Freckles or the light brown pigmentation spots that appear on the face are a common cosmetic concern for many women. They are made up of a mass of skin cells which hold the melanin pigment andare not harmful, though they could be annoying just like acne, open pores and patchy skin. Freckles are mostly seen on the face, arms and shoulders. Some people are born with freckles and others acquire them due to overexposure to the sun orhormonal imbalances. While it possible to minimize and eliminate freckles with treatments such as lasers, these simple but effective strategies can reduce the appearance of freckles:
- Try natural lightening methods: Natural lightening methods that can be applied at home are an ideal option as they not have harsh chemicals, are safe, and also easy to apply. These methods involve the use of simple materials to remove freckles. Products such as sour cream, cocoa butter, Shea butter, banana peel, honey and lemon mix, lemon and sugar, banana and mint, juices, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, kiwi fruit, and turmeric are effective natural lightening products. They can be made into facepacks or solutions and applied externally. These natural packs include:
- Sour cream mask: Make a mask of sour cream and milk. Apply on your face, let it soak in and then wash it out. The lactic acid in milk works to gently peel away the outer skin and lighten freckles.
- Lemon juice: Apply lemon juice directly to your skin with a cotton ball, and then wash it off. Lemon juice is natural bleaching product that can help in lightening freckles fast.
- Honey: A scrub made by mixing honey with salt or sugar may help lighten pigmentation.
- Fruit peels: Make a fruit peel pack and apply it on face. The natural acids in fruits can help in lightening freckles. For example, strawberries and kiwi fruit, and cucumbers and apricots are effective combinations.
- Aloe vera: A component known as aloesin in aloe vera works effectively in reducing skin pigmentation. Apply the aloe vera gel all over your face, leave for 15 minutes, and rinse off with cold water. Repeat this remedy daily for better results.
- Follow a healthy diet: Though there is no particular diet or food that can prevent the occurrence of freckles, an unhealthy diet can prevent freckles from clearing. What you eat will determine how your skin will look. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and whole grains for the vitamins A, B complex and C, all needed for healthy skin. Milk, eggs, cabbage, wheat germ and nutritional yeast contain Vitamin B5 and help prevent dry skin.
- Use sunscreen: As one of the major causes of freckles is overexposure to the sun, don’t forget to apply sunscreen before heading outdoors. Applying sunscreen won’t remove freckles, but it will prevent new freckle occurrence. The American Academy of Dermatology offers these tips for skin care protection:
- Sunscreen should have an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply sunscreen to bare skin at least 15 minutes before going outdoors.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Apply topical creams: These include lightening creams as well as bleaching creams. Both contain a mixture of ingredients that can help clear freckles. Creams that contain natural extracts such as liquorice have the ability to lighten dark spots. Avoid creams containing harsh chemicals such as hydroquinone, which can cause skin irritation.
Though freckles do not pose any health risks, consider medical treatment if you want a quick solution. Microdermabrasion and skin laser treatment can safe and effective options that address freckles. Microdermabrasion involves deep exfoliation to remove dead skin cells whereas laser treatment targets the blood vessels under freckles.