Sun Kissed & The Freckle Factor
Some find freckles, sun or angel kisses, cute, and some annoying. But what are they?
Freckles are a grouping of melanin pigment that forms on the outer most layer of the skin to protect deeper layers from excessive sun damage. Since freckles are part of the skin’s protective functioning, it’s privy for anyone susceptible to these mighty little “kisses” to work with the skin and always wear sunscreen and resort to other protective measures.
Freckles usually form on the places exposed to direct sunlight: face, arms, shoulders and neck. If you “freckle” it’s a sure sign your skin is sensitive to sun exposure so it’s a good idea to limit exposure to harmful UV rays by covering up and using sunscreen. This will limit further “freckling”, prolonged sun damage, and possibly even melanoma. And plus, your skin will look and feel healthier.
If you’re looking to even out your complexion, here are some ways to care for freckled skin:
- Brightening creams and cleansers. These products contain brightening agents that will even out skin tone creating a brighter complexion. Be sure to follow directions when using these products and always wear sunscreen when outside, as your skin will be even more susceptible to UV-damage.
- Laser/IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments. These treatments will lighten or remove dark spots entirely. Depending on your skin’s condition, several treatments may be necessary.
- Chemical Peels. Chemical peels strip you of your outer most layer of skin, allowing for newer healthier skin to grow in. This will reduce the appearance of freckles and age spots.
More sun-damage prevention tips:
- Take cover with an umbrella, hat, scarf, and protective clothing. Avoid scorching sun rays between 10a – 4p.
- Look for “broad-spectrum” sun screens that will protect your skin from both UVB and UVA rays. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, while UVB rays are shorter and cause sunburns. Look for sunscreen with SPF of at least 15, although sunscreen SPF of 30 or more is ideal. If you’re at higher elevations use higher SPF.
- Apply sunscreen liberally 30 minutes before stepping outdoors, and continue to reapply every 2 hours.
- If you have moles, make it a regular habit to visit a dermatologist at least once a year for a check-up.
- The use of tanning beds can significantly increase your skin’s need to freckle, not to mention increase your risk for melanoma. If you really need a tan, try using self tanning creams or sprays instead.
- If you have sensitive skin and want to stay away from chemical-based products, look for chem-free products that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients help to block UV rays from penetrating the skin’s surface. They aren’t absorbed into the skin like regular sunscreens so are nonallergenic and nonirritating and won’t aggravate acne.
- If acne is a concern, Shizuka suggests staying away from powder mineral make-up. “I’ve seen so many clients who use the product come in with acne, I suspect the oil from the minerals or the applicator brush is clogging pores.” An unwashed brush transfers bacteria back and forth from the powder to the skin, which further contributes to clogged pores. For oily and congested skin, be sure to wash your face (& make-up brushes!) as soon as possible.
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