Either you like them, or you don’t! Freckles are those tiny brown spots randomly disturbed on your facial skin. You may find them on your neck, shoulders, and arms as well. Although anyone can develop these flat, uneven spots, people with fair skin are more likely to get them. While freckles are completely natural and harmless, many people prefer not to have them and desire spotless and radiant skin. If you are one of those who doesn’t enjoy their freckled skin as much and yearns to know how to get rid of freckles on face and other parts of your body, we have got you covered. It’s time to find out more!
Factors Behind Freckle Formation
Freckles are not something that you get as you grow older. In fact, you can find many kids as old as three years have them.
Sun exposure is the primary reason for freckles. Our skin contains special cells known as melanocytes that produce melanin, a pigment that protects our skin from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. People with dark skin usually produce eumelanin. The pigment is uniformly disturbed all over the skin and protects it effectively. Hence, dark-skinned people have a lower chance of developing freckles.
However, people with lighter skin tones and red or blonde hair often develop freckles because their skin has less melanin. If you are light light-skinned individual who ended up here to find “how to get rid of freckles”, this is the reason. On being exposed to the sun, some clusters of melanocytes trigger excessive production of another form of melanin, called pheomelanin, which is not as effective as eumelanin against UV rays. This pigment gets unevenly deposited on the skin surface instead of tanning evenly, giving such individuals a spotted appearance.
Along with sun exposure, genetics also plays a role in influencing a person’s likelihood of developing freckles. If one or more of your family members have freckles on their skin, your chances of having them too increase drastically. While many women including celebrities embrace their natural freckles, and some even go as far as to get fake freckles, not everyone wishes to have them.
How To Get Rid Of Freckles: Effective Methods To Reduce And Remove Them
I. Freckle Treatments
This procedure involves the use of tiny needles. Your doctor will use these microneedles to wound your skin in targeted areas. Don’t worry! The wounds are not like typical ones, but really tiny. Enough to boost collagen and elastic production. As the skin heals gradually, new skin cells take the place of damaged and discolored cells, giving the skin a brighter appearance with reduced freckles.
Sometimes, this treatment is combined with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. If you elect it, your clinician will administer PRP either topically or as an injectable after microneedling. As a benefit, your skin will heal sooner, and you will get better outcomes from the treatment.
This technique is one answer to how to get rid of freckles. It is often used in combination with other treatment options to target freckles. To begin with, a handpiece with refined crystals is used to dislodge dead and damaged cells from the skin. Then, a nozzle creates vacuum suction to pull out skin and crystal debris from the skin. Finally, you are treated with a skin-brightening mask that works against freckles and dark spots to give you smooth-looking skin.
IPL Skin Rejuvenation
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is another popular choice of treatment to get freckles off the skin (1). Light of varied wavelengths is flashed onto the skin in areas where freckles are prominent. The light changes into heat and destroys the excess pigments present in the skin, revealing a glowing and spot-free complexion. You may need four to six treatment sessions to go freckle-free. So, talk to your clinician beforehand to know how many of those you would need to get the results you want to achieve.
As someone searching up how to get rid of freckles, if you don’t mind a recovery time of 1-2 weeks, you might as well try a chemical peel to say farewell to your freckles. Chemical peels are abrasive treatments that are quite effective for treating freckles. Your doctor will use a peel containing chemicals like salicylic acid in face washes, trichloroacetic acid, or glycolic acid to exfoliate your skin. After the damaged and hyperpigmented skin peels off, fresh skin free of freckles and pigmentation takes its place.
One thing you need to note is that chemical peels do come with side effects like redness, irritation, stinging, and swelling and require you to exercise care and avoid sun exposure completely for a few days after treatment.
Topical creams containing retinoids or hydroquinone can also be used to get rid of freckles. Some creams are available over the counter, while high-strength creams are available on prescription.
Hydroquinone works by suppressing melanin production and lightening dark areas, whereas retinoids offer sun protection and prevent new freckles from developing. Although topical creams don’t remove freckles entirely, they do help lighten them, making them less visible. Understanding how to get rid of freckles on face using topical creams is important before you choose your treatment.
Though not very popular, cryosurgery can still be used to treat freckled skin. It works on the principle that extreme cold temperatures can damage skin cells and promote new cell growth. If you’re in for cryosurgery, your affected areas will be treated with liquid nitrogen, which is extremely cold. The freezing temperature causes the skin to form blisters, which later heal and are replaced by freckle-free skin.
II. How To Get Rid Of Freckles Naturally
Here are different ways you can get freckle-free skin without going under the knife.
A. How To Get Rid Of Freckles At Home
Freckle removal falls under the umbrella of cosmetic treatments and can be quite expensive. Even a couple of sessions can cost you hundreds of dollars. Now, that may not be feasible for many of us. But worry not! We have a few simple remedies on how to get rid of freckles at home that most people with freckled skin can try without burning a hole in their pockets.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey: Apply this mixture with a cotton ball and leave it to dry for 15 minutes so it can naturally exfoliate your skin and reduce hyperpigmentation.
Aloe Vera: Scrape out some aloe vera gel from a leaf and use it to massage your freckled skin for a few minutes. Let it dry before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
Yogurt: Lactic acid found in yogurt helps lower hyperpigmentation in the skin. So, apply some yogurt to your face and enjoy a massage for 10–15 minutes. Rinse well when you’re done.
Almond Oil: It is the perfect nourishing oil for your skin. Its vitamin E and A content is great for lightening pigmented skin. Gently massage a couple of drops of almond oil on your skin and leave it overnight before washing it off in the morning.
Banana Peels: The next time you have a banana for breakfast, don’t throw away the peel. Instead, rub it on areas where you have freckles and allow the juice fifteen minutes to work its magic. Then wash your face with water and follow up with a moisturizer. Skin brightening is one of the many benefits of banana peel on the skin.
B. How To Get Rid Of Freckles Using Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is filled with the goodness of vitamin C for natural skin-brightening and is also very effective at fading away freckles. Applying lemon juice can free your skin of accumulated dirt and regulate melanin production in your skin cells (2). Many women swear by using lemon juice as a skin-lightening remedy. But make sure you do a patch test before you apply it all over your face.
Here are some easy steps on how to get rid of freckles on your face using lemon juice:
- Squeeze out some lemon juice in a bowl.
- Use a cotton pad or a cotton ball to soak in some juice.
- Apply it to areas where freckles are prominent.
- Leave it on for 10–15 minutes.
- Wash your face with warm water and use a soft towel to pat it dry.
- Moisturize your skin after some time.
C. How To Get Rid Of Freckles In One Day: Is It Even Possible?
If you hear someone say they have a foolproof way of treating freckles in just one day, be warned! Freckles are a result of an increase in melanin under your skin due to genetics and sun exposure. It is impossible to get rid of them in such a short period, and requires a long-term commitment from your side. However, if you need an urgent solution to deal with your freckles, your best bet would be to use a high-coverage foundation and concealer to hide your spots and blend them well for a natural and smooth finish.
III. How To Remove Freckles By Diet Changes
If you’re thinking of how to get rid of freckles through diet, then let us burst your bubble, as diet changes alone cannot help you diminish them. But a good skin-friendly diet is crucial to helping you achieve smoother skin with no freckles or hyperpigmentation.
To reap the benefits of a healthy diet for your skin, you must eat a variety of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to provide your body with what it actually needs and stay away from low-nutrient foods like processed foods, salty snacks, sugary drinks, and so on.
The best foods to include in your diet to remove freckles naturally are as follows:
- Vitamin C-Rich Foods: Broccoli, cabbage, kiwis, oranges, tomatoes, papaya
- Collagen-Rich Foods: Chicken, bone broths, sardines, egg whites, berries, garlic, leafy greens (3)
- Vitamin E-Rich Foods: Almonds, pumpkin, sesame, avocado, hazelnuts, spinach, wheat germ oil
- Beta-Carotene-Rich Foods: Carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, pumpkin
IV. How To Get Rid of Freckles Permanently
Laser freckle removal is the most effective and commonly used treatment to lighten or permanently remove pesky freckles. This procedure involves the use of focused and intense light beams to target skin cells with freckles without affecting other areas. After the session, you may have short-term redness, swelling, and bruising, which get better during the recovery period of up to two weeks.
Laser therapy is often administered in sessions. For some people, even a single session is enough to bring about the desired change. Others with stubborn freckles may need more sessions. Your provider will examine your skin and suggest the number of sessions appropriate for your condition.
For most people who undergo laser treatment for freckles, the results are highly appreciable, as the laser can lighten 50–60% of the freckles and reveal clearer skin. The results of this treatment can last permanently only if you religiously take care of your skin in the future and follow skin-friendly rituals like minimizing sun exposure, applying and reapplying an effective sunscreen during the day, and wearing a protective hat whenever you step outside.
As you can see, there are many ways to reduce the appearance of freckles. When considering which option is best for you, it is important to weigh the benefits and risks involved in each treatment method. This way, you can find the most effective treatment for yourself with minimal side effects. So, discuss with your doctor to zero-in the best freckle-reducing treatment based on your genetic factors and skin type.
But if you’re someone who loves home remedies more than chemical treatments on how to get rid of freckles, it would still be better to talk to your provider and get his nod before you begin trying them out.
Depending on the method you use to get rid of freckles, you may need more or less time to see results. Once you notice a visible reduction, follow up with an effective skincare routine and protect your skin with sunscreen and a hat while you’re in the sun to keep those freckles from popping up again in the future.
Yes! You can get rid of freckles if you don’t like them. Advanced treatments like laser therapy and chemical peels are great options to treat freckles and can help you get clear and vibrant skin.
Freckles have the tendency to lighten during the winter and reappear during the summer as you get more sun exposure. But for some, they may remain constant throughout the year. Also, freckles may diminish and eventually fade away as you grow older.
Vitamin C may not completely make you freckle-free, but it can reduce their appearance owing to its skin-brightening properties. Consistent use of a vitamin C serum the right way can suppress melanin production and keep a check on this skin variation.