What are Sunspots Anyway, and Why Do I Get Them?

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Don’t look now, but your skin and the surface of the sun have something in common—sunspots. Ok, slightly different.

While the sun’s spots are simply areas of (relatively) lower temperature, our spots—a.k.a. age spots, because they typically become more and more visible the older you get—are actually caused by the sun. But before you hike up those trousers and start yelling at kids to get off your lawn, there are a few things you should know.

When UV rays from the sun hit your skin, you produce more melanin to protect the deeper layers. This makes your skin darker, and ideally, a killer tan is soon to follow. But sometimes that extra melanin stays all bunched together in one area instead of spreading out evenly, resulting in sunspots.

Almost everybody will get some at some point especially if you’ve got fairer skin. Your face, neck and the back of your hands are usually the first places they appear because these are the parts of your body that are constantly exposed to the sun.

There are some natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, aloe vera and buttermilk that are said to help fade the spots. But the easiest thing you can do to help prevent them is to protect your skin with sunscreen. Less UV exposure also equals fewer sunspots, but no need to live in the shadows for the sake of vanity. Unless, of course, that’s your thing.