Age spots — or “hyper-pigmentation of the skin,” can be very distressing. They’re less the result of aging and more the result of harmful exposure to the sun’s UV rays.

Once upon a time, you would have needed expensive spa treatments or prescription creams to deal with age spots. But the UK’s Mail Online has run a story indicating that there is new research addressing the issue of age spots.

The research reveals that several natural, plant-based ingredients can break up the pigment in age spots, effectively ensuring that they fade or disappear. These ingredients include Vitamin C, kiwi water, sophora root extract, a patented vine sap extract and vitamin B derivatives. The products containing these ingredients need to be applied directly to age spots to get the best results.

Any product which fights age spots will need time and regular use before it starts showing results. Typically, products take between 60 to 90 days of regular use to work their magic.

In the meantime, you can help prevent age spots by skipping the tanning bed and avoiding the sun whenever possible. When you do want to be outside, it’s a good idea to use a good, strong sun screen so that your skin remains undamaged.

You can also reduce the amount of melanin that your skin produces by snacking on food which is heavy on Vitamin E–such as sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, and dried apricots.

So don’t let dark spots get you down! They’re within your control, and they can be chased away if you find you’ve made some mistakes with your skin.