What Are Liver Spots, Or Age Spots, And Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent Them From Appearing?

Question: Do I have to use an expensive moisturizer or should I just be looking for some key ingredients?

Answer: I get the question all the time as to whether patients have to use an expensive moisturizer. The answer is no.

There are key ingredients that you need to look for in over-the-counter moisturizers available at the drug store. The first one is retinol. Retinol is a derivative of retin-A, vitamin A. And prescription retin-A has been shown to decrease wrinkles. While retinol hasn't been as extensively studied as retin-A since it is the same product, it does benefit you as far as wrinkles are concerned and it's something to look for. It's available in multiple products over the counter.

The other thing to look for are the alpha hydroxy acids. Specifically, glycolic acid or lactic acid. These are exfoliators, and they are very beneficial for fine lines, and for the small brown spots that you develop. Glycolic acid is available in a lot of facial moisturizers, and lactic acid is great for the body especially if you have dry skin. Twelve percent lactic acid is what you want to look for.

Michel McDonald, M.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center Play


Do you have more questions about skin care, skin protection and your aging body? Visit the ABCNews.com OnCall+ Wellness Center to get your answers.