18 Ways On How To Get Rid Of Freckles

how to get rid of freckles

Image: Shutterstock 

Love them or hate them, there’s no ignoring freckles. But before you think of how to get rid of freckles, you should know that they actually make you unique! How? Well, freckles are genetic, linked to MC1R, a gene that regulates skin and hair colour and controls how much of the two types of melanin (eumelanin and pheomelanin) your body produces. In individuals with inactive MC1R, higher pheomelanin leads to light hair and skin, and a predisposition to freckles. 

What Are Freckles? 
Why Freckles Appear? 
Do Freckles Go Away With Age? 
Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Freckles
Treatments To Get Rid Of Freckles 
Risk Factors Of Freckles 
FAQs: How To Get Rid Of Freckles 

What Are Freckles? 

Freckles are small flat brown or dark spots or patches on the skin. These often occur in areas that are exposed to the sun. Freckles often start showing during childhood, and can continue developing till the 20s. 

There are two types of freckles, called ephelides and solar lentigines, which are actually age spots, sunspots, or liver spots. Ephelides, or freckles, occur on the face, neck, chest and arms. They are genetic [1], have irregular borders, and are 1-2mm in size or bigger. These can be red or light or dark brown in colour, often fading during winter or with age. On the other hand, solar lentigines develop with age, and are common in individuals over age 50. These can be found anywhere on skin that’s exposed to the sun. They have clear borders and can be yellow to brown in colour. These do not fade or disappear over time. 

Don’t be worried about freckles as they are usually harmless. 

Why Freckles Appear? 

Freckles develop as a result of overproduction of melanin, the pigment that imparts colour to hair, skin, and eyes. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes, to protect the skin from UV damage. Melanin works by absorbing and reflecting the sun’s harmful rays. Melanin is not produced evenly through the skin in some individuals, which results in uneven skin darkening or freckles. 

If you see a change in the size or shape of a freckle, or notice a difference in texture, itchiness or redness, do consult your doctor. 

Do Freckles Go Away With Age? 

Freckles tend to fade over time, but this is only true for the ones related to genetic factors; those caused by sun damage are prone to increase with age. Freckles usually fade as skin cells continue to regenerate, causing melanin build-up to disintegrate. 

Protect skin from sun exposure to minimise freckles and prevent age spots. 

Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Freckles

Apart from using a good sun protection cream, you can turn to various botanical and natural ingredients that have gained popularity as alternative depigmenting products [2].

Lemon Juice

Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, lemon juice reduces melanin production and lightens freckles. Its anti-pigmentary and photo-reactive properties also protect against harmful UV rays. Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice on freckles with a cotton ball or swab. Rinse after 15 minutes. Use this remedy twice a week.

Pomelo Essential Oil

Mix a few drops of this essential oil with a carrier oil like jojoba oil. Apply onto freckles, and leave on for 15-20 minutes before washing off. 

Aloe Vera

Massage your face with aloe vera gel for about 5 minutes. Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. Use this remedy daily to stimulate the production of metallothionein, which prevents sun damage. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid that can exfoliate skin and lighten freckles. It reduces hyperpigmentation and improves overall skin tone. Mix a bit of vinegar and honey; apply onto the skin and rinse after about 20 minutes using lukewarm water.


The curcumin in turmeric inhibits melanogenesis, or deposition of melanin. Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with equal quantities of milk and lemon juice to form a paste. Apply onto skin and rinse after 20 minutes. 

Also – Turmeric Milk Benefits For Health And Skin

Banana Peel

Take a ripe banana peel and rub the inside onto your freckles. Let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing with water. 

Yoghurt Or Buttermilk

Massage some yoghurt or buttermilk onto the skin. Leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing with water. The lactic acid and antioxidants in curd/buttermilk can help lighten skin and delay signs of ageing. 

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil inhibits melanin synthesis, thus decreasing hyperpigmentation. Mix a few drops of this essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or sweet almond oil. Apply onto freckles and leave on for about 20 minutes before rinsing. Do this every night before you sleep. 

Cocoa Butter

Bioactive compounds in this skincare ingredient offer photoprotection, balancing melanin and treating hyperpigmentation. Massage a bit of cocoa butter onto the skin and leave on overnight. Do this every day for best results. 


Eggplant is packed with antioxidants and phenolic acids that have a photoprotective response, helping reverse sun damage and also reducing freckles. Simply cut an eggplant into slices and rub one onto freckled skin, massaging for a couple of minutes. Rinse after about 5 minutes. You can use this remedy every day. 

Sour Cream

Just like yoghurt, milk and sour cream can combat freckles owing to the lactic acid present. Apply onto skin and rinse after 15-20 minutes. 


Applying onion juice on skin regularly can even out the skin tone and reduce pigmentation. Leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

Tip: Use a mix of these ingredients in DIY home remedies for freckles for best results. 

Freckles infographics

Image: Shutterstock 

Treatments To Get Rid Of Freckles 

If you’re looking for ways on how to get rid of freckles quickly, apart from home remedies, you can turn to these skin treatments.

Laser Treatment

In this procedure, pulses of focused, intense light are used to target the freckles. The Erb:Yag laser is safe and effective in the treatment of freckles [3].

Read More – 5 Popular Laser Treatments for your Skin

Chemical Peels

In this method, glycolic acid or other chemical solution is used to exfoliate damaged skin and remove freckles. New skin then generates with visibly reduced pigmentation. 

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Rejuvenation

In this treatment method, light energy is absorbed by darker areas of the skin, breaking down excess melanin and reducing pigmentation. 

Topical Retinoid Creams

Retinoid is a vitamin A derivative, found in many skincare products. It can lighten freckles and improve sun-damaged skin. It can also protect skin from further sun damage, preventing the formation of new freckles. 


This procedure uses liquid nitrogen to destroy abnormal skin cells by freezing them. 


Photosensitive conditions such as melasma are exacerbated by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, making sunscreen use essential [4].

In addition to this, Trichloroacetic Acid and phenol are cheap and effective treatment options for freckles [5].

Tip: Opt for water-resistant sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and SPF 30 or higher. 

Risk Factors Of Freckles 

As mentioned, genetics plays a role in freckle formation. The human body produces two types of melanin, pheomelanin and eumelanin, which is dependent on the MC1R gene. The skin develops freckles based on the type of melanin produced by the body.


In individuals that produce pheomelanin, red, blonde, or light brown hair with light skin and eyes is common. They are prone to freckles.


People that produce eumelanin have darker skin, hair, and eyes, and are less likely to have freckles. 

Limit direct sun exposure to prevent freckles. 

Risk Factors of Freckles Infographics

Image: Shutterstock 

FAQs: How To Get Rid Of Freckles 

Q. How do I permanently get rid of freckles? 
A. Turn to skin procedures like laser treatment, IPL treatment, cryosurgery, or chemical peels to get rid of freckles permanently. 
Q. Can freckles be removed naturally? 
A. Freckles naturally fade in winter and over time. If you’re worried about how to get rid of freckles, you can turn to home remedies like using aloe vera gel, lemon juice, yoghurt, turmeric powder, etc. to fade freckles. 
Q. Is it possible to get rid of freckles? 
A. Yes, it is possible to get rid of freckles with both DIY remedies and clinical procedures. 
Q. What causes freckles on face? 
A. Freckles can be caused due to genetic factors or sun exposure. 
Q. How long does it take to get rid of freckles? 
A. Just one session of laser treatment can remove freckles; some individuals may require more sittings. Home remedies to remove freckles may take a few months. 
Q. How to get rid of freckles in one day? 
A. The fastest way to remove freckles is to go for laser treatment. You can also use makeup such as concealer and foundation to hide freckles. 
Q. How to get rid of freckles with lemon juice? 
A. Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice onto freckled skin and leave on for 15-30 minutes before rinsing. You can also mix in honey and turmeric powder for added benefits. 
Q. How to remove freckles by diet? 
A. For quite some individuals, freckles can be triggered hormonally. Avoid suspected allergenic foods such as dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, fish and shellfish. 
Q. How to get rid of freckles with apple cider vinegar? 
A. Mix apple cider vinegar with water, honey, or aloe vera gel. Apply onto freckled skin and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with water and follow up with moisturiser. 
Q. How to get rid of freckles naturally? 
A. You can get rid of freckles naturally by using a variety of common kitchen and pantry ingredients in DIY remedies. Using sun protection can also help prevent more freckles from forming. 


Embrace your freckles, but if you are constantly worried about how to get rid of freckles, turn to home remedies or clinical procedures for the same. Always remember to protect your skin when stepping out in the sun to prevent damage, freckles, and age spots.


  1. Sun-induced freckling: ephelides and solar lentigines
  2. Are Natural Ingredients Effective in the Management of Hyperpigmentation? A Systematic Review
  3. Treatment of Freckles Using a Fractional Nonablative 2940nm Erb: YAG Laser in a Series of Asian Patients
  4. The Role of Sunscreen in Melasma and Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation
  5. A Split-face Comparative Study of 70% Trichloroacetic Acid and 80% Phenol Spot Peel in the Treatment of Freckles

Also Read – How To Remove Pimple Marks 12 Effective Ways



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