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


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.



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.



What Skin Needs

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 UV Face Shine Control 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 SUN UV Face BB Cream, which evens out the skin tone whilst moisturising for a radiant and hydrated complexion.


  • 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.
  • 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.


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:

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


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

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