Sunlight is one of the major factors of having age spots or hyperpigmentation. This is in a way that lingering exposure to the sun can aggravate the effects of age spots and pigmentation of the skin. This happens when the skin absorbs too much ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet rays are needed by the body in stimulating vitamin D. Too much ultraviolet rays causes skin injury, ageing and age spots.
Through the use of sunscreen, the damage that the sun can bring to the skin could be minimized. Sunscreens either reflect or absorb excessive ultraviolet rays. The UVA and UVB are the two main kinds of ultraviolet rays that sunscreens deter. UVA is responsible for cell mutation, thus melanoma, while UVB damages the skin resulting to sunburn. The problem against sunscreens is its unbalanced protection, when UVA is disregarded and UVB is blocked, which can cause more skin damage which can cause more age spots. When choosing the right sunscreen for you, what things should you consider?
You have to recognize what type of skin you have first. 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 involve the use of sunscreen. You can already select what sunscreen will be suited for you. But you also have to look at its Sun Protection Factor. The Sun Protection Factor determines how much protection a sunscreen can provide the user. The typical SPF measurement is up to 50. Check the label for these ingredients to make sure that the sunscreen will provide effective protection for you: avobenzone, ecamsule or zinc oxide.
Anyway, sunblocks can be in gel, lotion or cream form. Sunscreens are not the only one which has SPF, some whitening lotions have them too but their main objective is different. But sunscreens are more effective than whitening lotion. 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.
However, it must be put in mind that sunscreens are not the remedy for age spots and pigmentation. They only provide protection from the harmful rays of the sun and prevent them from getting worse. Only a dermatologist can help you with eradicate all age spots or lightening pigmented skin.