young lady with freckles

Why Do We Get Freckles?

Freckled skin is common, but what are freckles? Few people are aware of what causes these little brown specks and how to look after them.

What are freckles?

Discover what causes skin to freckle easily and who is more likely to have these wonderful markings.

What causes freckles?

Freckles are brown spots found on skin that is regularly exposed to sun - they are smooth to touch and, unlike moles, are not raised up from the skin’s surface. The colour of freckles is caused by a pigment called melanin. The more time you spend in the sun, the more melanin is produced, which is why you might notice more skin freckles after being outside on a sunny day.

Genes also play a big part in who gets freckles. If certain members of the family are prone to freckled skin, it’s likely that others will be too. Nobody is born with freckles, but they usually start to develop during childhood and sometimes vanish during adulthood as we get older. Don’t be alarmed if your freckles fade in the winter and darken in the summer – this is completely normal.

What are freckles? Lady with freckles

Can anyone get freckles?

Anybody can have freckled skin, but the colour of the specks may be lighter or darker depending on your hair and skin colour. People with red-coloured hair and fair skin are more likely to have freckles, but this is just one of many factors that affect whether skin freckles.


How to care for freckles

Your freckles are what make you so unique – learn how to make the most of gorgeous freckled skin.

Beautiful freckles deserve the best care

Skin that freckles easily should be embraced and well cared for. The way to do this is with a thorough skincare routine that gives the skin exactly what it needs. As freckled skin tends to be on the fairer side, it can be prone to damage from UVA and UVB rays. NIVEA Sun Anti-Age Face Sun Cream contains highly effective UVA/UVB filters for the immediate protection you need and should be reapplied often even on days where it doesn't seem sunny.

If you prefer to minimise the intensity of your freckles and blemishes, why not try NIVEA Daily Essentials Tinted Moisturising Day Cream, which evens out the skin tone whilst moisturising for a radiant and hydrated complexion.

6 useful tips for caring for freckled skin

  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day to protect your delicate skin.
  • Always apply moisturiser after being out in the sun to keep freckled skin smooth and supple.
  • Don’t cover up freckles with a heavy foundation – learn to love your unique markings.
  • To even out freckled areas, use a brow pencil to dot in a few extras.
  • Products with SPF protect your face from UVA and UVB radiation – include sunscreen for face in your daily routine.
 

Cleansing skin for freckles

Step-by-step face care routine for freckles

Cleansing

Always remember to remove makeup and impurities by cleansing the skin at the beginning and end of every day. Using an effective and hydrating cleanser like NIVEA Daily Essentials Cleansing Milk will be gentle on your beautiful freckled skin and leave your complexion looking fresh.

Care for freckles by exfoliating

Step-by-step face care routine for freckles

Exfoliating

Exfoliating with a peeling such as NIVEA Exfoliating Scrub is important for removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. However, don’t exfoliate too often, as this can irritate the skin - read our exfoliation guide for more tips.

Use a toner on delicate freckles

Step-by-step face care routine for freckles

Toning

Toning removes any excess sebum and other impurities and refreshes the skin ready for moisturising. NIVEA Refreshing Toner leaves freckled skin feeling invigorated with its refreshing formula and supports the skin’s natural moisture balance.

Moisturise your freckles

Step-by-step face care routine for freckles

Moisturising

Like all other skin types, skin that freckles easily also needs to be hydrated to stay radiant and beautiful. Apply a NIVEA night cream before going to sleep to support the skin’s regeneration process at night for smooth and fresh skin in the morning.

Use an eye cream on delicate freckles

Step-by-step face care routine for freckles

Applying eye cream

Hydrating the delicate eye area is an essential skin care step, as this area is more fragile and prone to dryness. If you apply an effective eye cream, you can minimise the appearance puffiness and dark circles to brighten the sensitive eye contour.


Can you prevent freckles?

By staying out of the sun and using sun cream your skin will have more protection which means less melanin will be produced and your skin may produce less freckles. Due to this increased production of melanin caused by the sun, people who get freckles should be more careful in the sun as they have an increased likelihood of getting skin cancers. If you have freckles you should pay attention to any freckles that change shape or colour and seek medical advice if you are worried about any of them.

Lentigo

What is Lentigo?

Some people mistake Lentigo for freckles but unlike freckles, lentigines keep their pigmentation all year round. These brown or black spots, they're also known as liver spots and are common especially on sun-exposed areas and can go away over time.

What can cause Lentigo?

Having fair skin, sun exposure or repeated sun damage can cause Lentigo, especially in mature skin.

  • A - Asymmetry: Normal moles are symmetrical, draw a line through the middle. Both sides should be symmetrical. It may be something more sinister otherwise and worth seeing your doctor.
  • B - Border: Moles that may cause cancer often have borders that are uneven, bumpy or jagged. 
  • C - Color: Having freckles or moles with more than one colour can be a sign of something cancerous
  • D - Diameter: A growth larger than 6mm should be checked by a doctor
  • E - Evolving: Any changes in size, height or colour of a mole should be checked by a doctor

Stay out of the sun

The best way to stop freckles is prevent them in the first place.

  • Stay out of the sun, especially during the times the sun is most powerful (11am-4pm), seek the shade and stay indoors when you can.
  • Use sun protective clothing, there are clothes available that protect against UV rays such as long sleeve shirts, trousers and hats.
  • If you do need to head out in the sun use a SPF 50 sunscreen to protect from sun overexposure and reapply every couple hours.