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Does Castor Oil Remove Age Spots?

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Castor oil provides many benefits for nourishing hair and skin, but it is not an effective treatment for age spot removal. Treatments like IPL laser therapy performed by a professional can help lighten the appearance of age spots. 

Our sister company, Retuva Medical Spa, offers several aesthetic treatments for dry eye and skin. If you are interested in IPL therapy, contact us to learn more

Age Spots 

Age spots, also called sun spots, are brown, gray, or black skin spots resembling large freckles. They typically occur in body areas exposed to the sun, like hands, arms, shoulders, legs, and faces. Age spots develop due to excess production of melanin.

Age spots differ from freckles; they develop as we age and don’t fade. Freckles are common in children and may fade due to lack of sun exposure. 

Age spots vary in size and may appear as a single spot or in clusters. 

Age spots are typically harmless, non-cancerous, and don’t develop into cancer. They are an indication of excessive sun exposure. If you’re uncertain about a particular age spot, it’s always best to get it checked out by your primary care physician or a dermatologist. 

Age spots are common in adults around age 40+ but may appear in younger individuals if they spend a lot of time in the sun. Using sunscreen, sun protection, and avoiding long periods of sun exposure can help to prevent age spots.

Age spots are common in adults with fair skin but can affect people of all skin types. Risk factors for age spots include:

  • Being 40+ years old
  • Frequent sun exposure 
  • Frequent tanning bed use
  • If age spots run in the family 

Effective treatments for lightening age spots must be able to penetrate the epidermis of the skin. The pigment is located at the base of the epidermis. Treatments can include:

Castor Oil Treatment for Age Spots 

Castor oil is a thick, odorless oil made from the seeds of the castor plant, ricinus communis. This plant is native to the tropical areas of Asia and Africa. Today, India is the main producer of castor oil. 

Castor oil has been used to treat a variety of health concerns in traditional and folk medicine, like bronchitis, skin infections, and inducing labor. 

It’s reported that Cleopatra used castor oil to brighten the whites of her eyes. In Ancient Egypt, castor oil was used to treat eye irritation. However, keep castor oil away from your eyes!

Castor oil can help lighten the appearance of age spots, but castor oil alone cannot remove age spots entirely. Gently massage castor oil onto your age spots and leave the oil on for a few hours before rinsing. Be continuous with castor oil massages. After a few applications, your skin tone may appear more evened out, giving a brighter appearance.

Castor oil may help lighten age spots over time, but other, more-effective, treatment options are available for age spot removal.

A woman smiling and touching the side of her face with her left hand

IPL Treatment for Age Spots 

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a noninvasive procedure used to lighten or remove signs of aging, such as age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, and treat skin conditions like rosacea or acne. IPL therapy can also help treat dry eyes by unclogging the buildup of glands around the eyelid.  

IPL uses wavelengths of high-intensity pulse light converted to heat energy to promote collagen production in the targeted area, like an age spot. IPL penetrates down to the second layer of the skin (dermis) without harming the top layer (epidermis), resulting in less damage to your skin. IPL targets the pigment of the skin and lightening age spots! 

You may require a few sessions of IPL treatment to reduce the look of age spots. Your optometrist will determine the duration of the IPL treatment. Patients may see up to a 70% reduction in spots after IPL therapy.

IPL treatment is not recommended for individuals who have a history of keloid scarring or who have severe scarring around the eyes. 

Before the appointment, it’s advised to:

  • Avoid direct sun exposure, wear sun protection for a few days, and avoid tanning beds for a few weeks.
  • Inform your optometrist of any skincare products or treatments like retinoids you may be taking.
  • Avoid wearing makeup and arrive with a fresh, clean face. 
  • Do not wear contact lenses to your appointment. 

You may feel some pressure, warm heat, and bright light during the session.

  • You will have protective goggles to shield your eyes against the bright light of IPL. 
  • The IPL device is placed close to your face, and the light is applied in a series of flashes around the targeted areas.

After the procedure: 

  • You may experience some redness around the skin. Keep your skin moisturized and use sun protection at least 3 days after the treatment. 
  • Wear sunglasses for at least 15 days after the session.
  • For the duration of the treatment cycle, avoid other medical cosmetic and skin treatments performed on the face and around the eyes. 

The duration of the session depends on the concern you would like to target. Dry eye therapy may take about 15 minutes, and a facial session may take up to 90 minutes. The noninvasive nature of IPL means there’s no downtime, and patients can typically continue with their day! 

Schedule Your Consult

Castor oil has benefits, but it’s not nearly as effective as IPL therapy in reducing the look of age spots. IPL therapy is effective in improving the appearance and texture of the skin and dry eye therapy. 

Regardless of your interest in IPL therapy, book a consultation with our team at Family Focus Eyecare to see if IPL therapy is right for you! 

Written by Dr. Joseph Rich

Dr. Joseph D. Rich moved to Columbia shortly after completing his doctorate at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. Growing up and completing his undergraduate work in biology, chemistry, and business management at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO, Dr. Rich considers himself a full-fledged Mizzou fan and actively enjoys going to as many games as possible.
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