How To Eliminate or Fade Freckles with Food
Lindsay Lohan has freckles, and so does Sissy Spacek, and perhaps you and members of your family. Although some people are happy with their freckles, others wish they would disappear, but they don’t want to use harsh chemicals or medical procedures. Fortunately, there are some natural ways to eliminate or fade freckles with food.
What are freckles?
True freckles (ephelides) are completely harmless, flat spots on the skin that are about the size of the end of a pencil eraser. They are caused by the uneven distribution and deposition of a pigment called melanin, and they can range in color from red to tan, brown, and black.
People as young as 12 months can develop freckles, and they are more common among individuals who have fair skin. Freckles appear mostly on body areas that receive sunlight exposure, including the face, arms, and shoulders.
Because individuals tend to receive less sun in the winter, freckles usually fade somewhat during winter months. In addition to exposure to sunlight, genetics and hormone levels may play a role in the development of freckles.
Age spots, also known as liver spots and solar lentigines, also are caused by exposure to sunlight. Freckles and age spots look the same, although the latter typically develop in older adults and are often accompanied by other signs of sun damage, such as dry rough skin and wrinkles.
How to fade or eliminate freckles
A variety of medications and medical procedures are available to reduce or eliminate freckles. They include fading or bleaching creams, retinoids, chemical peels, intense pulsed light treatments, laser treatment, and cryosurgery. Not all freckles will respond to such efforts, and freckles also can recur with these treatments, which may cause side effects.
Another option is to use foods to reduce or eliminate freckles. These techniques are safe, easy to do, inexpensive, and often effective.
- Eggplant: This unlikely freckle fader can work within two weeks if you rub the vegetable on freckles daily and leave the slices on for about 15 minutes per day.
- Horseradish and lemon: A mixture of grated horseradish and lemon juice made into a paste can significantly lighten freckles. Apply the paste on the freckled areas, let it dry, then rinse with cold water. Repeat daily.
- Lemon juice: This is one of the most commonly used natural ways to eliminate freckles. Twice a day, apply fresh lemon juice to the freckles and rub it in for 10 minutes. It is easiest to use fresh lemon slices. After massaging the freckles with the juice, rinse the area with warm water.
- Papaya: While you enjoy eating this tropical fruit, put aside a slice or two to help fight freckles. Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that can make freckles lighter. Gently rub mashed papaya on freckles and massage them. After 10 minutes, rinse off the papaya with cool water. Repeat once daily.
- Red onion and vinegar: Combine juice from a fresh red onion with about 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Rub the mixture on the freckles for several minutes, then rinse with warm water. Apply the onion juice mixture twice a day, and you should see significant results within one week.
- Sour milk: Once or twice daily application of sour milk, sour cream, or yogurt to freckles may cause the spots to eventually fade or disappear. Dab on the sour milk, let it stay on for several minutes, then gently wipe it off. Apply moisturize to the treated spots. The lactic acid in these dairy foods are the “secret” ingredient.
- Turmeric and sesame seeds: Combine 1 tablespoon of ground sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon powdered turmeric. Add just enough water to make a paste, and apply the paste to the freckles. Let the paste stay on for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with cool water. Repeat once daily until the freckles fade.
- Wheat germ and honey: You can make a facial mask of wheat germ and warm honey to fade freckles. Apply the mask once daily and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water, then cool water. Don’t forget the moisturizer!
The bottom line
You can enhance your freckle fading efforts by following two suggestions:
- Avoid the sun: Sunlight triggers the body to produce melanin, a substance that causes skin to darken. Regular use of sunblock and protective clothing also can help you reduce sun exposure.
- Exfoliate: The cells in the body’s outer layer of skin naturally die and fall off on a regular basis, and you can help that process by practicing gentle exfoliation methods, such as applying body scrubs or using a body brush. The important word here is “gentle,” because you do not want to damage your skin by scrubbing too vigorously. Also, if you have dry skin, be sure to apply moisturizer after exfoliating.
If you want to bid your freckles a gentle farewell, you might try one or more of these food remedies that are without side effects and are much more cost effective than conventional freckle fading or removal methods.