This article was written by Lauren Kent, a writer and consultant for Nutri-Health Supplements with over 15 years of experience. She is passionate about helping people enjoy more active, vibrant lives through nutrition and supplementation.
I’ve had freckles for as long as I can remember. The little brown spots appear on my face and arms every year when the weather turns warm, and usually to fade in the winter. My daughters call them my “dots” and often try to count them. After they hit 20 or so, they give up.
Freckles typically appear on people with fair skin, but not every fair skinned person will get freckles. The flat spots are usually brown, reddish, or tan, and are a sign of extra melanin, a pigment protein your body makes when it’s exposed to the sun.
You see, the sun contains powerful ultraviolet (UV) light which can damage your cells. To help protect itself from that damaging light, certain cells in your skin called melanocytes produce melanin.
Some people have their melanocytes spread out evenly in the skin. These people usually tan when exposed to the sun. Others, like me, have their melanocytes in clumps. And, those clumps create freckles.
While some people love their freckles, others feel quite the opposite. If you want to reduce the look of your freckles, give these natural home beauty recipes a try.
Papaya Facial Mask: Papaya is loaded with skin nourishing vitamins and antioxidants. The fruit is also a gentle, but effective, skin exfoliator due to its high concentration of the enzyme papain and alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). When you exfoliate your skin, it naturally appears lighter and the look of freckles is reduced. As an added bonus, regular exfoliation reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles and helps your skin appears younger. Note that a papaya’s level of papain is highest when the fruit is not yet ripe, which is why the recipes calls for an unripe papaya.
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What you’ll need:
½ unripe papaya, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon of honey
Directions: Mix papaya and honey together in blender or food processor until smooth, with a paste-like consistency. Apply to face, but be sure to keep away from the eyes. Leave mask on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Do not leave the mask on for more than 15 minutes, as the natural acids in the papaya may dry out your skin.
Citrus Face Scrub: The citric acid in lemon juice is one of the best natural ingredients to reduce the look of freckles and other dark spots on the skin. Plus, it helps to even out skin tone. If you find the scent of lemon too overpowering, other citrus fruits like oranges and limes can be used instead.
What you’ll need:
½ lemon (or citrus fruit of your choice)
½ cup of plain, unsweetened yogurt
Directions: Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a bowl and remove any seeds. Add yogurt and mix until well blended. Using a cotton ball or swap, apply the citrus mixture to the entire face, or just the trouble spots you’re looking to brighten. Leave scrub on the skin for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with water. Take care not to use lemon juice on open wounds or cuts, as the juice will sting. Also, note that lemon juice may dry out the skin if you apply it too often. So, it’s best to limit the lemon scrub to a couple times per week.
Sour Cream Face Balm. Sour cream contains lactic acid which inhibits an enzyme called tyrosinase. This is the enzyme responsible producing melanin and other pigments in your body. By inhibiting the production of tyrosinase, sour cream naturally helps reduce the look of freckles and other forms of hyperpigmentation of skin.
What you’ll need:
½ cup of sour cream
Directions: Scoop sour cream into a bowl. With clean hands, apply cream to entire face, or the area where your freckles appear. Be sure to steer clear of the eyes. Leave cream on skin for about 10-15 minutes. Wipe off the cream with a tissue or paper towel.
It’s important to note that these recommendations apply to freckles, not moles. Many people confuse freckles with moles. A mole, or nevi, is a cluster of pigmented cells that is typically brown or black. A mole can be flat or raised, and can appear anywhere on the body. While some of these recipes may also lighten the color of moles, it’s best to get any mole checked out by a dermatologist before you begin an at-home treatment.
About the Author
Lauren Kent is a writer, guest blogger, and consultant for Nutri Health Supplements. Having spent more than 15 years in the nutritional supplement industry, Lauren is passionate about helping people enjoy more active, vibrant lives through nutrition and supplementation. “When it comes to health, there’s no magic bullet. There’s no one pill that will cure all that ails us. What I hope others learn through my writing is that our bodies are a reflection of the nutrition we give it. Feed it right, and it will reward us.”
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