Freckles are those brown spots that show up on your face when your skin is overexposed to sun without proper sun protection. They can occur on your face, chest, hands, or anywhere on the body. Freckles form when our skin produces excess melanin (melanin is the pigment that makes our eyes, hair, and skin dark). They generally show up on the skin during 30s, but if sunscreen is not part of regular skincare routine, they can show up at any age bracket.
What Causes Freckles?
The most common causes for freckles are too much exposure to the sun, hereditary factors, and hormonal imbalance.
Are Freckles Harmful?
They are not harmful at all, in fact, these dark spots act as a natural sunscreen and protect your skin from further damage.
Natural Ingredients To Get Rid of Freckles:
1. Lemon juice: Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent that lightens skin tone and makes it look even toned. Lemon juice also helps in decreasing acne spots and blemishes. To use lemon for freckles, squeeze juice from half a lemon. Add a bit of honey to it and apply directly this mixture on face. Massage for 7-8 minutes. Leave it on skin for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse. The ascorbic acid in lemon also helps to reduce hyperpigmentation. Do this at least twice or thrice a week to get rid of freckles.
2. Horseradish Face Mask: Horseradish has natural bleaching properties that lighten up dark spots with regular use. To make this mask, grate some horseradish and mix it with a bit of aloe vera gel. Mix well and apply this mixture to the brown spots and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse off and pat dry.
3. Aloe vera gel, Turmeric, and Milk Pack: Both turmeric and milk have skin lightening properties and clear dark spots with regular use. Milk has lactic acid and turmeric has tetrahydrocurcuminoids that lighten up dark spots and freckles. To make this mask, mix half a teaspoon of turmeric in 2 tsp of milk and 2 tsp of aloe vera gel. Mix well and apply on face, keep for 30 minutes. Rinse off and pat dry.
4. Cucumber and Turmeric Mask: Extract cucumber juice from fresh cucumber. Add just a pinch of turmeric to it. Mix well and apply on the dark spots with the help of a cotton ball. This pack can give you bright complex with regular use.
5. Sour Cream Mask: The lactic acid found in sour milk can remove freckles naturally without causing irritation or dryness on the skin. Apply some sour cream to the freckled area and give it a few minutes to dry. Wash it off with water after 20 minutes.
6. Pure Rosehip Oil: Sun spots and freckles can be reduced to a great extent by applying rosehip oil. Rosehip oil can lighten and even out skin tone too. You have to absolutely stock up rosehip oil.
7. Papaya and Honey Face Pack: Papaya contains active enzymes that can help lighten scars and freckles. The enzyme papain in papaya helps to reduce freckles effectively. Honey can bleach skin naturally. Take few papaya pieces and mash them to make a paste. Add some honey to it and mix properly. Spread this mixture on the face, allow it to dry and wash off with water.
Skin Lightening Creams to Remove Freckles:
1. Niacinamide: Niacinamide penetrates the skin and keeps melanin from reaching the top layer of skin. We recommend Sebogel (a combination of salicylic acid and niacinamide), Exazel-N Cream, The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% with Zinc 1%.
2. Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is an exfoliating agent which penetrates deep into the skin and removes deep-rooted freckles. We recommend Sebogel and Zitcare S gel.
3. Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid penetrates into the skin and exfoliates the skin. Glycolic acid lightens freckles, dark spots, and acne scars. It can also give you bright and beautiful skin. Our suggestions would be Glyco 6 cream, Brite lite cream. You can also try Pixi Glow Tonic and The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner
4. Lactic acid: Lactic acid lightens dark spots and freckles with regular use. Our suggestions would be Depiwhite cream, Carofit Ultra cream.
5. Hydroquinone: Hydroquinone is a controversial skin bleaching agent. Overuse of hydroquinone can cause grey patches to develop and thinning of skin, so use it with caution and under the supervision of your doctor.
6. Vitamin C: Vitamin C brighten skin and fade away scars. We suggest VC 15 serum and this homemade serum with easily available ingredients.
7. Rosehip oil: Sun spots and freckles can be reduced to a great extent by applying rosehip oil. Rosehip oil can lighten and even out skin tone too. You have to absolutely stock up rosehip oil if you have freckles. We suggest The Ordinary Rosehip Oil, Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil.
8. Kojic acid dipalmitate: Kojic acid dipalmitate can clear away dark spots with regular use. Our suggestion would be Britelite, but consult your doctor to find out whether kojic acid dipalmitate is correct for your skin type.
9. Licorice extract: Licorice is the most natural way to fade away scars and freckles. We suggest Xinbest cream which is a combination of licorice and niacinamide.
10. Alpha Arbutin: Alpha arbutin inhibits the activity of tyrosinase, which in turn inhibits melanin formation. With regular use, alpha arbutin can brighten your complexion and fade away dark spots. Our suggestions – Demelan cream, Kojivit gel, The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin and Vitamin C.
Clinical Treatments to Get Rid of Freckles:
- Laser treatment: Laser treatment can completely remove freckles in two to three sessions.
- Chemical peels: Chemical peels with higher concentration of glycolic acid, lactic acid, TCA, etc. can penetrate into the skin and clear freckles and dark spots, and improve texture and complexion considerably.
- Yellow Peel – Yellow peel is a quick-recovery peel that can be done only at a clinic. Yellow peel penetrates skin deeply, treats discoloration and freckles, blocks melanin production.
How To Prevent Freckles and Dark Spots:
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen. Dark spots, freckles, age spots, hyperpigmentation are triggered by lack of sun protection and over exposure to harsh sun rays, so use a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 protection. Avoid sun during peak hours, 12 noon to 3 pm, wear protective clothing and cover your face with a scarf while venturing out.
- Moisturize your skin well. Dry patches can further accentuate the appearance of freckles, so keep your skin well hydrated.