Age spots are annoying little brown or yellow patches on the skin that usually appear on the hands, arms or chest of people over 40. While there are many creams that claim to get rid of this issue, many people swear by using apple cider vinegar to treat age spots. This is a useful remedy for some people, although others do not see the same results.
How Vinegar Works on Age Spots
The key ingredient that works on age spots is the acetic acid that is naturally found in vinegar. Vinegar found at the supermarket is typically four to eight percent acetic acid, while pickling vinegar can be up to 18 percent. Acetic acid breaks apart the pigmentation that causes the age spots and eventually fades them. Some skin is more responsive to this acid, which is why some see age spots fade so dramatically. Others will not see any results at all from vinegar application. So far, research has not been able to show why some see results and others do not. While apple cider vinegar is the most commonly suggested vinegar for age spots – likely due to skin moisturizing benefits it has – this acid is found in every type of vinegar.
How to Use Vinegar on Age Spots
For a spot treatment, dab spots with a cotton ball dipped in vinegar. Some recommend adding onion juice, honey, or orange juice to the vinegar as well, but there has been no research that shows these additions aid in the lightening process. Due to the odor of the vinegar, it is best to apply it before going to bed. Repeat this treatment until the desired results are achieved.
Dangers of Vinegar on Skin
While vinegar is safe, some are sensitive to acetic acid on the skin. If you experience burning or irritation discontinue treatment.
“age spots.” Online Medical Dictionary at WebMD: Find Definitions for Medical Terms. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2012. .
“Apple Cider Vinegar.” Web MD. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2012.