Love them or hate them, the majority of us will at some point in our lives notice those little brown spots popping up on or around our noses. Freckles defined my childhood and I was really rather gutted when I seemed to grow out of them, but for many they’re something that remain ever present well into adulthood. Gone are the days when they were something to be shied away from and covered up – Topshop have even launched their very own Freckle Pencil and have been encouraging customers to draw on their own freckles; it’s no surprise it’s popped up as a trend, as we so closely associate them with sunshine, happiness and youth. But what are these little freckly brown spots and why do we get them?

In the briefest of terms, freckles are caused by the sun.
We all have pigment-producing cells in our skin called melanocytes, who feed this pigment to keratinocytes (the normal skin cells that form the outer barrier of our skin.) This
barrier protects us from environmental damage and the sun’s powerful rays – this is why we often tan when exposed by the sun, as it’s our bodies natural way of protecting itself. (Technically speaking tanning is a bad thing and a sign of damage, even though we associated a sunkissed glow with health and radiance.) When our melanocytes become damaged by the sun, we
produce abnormal collections of melanin
pigment in the skin: freckles! These sit in the top layer of skin and will become more prominent with exposure to the sun – as our bodies will produce even more melanin, causing them to appear darker.

Although genetics do have some impact on the likelihood of developing freckles (paler skintones are much more likely to see them popping up,) they’re not the only factor. Sunscreen can help reduce the number and severity of freckles, so being as sun safe as possible will keep them at bay. Although there are treatments available to remove freckles (laser light therapy being the most common,) the majority of creams claiming to reduce freckles only ‘bleach’ the skin and cause the surrounding area to be affected too. My personal opinion is that freckles are absolutely gorgeous and really bring character to a face, but for many they’re seen as an imperfection they’d rather see the back of. As we step into the warmer weeks it’s more important than ever to stay sun safe, so make sure you’re applying those facial SPFs regualarly (check out my personal faves here,) regardless of whether you’re freckle free or not.

Are you a freckly beauty? Do you love or loathe your freckles, or don’t they bother you at all?

*image taken from a beautiful selection of freckled lovelies here.

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  1. Stephanie Canham
    July 9, 2015 / 8:53 pm

    I've hated the freckles on my face formally years and not long after I'd started blogging ( just over year ago) I was approached by a well known clinic asking me if I wanted to have laser treatment to get rid of them (for free) and feature in a daily paper. I was excited and said yes initially but then changed my mind after much thought. It really made me take a long look at my face in the mirror and by doing that made me realise the freckles I have (quite a lot) on my face are what make me, ME! I probably would not like the look of me without them so I politely declined and I'm glad I did.I think I would have regretted the decision if I went ahead. I'm learning to love the freckles on my face, especially the ones on my nose but I don't think I will EVER learn to love the ones on my body! Stephxwww.pricelesslifeofmine.com

  2. Emily
    July 11, 2015 / 1:09 pm

    I've had freckles for as long as I can remember and everyone in my family does too, I put it down to being super pale and Irish genetics. I always despised them until recently when it's almost become a fashion 'trend' if that makes sense? It's made me feel more confident about my own freckles which is obvious a good thing!Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blogxx

  3. 2catsinjapan
    July 12, 2015 / 10:36 am

    I live in a country where freckles are considered a sign that you're not taking care of yourself when out in the sun.Tranexamic acid and niacinamide are common ingredients in nearly all routine skincare products and they work slightly differently than vitamin c (which it seems you were alluding when mentioning skin brightening). And laser treatments are cheap and plentiful here, too.

  4. Anonymous
    July 13, 2015 / 5:28 pm

    I'm covered from head to toe and so is daughter, my mum and most of the females on my mums side of the family so ours must be genetics' never even considered having them removed why would I they are what makes me individual i wouldn't be me without them

  5. Alison
    July 16, 2015 / 11:42 am

    I have loads of freckles on my face but don't mind them at all. My mum used to call them sun kisses

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