A Natural Tradeoff

Before you empty your kitchen cupboards in the pursuit of perfect skin, remember that natural treatments take longer to work than chemical ones. In fact, most food-related curatives will take at least a month (usually two) to work. Also, know that the results you'll achieve will depend on the severity of the sun damage. Less damaged areas may lighten completely, while darker splotches may simply fade.

Getting Rid of Sun Spots Naturally

If you find the idea of chemical peels or hydroquinone solutions unappealing, you have a variety of natural ways to reduce the appearance of sun damage on your skin. To start, you can eat a flavanoid-rich diet, which may also help reduce your risk of cancer. Flavanoids are powerful antioxidants found in a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains; they also exist in tea and in soy-based foods [source: American Chronicle].

Here are some other natural remedies you can often find right in your home:

  • Lemons -- Lemon juice is a natural skin lightener and should be applied a couple of times a day when used for that purpose. But keep in mind that lemon juice can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. To avoid negating the benefits of your treatment, be sure to cover affected areas when you're outdoors [source: American Chronicle].
  • Onions and garlic -- If you can stand smelling like dinner, then this low-cost dermabrasion substitute may be the treatment for you. Apply onion juice or a garlic clove directly to your sun spots; the acidity will cause your skin to peel and then lighten [source: DocShop].
  • Milk -- The lactic acid in milk helps cells regenerate. Buttermilk and yogurt will do the trick, too.
  • Papaya -- Press its flesh to yours for 20 minutes a day until you get the results you'd like.
  • Castor oil and aloe vera -- These substances won't bleach your sun spots, but they can help even out your skin's texture.
  • Vitamins -- You know that you can take them orally, but did you know you can apply them topically, too? Look for products that contain vitamins A (or retinol), E and C, all of which have antioxidant, or cell restorative, powers. Vitamin B3 and coenzyme Q10 may also reduce the chance of harm from ultraviolet light [source: Harvard Health Publications].

For more insights about how the sun can affect your skin, check out the links on the following page.