Wrinkles. Gray hairs. Aches and pains. As we age, we learn to (gracefully) welcome some of the changes that naturally come with getting older. But, what about those we can avoid? Hyperpigmentation, for one. A product of excess production of melanin – also known as skin pigment – hyperpigmentation is the medical term for brown spots on face. While they can show up at any age, they are most common after age 40 as the skin ages. Many women turn to quick, expensive fixes such as freezing (cyro-therapy) or laser treatment to fade brown spots on face. But there are actually a number of natural ingredients commonly found in skin care products that effectively improve this unwanted skin condition.

Here are a few of the best ingredients and a glimpse into the magic they work to fade brown spots on face.

Licorice. Licorice root has long been used in many parts of the world to treat skin discoloration due to increased levels of melanin. Licorice extract inhibits discoloration by blocking melanin production and by absorbing the sun’s harmful UV rays that enhance and create brown spots on face. The extract has also shown to be effective in treating melasma, a disorder often associated with pregnancy or the use of oral contraception that causes patchy brown facial discoloration.

Citrus Extract. Citrus fruits have high levels of vitamin C, which has been clinically proven to lighten skin and brown spots on face by sloughing off the top layer of skin without causing damage. Like licorice extract, vitamin C also inhibits melanin production.

Niacinamide. A unique form of vitamin B3, niacinamide is a known “spot fighter.” When applied to skin, clinical trials have shown it to fade brown spots on face in as little as four weeks. Niacinamide is also effective at improving skin’s elasticity, reviving its healthy texture, and healing dry, flaky skin often associated with aging.

Grapeseed Extract. With natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, grapeseed extract contains potent antioxidants that help to slough off dead skin cells, revealing healthier skin underneath. It also boosts the development of collagen – a lack of which can lead to wrinkles, brown spots on face, and excessive dryness.

Aloe Vera. With more than 75 different nutrients, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, aloe vera is chock-full of healing properties. Aloe vera is also a miracle cure for scars and lightening brown spots on face, while it contains natural salicylic acid that works to control acne and even out skin tone.

Look for non-toxic skin care and treatment products that contain a combination of these ingredients, like Zax’s Original Darkspot Cream

Carly Harrill is a writer, blogger, healthy lifestyle advocate and consultant. Follow her on Twitter at @carlyharrill or visit her blog