On some freckles look cute, think Dennis of the Menace fame. For others it’s ‘Out damned spot, out!’ a la Lady Macbeth! Not harmful at all, freckles are just spots that have gone pigmentation happy. They are pigment cells within the skin that develop randomly in small batches, especially after repeated exposure to sunlight.
Usually, the bete noire of the very fair of skin, freckles are small, flat, light brown, tan, red, yellow, brown, or black spots no bigger than the head of a pin. Though, sometimes they overlap and run together making them look larger and ugly to boot. Sunlight is the main cause of freckles and how to get rid of them is the million dollar question!
The best treatment for freckles is prevention i.e. avoiding the sun and slapping on the sunscreen when errands take you outdoors. The bane of many as far back as many centuries ago, there are several home remedies that have proved useful in getting rid of freckles. The ancient Egyptians have been known to use fenugreek oil to fade away freckles and age spots.
Another favourite home remedy is lemon juice which bleaches away the damned spots. Modern techniques like freezing, chemical and glycolic peels, dermabrasion, and laser resurfacing, though they help to get rid of freckles and age spots are painful and may damage healthy skin, or cause scarring. There are also many over-the-counter and prescription medications for treating freckles, which are formulated to balance uneven skin tones and brighten the skin. However, nothing works better than prevention and the following home remedies:
Natural Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Freckles And Age Spots
Numerous natural remedies abound on how to fade or get rid of freckles, such as, washing the face with sour milk, as lactic acid provides a gentle peeling effect without irritating or drying the skin. A natural bleach, lemon juice is a time proven freckle fighting remedy, however, the sun should be avoided after application.
Fruit and vegetable facial masks made from mashed cucumbers, apricots, strawberries or red currant improve the chances of fading away or getting rid of freckles. A facial mask made from sour cream works just as well, though such masks should not be rinsed off completely, but should be gently removed with a facial tissue, after which one should apply a non-chemical moisturiser.
Finally, a mixture of natural parsley juice or parsley infusion with equal amounts of lemon juice, orange juice, and red currant juice under your favourite moisturiser, such as, olive oil or Vitamin E, keeps freckles invisible while you get rid of them.
You can prevent freckles by taking preventive measures e.g. wearing a hat to keep the sun from directly hitting the face, using sunscreen or sun block with a UV +30 factor, avoiding the sun during peak hours i.e. 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. when the sun is at its most intense. Check your medication since certain things applied to the skin or taken internally can cause skin sensitivity e.g. antibiotics, birth control pills and topical products like alpha hydroxy acids and benzoyl peroxide.
Over the counter fading creams that contain hydroquinone help fade freckles; however, you must carefully follow all the directions and precautions listed. A word of advice, where your skin is concerned, it is always better to rely on natural home remedies than man-made chemicals!