Even if you diligently apply SPF, it’s hard not to end the summer without some new freckles dotted across your face. While freckles work like beauty marks for some people, these annoying imperfections can ruin your clear complexion.
If you want to get rid of your freckles, this guide is for you. You’ll learn what freckles are, what causes them, and the best treatments.
Keep reading to find out the best ways to treat freckles.
What Are Freckles?
Freckles are small brown, tan, or dark skin patches that appear after sun exposure. They are small patches of hyperpigmentation most noticeable on people with pale skin. But they can also be visible for people of all skin tones.
While freckles are generally harmless, they show how your skin has been damaged by sun exposure. People with fair skin that tend to freckle easily are also more likely to develop skin cancer. So it’s vital to protect your skin with a high SPF sunscreen.
What Causes Freckles?
Freckles are caused by the skin’s reaction to sun damage. When the skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, it produces more melanin in the melanocyte cells, which appears as skin pigmentation.
Melanin protects the skin, reflecting and absorbing the UV light to prevent damage to the surrounding skin.
Genetics also play a role in the cause of freckles. For some people, melanocyte cells are spread evenly across the skin. But for people with lighter skin tones, the melanocyte cells are clustered unevenly.
This is why some people tan evenly, and others get freckles after sun exposure.
Different Types of Freckles
While all freckles are caused by the sun and genetics, there are two different types.
Ephelides are the most common type of freckles. They are flat brown discolourations that are usually around 3 mm in size. They appear in the summer after sun exposure but tend to fade in the winter.
Lentigines are brown discolourations that have a clearly defined edge. They are typically larger than ephelides and usually appear on the face and hands. Unlike standard freckles, lentigines generally are present year-round and do not disappear in the winter.
How To Prevent Freckles
While there are effective ways to treat freckles, prevention is often better than cure. Having lots of freckles shows how your skin has been damaged by sun exposure.
You can prevent freckles by avoiding excessive sun exposure during the hottest hours of the day. A broad-spectrum sunscreen should also be a key part of your skincare regime. Even on days when the sun doesn’t appear as strong, you should protect your skin with a high SPF sun cream.
Aspect Sun Hydrating Face SPF 50+ is an excellent option for daily protection from the sun. It contains a rich blend of antioxidants and broad-spectrum UV protection to moisturise your skin and mitigate the effects of sun damage.
How To Get Rid of Freckles – 5 Best Treatment Options
If you already have freckles and discolouration, there are several treatment options to help you get clearer and brighter skin.
Here are the five best ways to get rid of freckles.
Laser therapy is the most effective way to get rid of freckles, brown spots, and other dark skin patches.
PicoSure is the most advanced Laser Skin Rejuvenation treatment for skin discolouration. It uses pulses of intense laser energy to target the freckles while leaving the rest of the skin undamaged.
The melanin patches absorb the laser energy, breaking apart into small particles. Your body can then flush away the melanin, leaving you with clear and unblemished skin.
In a 2019 clinical study, over 50% of people treated with PicoSure achieved excellent results (75-94% lightening) within 3 months of treatment.
PicoSure is a gentle laser treatment for dark spots that doesn’t involve any downtime. There’s a low risk of scarring, and most people experience only mild discomfort during treatment.
You can expect to see results around two weeks after treatment, but you may require multiple sessions to achieve your desired results.
Chemical peels are a super-effective exfoliation treatment for a range of skin concerns, including freckles and hyperpigmentation.
Your clinician will apply a chemical solution that causes the top layers of sun-damaged skin to peel away and reveal a healthy and clear new layer beneath.
Glycolic acid or TCA peels are usually the most effective for moderate to severe freckles and sun-damaged skin. However, these stronger peels often cause redness and mild swelling, so you may want to stay at home for a couple of days post-procedure.
If you have more superficial freckles and discolouration, a lighter Jessner or Vitamin A peel may be more suitable. These light and medium peels require little to no downtime.
It’s important to avoid sun exposure following a chemical peel. This is because your skin will be more sensitive for around a week post-treatment.
IPL Skin Rejuvenation
IPL Skin Rejuvenation is a great way to eliminate sun spots and fade freckles. Rather than laser energy, IPL uses a spectrum of pulsed light energy to target discolouration in your skin. That’s why it’s called IPL – intense pulsed light.
The darker pigment of the freckles and sun-damaged skin attracts the light energy, leaving the surrounding lighter tissue untouched. The light energy heats the damaged cells, breaking up the melanin so it can be flushed away by the body.
IPL Skin Rejuvenation is a painless procedure that requires little to no downtime. Your skin will appear brighter and clearer after a single session, but the best results are achieved after a series of treatments.
Microneedling is a collagen-boosting treatment that improves the appearance of hyperpigmentation, sun-damaged skin, and freckles.
The treatment involves tiny sterile needles being used to create micro-wounds within target areas of the skin. This controlled injury to the skin triggers the body to produce new collagen and elastin as part of the natural wound healing process.
Microneedling encourages cell renewal to replace damaged discoloured cells with new, even-toned cells. Over time, the skin appears brighter, smoother, and firmer.
Unlike many laser therapies, microneedling is suitable for all skin types and skin tones. It stimulates the body to repair and renew damaged cells to reduce skin pigmentation.
Microdermabrasion is a brightening and exfoliating treatment that can help to lighten freckles and hyperpigmentation while rejuvenating your complexion.
The treatment involves three steps.
First, your clinician will use a handpiece to accelerate specially refined crystals at the target areas of the skin. This abrasive process removes dead and damaged cells from the skin’s surface.
Once the abrasive process is complete, a vacuum suction nozzle is used to eliminate any excess crystals and debris. This step also stimulates lymphatic drainage.
The microdermabrasion treatment is completed with a skin brightening infusion mask designed to treat hyperpigmentation and freckles.
Your skin will look brighter, smoother, and more even-toned after a single treatment session. Microdermabrasion is often combined with other procedures to maximise results and remove stubborn and larger patches of freckles and hyperpigmentation.
Does Vitamin C Remove Freckles?
Vitamin C has skin brightening properties that can help reduce the appearance of freckles. However, you will need to apply vitamin C directly to the skin to achieve noticeable results.
When applied to the skin, vitamin C helps control excess melanin production that causes freckles to form. It does this by regulating the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase. Vitamin C can also help with hydration and protection against free radical damage.
A 2019 clinical review published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology stated that vitamin C provided “a good safety profile and suitability for the long-term management of hyperpigmentation and skin heterogeneity.”
Pure C is a powerful 100% crystal form vitamin C product that you easily add to your existing skincare products. It can prevent freckles and stop them from getting worse. Your clinician may recommend Pure C as part of your treatment plan to reverse hyperpigmentation and sun damage.
Which Cream Is Best for Freckles?
The best creams for freckles brighten the skin to minimise the appearance of freckles and patches of discolouration. Simply Brilliant is one of the most effective creams for freckles.
It helps to prevent hyperpigmentation from forming while targeting existing problem areas. It contains 10 natural brightening active ingredients, including vitamin B, lactic acid, and salicylic acid.
Applying Simply Brilliant in the mornings and evenings is a great way to enhance the results of any treatment for freckles and help you avoid sun damage during the summer months.
How To Lighten Freckles at b clinic
Freckles are usually harmless. But that doesn’t make them any less annoying. So if you want to get rid of your freckles, book a free consultation with one of our team of skin experts here at b clinic.
We’ll be able to recommend the best treatment option for your unique skin type and help you achieve a brighter and more even-toned complexion.