas of hyperpigmentation on the skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, they are most common in adults over 50, though spending a lot of time in the sun can cause sunspots on the face in younger people. These age spots result from excess melanin created to protect skin from damaging UV rays.
Sometimes it's easy to confuse the sun damage of age spots with freckles, but these are very different. Freckles are usually smaller than sunspots, are genetic and appear much earlier in life. Freckles also fade and darken seasonally (with increased sun exposure in the summer making freckles more numerous and darker in color). In contrast, sunspots on the face tend to have more permanency with their coloring and appearance. (But this doesn't mean that there's nothing we can do for sunspots!)
How Can I Prevent Sunspots on My Face and Hairline?
Our grandmothers were right—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! And this is especially true for skincare!
When it comes to preventing sunspots, optimal sun protection is king. Try to avoid being in the sun at midday when the sun’s rays are most direct (and can do the most damage!) Always wear a broad-spectrum sunblock that’s water- and sweat-resistant. Even if the forecast calls for rain and clouds, roughly 90% of harmful UV rays still make their way to our skin!
Reapply your sunblock throughout the day and add additional protection by staying in the shade and wearing light layers whenever possible. And don't forget about your scalp—even though you might not see sunspots because your scalp is covered by hair, the sun can still damage your scalp! Wear a wide-brimmed hat and apply sunscreen to the part in your hair and along your hairline to prevent damage to this sensitive skin!
What Can I Do if I Already Have Sunspots?
1. Try a Topical Vitamin C Serum
Adding a vitamin C serum or cream to your skincare routine can help reduce the appearance of sunspots. Free radicals cause skin damage and age our skin, and vitamin C's antioxidant effect helps fight skin damage like age spots, wrinkles and rough texture. Research shows that applying topical vitamin C improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time and helps reduce the appearance of age spots!
2. Up Your Dietary Intake of Vitamins That Fight Sunspots
Topical vitamin C serums and creams are great for minimizing sunspots on the face, but you can also help fight age spots from within by optimizing your vitamin intake to support healthy skin! Vitamins that support skin health include:
- Vitamin A (retinol): Vitamin A has an antioxidant effect and helps slow the breakdown of collagen in skin cells while also reducing signs of sun damage.
- Vitamin B12: B12 helps fight inflammation and promotes skin healing after injury or sun exposure.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a key building block for collagen production in the body, and it's also a powerful antioxidant.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is known for its antioxidant properties. It also helps support a healthy moisture barrier on our skin.
You can increase your intake of these vitamins by adding a daily supplement designed to support healthy skin, hair and nails like our Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails Supplement. Significant Other contains all four of these skin-supporting vitamins plus biotin to help improve overall skin health!
Another supplement option is a skin-focused probiotic formulated with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to support healthy skin from the inside out! Our You Glow Girl Probiotic Skin Supplement is designed to help rebalance the gut with good bacteria for a healthier gut while supporting overall wellness and smoother, brighter-looking skin!
3. Use a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen
Protect your skin from further signs of sun damage like age spots as well as freckles by applying a broad-spectrum, high SPF sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Dermatologists recommend an SPF of at least 30 and using water-resistant formulas that remain effective even if you swim or sweat. In addition to sunscreen, try to avoid the sun during its peak from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and use physical barriers like clothing, hats and shade to maximize sun protection for your skin.
4. Talk to Your Doctor About Your Sunspots
We always recommend talking to your doctor about any concerning sunspots on your face, hairline and scalp to rule out other kinds of skin damage. Your doctor can refer you to a dermatologist if they have concerns, and they can also prescribe prescription-strength bleaching cream or retinoid to help fade dark sunspots.
Alternatively, your doctor might recommend seeing an esthetician to discuss your options for improving sunspots and overall skin appearance. There are tons of FDA-approved treatments for sunspots and hyperpigmentation! And the good news is that many of these treatments have minimal side effects and are minimally invasive, using lasers or pulsed light to break down the excess melanin. As a bonus, laser treatments can also treat other skin discoloration, such as redness caused by broken capillaries or rosacea!
Tell Us: Do you have a favorite tip for preventing sunspots, especially around your hairline? Share how you keep your skin safe from sun damage in the comments below!
Like what you read and want more hair-care content delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters for the latest hair intel and exclusive promotions for your mature hair needs!Better Not Younger knows that protecting your skin from discoloration and damage is important, especially as we age! That's why we designed our Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails Supplement and You Glow Girl Probiotic Skin Supplement to specifically support overall health and the unique needs of mature skin. Let us help you look and feel your best, from the inside out!