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“Sharma, S. K., Juice Therapy. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd, 2016.[/Ref] An added bonus? Radish is rich in antioxidants which might have an anti-aging impact on your skin.”
Many of us find freckles adorable but if you’re tired of the smattering of freckles on your face and want to get rid of them, we might have some answers. Freckles form when your skin makes excessive melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin color and protects it from the harmful rays of the sun. Whether or not your skin is prone to freckles depends on your skin type. For instance, people with red hair and fair skin are more likely to get them. But in any case, they don’t cause any harm – except maybe for making you self-conscious![ref]Freckles, moles and melanomas. NHS Foundation Trust.[/ref]
Applying fading creams which contain active components such as alpha hydroxy acids, kojic acid, retinoids, or vitamin C might help fade freckles but, then, several natural remedies can help do the trick too. In fact, many natural substances also contain ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin C. Here are a few that you could try.
1. Apply Raw Radish Juice
Papaya is another good source of
Raw radish has traditionally been used to tackle freckles. How does it work? Turns out radish may be able to inhibit tyrosinase, which is an enzyme involved in producing melanin. It is believed that radish owes this ability to its vitamin C and phenolic compounds, which are known to inhibit tyrosinase.[ref]Lim, T. K. “Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus.” In Edible Medicinal and Non Medicinal Plants, pp. 829-869. Springer Netherlands, 2015.[/ref] So applying a touch of radish juice on your freckles every day might help fade them gradually.[ref]Sharma, S. K., Juice Therapy. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd, 2016.[/Ref] An added bonus? Radish is rich in antioxidants which might have an anti-aging impact on your skin.[ref]Stepanovs, Juta. Skin Saver Remedies. Harald Tietze Publishing P/, 1999.[/ref]
2. Dab On Some Buttermilk
The lactic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) in buttermilk can help you tackle freckles. It removes pigmented skin by facilitating the shedding of the epidermis, the outer layer of your skin. Additionally, research states that lactic acid-treated skin has lesser deposits of melanin. Hence,
Since lactic acid is the active ingredient involved in removing freckles, you can also try sour cream and yogurt.
Treatment with lactic acid has also been found to increase collagen, the protein that gives skin its structure. This means that it can also keep your skin looking firm and give it strength.[ref]Yamamoto, Yuki, Koji Uede, Nozomi Yonei, Akiko Kishioka, Toshio Ohtani, and Fukumi Furukawa. “Effects of alpha‐hydroxy acids on the human skin of Japanese subjects: The rationale for chemical peeling.” The Journal of dermatology 33, no. 1 (2006): 16-22.[/ref] To try this remedy, apply a little buttermilk to your freckles and brown spots and wash it off once it’s dry.[ref]London, Davina. Skin Cures from Your Kitchen Cupboard. Dorrance Publishing, 2014.[/ref] [ref]Stepanovs, Juta. Skin Saver Remedies. Harald Tietze Publishing P/, 1999.[/ref]
3. Apply Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains alpha hydroxy acids in the form of citric acid. And, as stated earlier, these chemical exfoliants can reduce the appearance of brown spots and freckles.[ref]Freudenberger, Richard. The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money:
Don’t step out in the sun right after a lemon juice treatment. It increases the chances of a sun tan.
So, while dabbing lemon juice on your freckles can definitely help, you could amp up its power by mixing in equal amounts of buttermilk. Apply this mixture to your freckles daily and moisturize with a little olive oil or almond oil after you rinse it off.[ref]Todd, Jude. Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies: Natural Health, Beauty & Home-Care Secrets. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2014.[/ref]
4. Smear On Some Aloe Vera
Is there anything the miraculous aloe vera can’t do? It can moisturize skin, enhance its elasticity, treat acne, and reduce skin irritation. [ref]Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “Aloe vera: A short review.”
To try this remedy, break open an aloe leaf, scoop out its gel, and apply it to your freckles. You could also combine aloe vera with equal quantities of lemon juice and buttermilk to make a potent freckle eraser. While all three counter melanin production, lemon juice will also exfoliate the outer layer of skin while aloe vera speeds up skin renewal.[ref]Wolfer, Alexis. The Recipe for Radiance: Discover Beauty’s Best-Kept Secrets in Your Kitchen. Hachette UK, 2014.[/ref]
5. Spread On Some Turmeric Paste
Southeast Asian communities have traditionally used turmeric to lighten hyperpigmented skin. Hence, this spice might help you tackle those pesky freckles as well. Research has found that
6. Apply Licorice Extract
Licorice is another common remedy used to tackle hyperpigmentation. Research indicates that glabridin present in licorice roots can inhibit tyrosinase activity and reduce the production of melanin.[ref]Yokota, Tomohiro, Hiroyuki Nishio, Yasuo Kubota, and Masako Mizoguchi. “The inhibitory effect of glabridin from licorice extracts on melanogenesis and inflammation.” Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research 11, no. 6 (1998): 355-361.[/ref] While you can dab this on directly with a cotton ball, some skin experts suggest mixing in a few drops of licorice root extract with your face oil (say, coconut or olive oil) and applying it to freckles.
7. Dab On A Little Soy
Another go-to remedy to counter melanin production is soy milk. Proteins in soybeans called soybean trypsin inhibitor and Bowman-Birk inhibitor can interfere with biological pathways for melanin transfer and thus reduce melanin in your skin.[ref]Paine, Christine, Elizabeth Sharlow, Frank Liebel, Magdalena Eisinger, Stanley Shapiro, and Miri Seiberg. “An alternative approach to depigmentation by soybean extracts via inhibition of the PAR-2 pathway.” Journal of investigative dermatology 116, no. 4 (2001): 587-595.[/ref] [ref]Parvez, Shoukat, Moonkyu Kang, Hwan‐Suck Chung, Chongwoon Cho, Moo‐Chang Hong, Min‐Kyu Shin, and Hyunsu Bae. “Survey and mechanism of skin depigmenting and lightening agents.” Phytotherapy Research 20, no. 11 (2006): 921-934.[/ref] So, to try this remedy, soak a cotton swab in unpasteurized soy milk and apply it to your freckles. And, remember, using unpasteurized soy milk is important because pasteurization can wreck soy milk’s ability to lighten skin.
8. Apply A Bitter Orange Peel, Yogurt, And Honey Paste
Seville oranges or bitter oranges might be your favorite ingredient for a tangy marmalade. But, they can work as a freckle buster too. Studies show that Seville orange peel extracts can inhibit tyrosinase
9. Apply Avocado Pulp
Rich, creamy avocados may be just the thing to tackle those annoying freckles. An antioxidant known as glutathione which is present in avocados can inhibit tyrosinase and thereby reduce melanin levels.[ref]Sonthalia, Sidharth, Deepashree Daulatabad, and Rashmi Sarkar. “Glutathione as a skin whitening agent: Facts, myths, evidence and controversies.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology 82, no. 3 (2016): 262.[/ref] Give this remedy a go by scooping out the pulp of an avocado and applying it to freckles to lighten them.
10. Protect Your Skin From The Sun
Freckles typically develop on skin that’s exposed to the sun. Covering up with a wide-brimmed hat or long-sleeved shirt can prevent their appearance. Using a sunscreen with a wide spectrum also help. In fact, protection from the sun may even help your freckles fade away.[ref]Freckles and moles. Women’s and Children’s Health Network.[/ref]
While trying out the home remedies listed above, remember that you’ll need to be patient – these are milder and side-effect-free, but it may take a few weeks to even a couple of months before you start to see a difference.[ref]Brown spots and freckles. DermNet New Zealand Trust.[/ref]