Freckles are highly concentrated clusters of melanin, and are occasionally referred to as ephelis. Naturally, they show up far more clearly on pale skin, and can be a huge annoyance. Those who have them do their best to cover them up with copious amounts of makeup, but even the most careful application of foundation doesn’t help! No need to give up just yet, though. We found several home remedies to lighten freckles and gradually get rid of them, far healthier than foundation, concealer, or any of the other many freckle solutions that you have probably tried out and discarded.
What causes freckled skin?
- Accumulation of melanin in specific parts of the body
- Repeated exposure of skin to the sun
- Genetic factors, i.e. one or more parents with freckles
- High levels of estrogen, which can cause over-stimulation of cells responsible for pigment production
- People with fairer skin produce less melanin, but overproduction of the pigment during sun exposure leads to freckles
Symptoms to Identify Different Kinds of Freckles
- Freckles can be either sporadic and individual, or closely clustered together
- Like pregnancy masks and age spots, freckles form in the areas most exposed to sunlight
- Lentigines freckles are most commonly found in children, and presents as a spot, either black, brown or tan in color
- Ephelides freckles fade in the winter after presenting during summer months, and are either light-brown or red in color
- Not only are they more common among those with fairer skin, but also among red or light-haired individuals
Home Remedies to Deal with Your Freckles
These home remedies for freckle removal are equally effective for freckles, blemishes, spots and skin marks. You’ll start seeing the results in surprisingly little time, as these DIY solutions get rid of freckles on face and body.
1. Sour milk or sour cream
Apply a face mask of sour cream onto your face, and leave it on for a quarter of an hour to twenty minutes before washing off with water. If you have dry skin, moisturize well afterwards. Use the sour cream mask once a day until freckles start to fade, after which you can reduce the frequency to a couple of times a week instead. If you are using sour milk instead of cream, wash your face with it three or four times a day.
2. Citric acid
Citric acid can be invaluable in helping your freckles slowly fade away to invisibility, thanks to its useful property as a natural bleaching agent. Use any citrus fruit for this home remedy, be it oranges, limes or lemons. Juice the fruit and rub it carefully onto freckled areas. You can add some yoghurt to the juice if it feels more comfortable.
Papayas contain the papain enzyme, which is known to stimulate the production of new skin cells. Since it also functions as what is known as a tyrosinase inhibitor, it effectively reduces the production of melanin, and thus helps get rid of your freckles! Pulp a ripe papaya, and then apply it to freckled areas and wash off after ten minutes. Conversely, you can mix raw papaya paste with some lemon juice and use it in the same way instead.
The phenylalanine present in cucumber seeds can be directly associated with the removal of freckles, by virtue of having the ability to reduce melanin storage in the skin. Meanwhile, cucumber seed oil also stimulates, nourishes and revitalizes your skin. You can use grated cucumber as a face pack, wash your face with cucumber juice, or apply cucumber seed oil to freckled areas.
5. Buttermilk compress
Use a bowl of buttermilk and a few layers of cheesecloth to make a relaxing compress that deals with your freckles as well. Before applying, wash your face with mild soap, but don’t dry it off. Leave the compress into your face for a few minutes at a time before dipping it into the buttermilk again and repeating, four to five times. Afterwards, rinse your face well.
6. Almond Oil
If you’re prone to getting freckles whenever you go out in the sun, here’s a way to make sure that never happens again. Almond oil contains vitamin E, which protects your skin from the sun as well as from wrinkles and blemishes. Warm up the almond oil by use of indirect heat, and massage it into your skin for a quarter of an hour or so. Leave the oil in overnight, and do this once a day. You should see results in a couple of weeks.
Herbal Home Remedies for Freckles
Like many of the other ingredients on this list, horseradish inhibits melanin production and pigmentation. There are two ways you can use horseradish as a home remedy for freckles. You can apply horseradish vinegar to needed areas twice daily, or, once a day, mix together powdered horseradish root and milk, leave it on your face for around ten minutes, and rinse.
Brown spots and freckles have actually been known to fade with the use of aubergines, surprising as it may sound. Eggplants don’t have tyrosinase inhibitors, it is true, and so they can’t directly affect your body’s melanin production. However, they can definitely lighten freckles. All you need to do is slice up an eggplant (the juicier the better), and rub the slices onto freckles areas for a bit more than five minutes. After a quarter of an hour, you can rinse off the area with warm water.
9. Mulberry Extract
The arbutin which is found in mulberry extract (white and otherwise) is a melanin production inhibitor. The best way to use it is my mixing it with an equal amount of licorice extract and massaging the resultant mixture carefully into your skin.
10. Bearberry Extract
Like mulberries, bearberries also contain arbutin. If mulberries aren’t available, you can use bearberries instead in Remedy 9. Conversely, you can also mix the extract with mashed papayas or oatmeal powder before applying to freckled areas.
11. Licorice Root Extract
If neither mulberry nor bearberry extract is available, you can still make use of the glabridin present in licorice root extract for its natural melanin production inhibiting properties. Once a day, mix it with jojoba oil, apply onto freckled areas, and leave in for three quarters of an hour before rinsing and moisturizing your skin. Licorice Root Extract is effective herbal remedy to get rid of freckles.
12. Rice Wine
They say sake is an acquired taste, but in this case, you don’t have to drink it. During the fermentation process used to produce Japanese rice wine, kojic acid is used as a malt product, and has been found to inhibit melanin production. Mixed with honey, oatmeal powder and yoghurt, it makes a face mask that can be washed off after half an hour.
- If you are using rice wine, protect the kojic acid from sun exposure by storing it in an airtight container out of direct sunlight
- While using the buttermilk compress, make sure to cut holes for your nose and mouth in the cloth, especially if you are using multiple layers
- Prevention is better than cure, so protect yourself from sun exposure as much as possible!
- If you are using lime or lemon juice, stay out of the sun for the day to avoid getting burnt