Why Do You Get Freckles Even With Sunscreen?

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Natural Freckles

The popularity of freckles has come and gone throughout the years. No matter if you view freckles as a good thing or not, you still may be wondering if you can get freckles with sunscreen or if the sunscreen will prevent you from becoming freckled.

girl in orange with freckles

Let’s begin by first looking at what freckles are, then jump right into learning if sunscreen can stop freckles.

What are Freckles?     

Freckles are often described as light brown spots that are darker than the rest of your skin. They are typically a light brown color, they can appear in small spots, red spots, or even sometimes dark brown spots. They can appear on your face, arms, legs, or anywhere on your entire body.

These light brown spots also known as freckles stand out much more prominently on those with pale skin, as opposed to those with darker-colored skin. Essentially freckles are small areas of extra pigmentation on the skin, resulting in a small area of darker skin.

What Causes Freckles

Freckles are caused because of extra melanin in the skin, as a result of sun exposure. Melanin production is the thing that gives your skin, eyes, hair, and yes freckles, their color.

Essentially your skin reacts when it experiences excessive sun exposure, the UV rays react with your skin cells and result in the appearance of freckles, and can also be a sign of sun damage. Although freckles are not dangerous in and of themselves, the production of melanin can be a skin cancer foundation.

Another cause of freckles, which can be brought visible by sun exposure, is that some people also have genetics that makes them more prone to have freckles. This freckle gene will make some people predisposed to freckles, whereas other people may not react to the UV rays in the same way.

Can you still get freckles with sunscreen?

As most people are typically recommended to wear sunscreen when exposed to UV light, is it still possible for people to get freckles even while wearing sunscreen? It depends. Usually, even though you wear sunscreen, you still may have some freckles appear even if sunscreen was properly applied.

In some cases, sunscreen may prevent you from having freckles appear, however in most cases, it simply helps to minimize the exposure of your skin to the sun. You may still experience some freckles appearing.

Although the number of freckles may be less than you otherwise would have had appear on your skin, make sure that you are using water-resistant sunscreen too, especially if you are going in the water.    

New Freckles

Primarily during the summer months, when you experience direct sun exposure, more freckles will appear across your skin. Most people don’t mind their freckles, and some even embrace having them, but there are a few people that try to avoid freckles at all costs.

If you’re someone who is looking to have freckles appear, without excessive sun exposure, some recommend exposing your skin to more than 15 minutes of sunshine, which will likely cause freckles to appear if you are going to have them. Keep in mind though that freckles can be a sign of too much sun exposure.

Can you get freckles without being exposed to the sun?

No, you will not get freckles without being exposed to the sun. Freckles appear on your skin as a reaction to the UV rays which come from the sunshine. Natural freckles cannot appear on your skin without being exposed to the sun’s rays.

Why you might get freckles even with sunscreen applied

Getting freckles even while wearing sunscreen is highly likely. Freckles appear from the melanin in your skin and react with the UV rays from the sun. This results in darker spots across your skin known as freckles.

You can still have freckles appear even while wearing sunscreen for a few different reasons. One of the main reasons is because there is not enough SPF in the sunscreen. It is recommended that the sunscreen you wear outdoors has a 30 SPF or higher to help prevent excessive sun exposure. If you can find a higher SPF sunscreen, it will help decrease the UV damage.

dark brown haired girl with freckles

Another reason why you may still get freckles even with sunscreen properly applied is that you may be genetically predisposed. This means that your skin type or skin color is much more likely to be freckled. This is especially common among people with a fair complexion. People with lighter hair color or red hair are also much more likely to be predisposed to have freckles. In genetic terms, people with an “R gene” are much more likely to be predisposed.   

Another reason why you might have freckles even when sunscreen is applied is because of excessive sun exposure. This could be because your sunscreen has lapsed or has gotten wet. Make sure that it is reapplied as the bottle instructs.  

How to Prevent Freckles

There are a few different ways that you can prevent freckles quite easily. First, when applying sunscreen make sure that you have the best sunscreen, a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more is ideal. When using sunscreen make sure that it is applied each day before exposing your skin to the sun’s rays.

Another great tip to prevent freckles is to avoid the sunshine at specific times throughout the day. The sun is typically warmest during the afternoon hours, especially from noon till 3 PM. These times may vary depending on your location but be aware of when the sun is hottest and most direct. In general, be careful of spending too much time in direct sun. These are the times you want to avoid exposure.

Another good idea to prevent freckles is to wear a wide-brimmed hat. The wide brim will help prevent your entire face from being exposed to too much sun. Plus, it will provide some shade and keep you a little bit cooler.

Finally, you can wear protective clothing to help minimize your skin’s exposure to the sun. There are many different types of clothing you can purchase that will help keep your skin from harm. You can also wear a lightweight long sleeve shirt, hat, and pants to help minimize the exposure to the sun if desired.

red head with curls and freckles

Do Natural Freckles Fade?

Natural freckles appear when you are exposed to the sun’s UV rays. During the winter months when there is not as much exposure to the sun, in most locations, freckles on your skin will fade, or even go away completely.

But, if you are looking to fade natural freckles during spring or summer months, some say that you can try rubbing lemon juice or vitamin C on the skin to help remove the freckles. I have personal doubts that this works and have not experienced it working firsthand, however, it may work for some people so you can give it a try if you want to.  

Fake Freckles

Some people enjoy adding artificial freckles to their skin. This can be done by using makeup to create freckles. You can use various colored brow pencils to create makeup freckles on your skin as desired.

Another way that you could get fake freckles is to get freckle tattoos on your skin if you really want permanent fake freckles.

Difference between Freckles and Other Types of Skin Spots

As mentioned above natural freckles come from exposure to the sun’s UV rays. There are other types of spots that may appear on your skin such as age spots, sun spots, or liver spots.

Each of these different types of spots appears for different reasons, and are usually dark skin patches, as opposed to small dark spots which are known as freckles. If you have any other types of spots appear on your skin, you will want to contact your doctor, to make sure they are not of concern.

brown haired girl in yellow

Ask a Dermatologist

While freckles in and of themselves are not typically of concern, if you have any questions or concerns about the spots on your skin, you want to be sure to consult a dermatologist, especially if there are any odd shapes, or odd colors, be sure to contact a doctor about them.

In summary, can you still get freckles with sunscreen? The answer is, yes, you can still get freckles even if you are using sunscreen.

Does sunscreen stop freckles from appearing? No, not necessarily. The best way is to reduce skin damage by minimizing exposure to the sun. There are several different steps you can take to help minimize your sun exposure, as well as a particular type of sunscreen you can use that will help better protect your skin, and minimize the number of freckles that appear.

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About the author

Hi! My name is Faith, I am the creator behind My Sweet and Saucy. I have so many different things that I enjoy doing, and this is my space to share them all with you. I really hope you enjoy it! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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