Freckles vs. Sun Damage

Want to know the difference between freckles and sun damage? Little “angel kisses’ are so sweet in the younger years but can be annoying as you age and become aware of sun damage and it’s aging effect on the skin.  Some freckles are through genetics, and some get them due to sun damage. Here are some skin tips about the difference between people that inherit the freckle gene vs brown pigmentation or hyperpigmentation. Either way, an SPF and these sun safety tips are not only essential for anti-aging, but to keep harmful sun rays away from destroying your skin.

Want to know the difference between freckles and brown spots? Here are all the details

What are Freckles

Freckles happen when you your skin is hit with UV light causing hyper melanin production in certain spots on the skin. They lighten during the winter and become darker during the warm months. However, any excessive sun exposure without protection will cause sun damage. If you freckles become more apparent after tanning or being in the sun, darker freckles is a sign of damage.

What’s hard about freckles is deciphering which ones could be potentially dangerous wich is why you need suncare protection all the more. If you have freckles, make sure to see your dermatologist regularly for check ups so you don’t miss anything potentially life threatening.

freckles vs sun spots and sun damage

What is hyperpigmentation?

Brown spots, hyperpigmentation, or age spots happen with exposure to sunlight but there are a few other ways you can get them as well. According to Web MD “Hyperpigmentation in skin is caused by an increase in melanin, the substance in the body that is responsible for color (pigment). Certain conditions, such as pregnancy or Addison’s disease (decreased function of the adrenal gland), may cause a greater production of melanin and hyperpigmentation. Exposure to sunlight is one of the main causes of hyperpigmentation, and will darken already hyperpigmented areas.”


Ingredients to Treat Brown Spots and Freckles

If you want to reduce the appearence of hyperpigmentation and freckles, check out this post on 6 ways to prevent brown pigmentation. There are many ways to lighten the skin after it’s been exposed to the sun, however, some are safer than others. Here are some ingredients for the reductiion of freckles and brown spots.

A few Brown Spot Options Ingredients:

Hydroquinone- This popular choice of treatment is a bleaching agent that helps to block melanin from reaching the surface of the skin. Melanin is what gives your skin color. You can find this product over the counter at usually a 2% potency. When you purchase from a physician, the strength is much stronger at 4%. Sunscreen is a must while on this product due to increase in sun sensitivity. (Note- Hydraquinone is a possble carconigen and shouldn’t be used during pregnancy. It’s also not allowed in the UK.)

Retinol- Vitamin A  turns over skin cells quickly, rendering new skin cell growth. Because of the rapid cell turnover, you will notice a decrease in visibility of brown pigmentation. Retinol pairs well with hydroquinone as you get a suppression of melanin and cell turnover simultaneously. Sunscreen is a must while on this product due to increase in sun sensitivity.

Vitamin C– Helps to prevent sun damage from happening and is important in the reduction of un-wanted spots. It can also be one of the most natural and non-toxic ways (when formulated with other non-toxic ingrediants) to help with hyperpigmentation.

Kojac Acid- Works by hindering the production of brown pigmentation on the face which could help reduce the appearence of freckles and hyperpigmentation.


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  • Kendra,I agree that freckles are a result of the sun… How do you explain my freckles that are in places that the sun don’t shine?

    • Christie- when I said “insainly beautiful women” I would just like you to know, you popped in my mind. In a nut shell, freckles are an uneven tan. Sun (UV rays) can penetrate through clothing and activate your melanin. Sun tans are sun damage and you would have to live in a box with sun proof clothing to never aquire any. So if you have ever gone tanning in the nude…ummm, you may have freckles in odd spots. Was that helpful? If not I can send you some links for better info! But you are a beautiful lady freckles and all.

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