How To Get Freckles – Safely
Summer is upon us, the heat is bearing down and we should be doing everything we can to protect our skin. There are many risks to sun exposure, skin cancer being the most dangerous. However, despite this we can tan safely and that does not exclude freckles!
Freckles are becoming more popular than ever so how do we get them? Can anyone get them and what about sun damage?
What are Freckles
Let’s jump into what freckles actually are before we review how to get them. Put simply, 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 is caused by a pigment called melanin.
So, the more time you spend in the sun, the more melanin you produce. With more melanin, means more freckles. This is why you may notice you have more in the summer or after a day outside. This is your melanin going to work. You can learn more about genetics and melanin here.
If you’re hoping for natural freckles this can depend on many factors. The key factor is genetics. Scientists are now able to predict whether we’ll have freckles or not using our DNA. Most of this research has centred around the MC1R. We’ll spare you the details but it is understood that this is the gene responsible for freckles and red hair. People with red hair are usually the first example we think of when we think: Freckles.
Although this gene is important, there are many people without red hair who have freckles. This is not limited to people with fair skin either. There are several studies that assess the frequency of freckles in those with darker skin. In China, freckles appear frequently and it is believed that another chromosome is responsible.
How To Get Freckles Safely
OK, now we have the genetics out of the way, how do add these beauty spots safely? As mentioned above, if you’re looking to go natural, it is all about melanin and sun exposure. However, what is most important, is how to do this safely.
Firstly, there are of course many cosmetic methods available if you’re looking for a quick freckle fix. For example, using makeup is increasingly popular for adding freckles and there is no risk of sun damage.
Since freckles require sun exposure. We suggest following some of these tips to avoid risking skin damage:
- Use Sunscreen – It may sound counterproductive but actually, you’ll still get your freckles if you’re wearing sunscreen. The sun is always much stronger than we think and a day in the sun with sunscreen will definitely see your body producing melanin. Above all, you do not want to risk sunburn.
- Avoid the middle of the day – between around 12 and 4pm the sun is at its strongest. Since freckles do not need a lot of exposure to appear, try to avoid these times. The sun is very strong and the skin cancer risk is at its highest.
- Set a limit – Be sure to give yourself a break from the sun. Usually you only need 15 minutes depending on how fair your skin is. Don’t take that risk!
In all, these clusters of melanin occur naturally with sun exposure, the key is making sure you do not risk damage. This will occur if you do not protect yourself or spend too long in the sun. Remember that any strange mole, spot or rash can be checked by our dermatologists at any time.
Ask a Dermatologist
Anonymous, fast and secure!
Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence.