The Best Ways to Fake Freckles

Introduction

Freckles have been having a big moment recently. We see more models with a smattering of dots across their cheeks and nose, and some are even famed for having a face full of freckles. We look enviously at people with those cute little dots on the bridge of their nose, and children with freckles are especially endearing. Freckles, while once seen as a skin disorder that tarnishes the smooth appearance of the skin, have now become somewhat of a trend that people are trying to copy. Women with freckles no longer aggressively apply concealers and layers of foundation to cover up their spots, it is a mark of pride that they wear with confidence. 

While it’s great that freckles are being celebrated and embraced, it is also good to remember that you shouldn’t try to get freckles by spending all day out in the sun. Yes, you might incur a satisfying number of brown spots across your cheek, but at what cost? Sun damage is no joke and it can definitely haunt you in the future when you end up having irreversible sunspots. 

Before trying to tan and get your own natural freckles, let’s understand what freckles are and how they are caused. Then we can discuss how you can get freckles and no sun damage!

Why do some people get freckles?

Freckles are usually a genetic trait inherited from your family; they are usually found in people with a fairer complexion and the genes for red hair and green eyes also tend to go along with freckles. If you’ve seen the stereotypical Scottish person with their auburn hair and green eyes, they also usually have a smattering of freckles! The Caucasians and East Asians are more likely to have freckles as they have lighter skin tones.

In fact, there is actually a freckle gene! It is called MC1R and determines whether or not you have freckles. People with the MC1R gene will produce freckles when exposed to the sun. If you have the gene and you go into the sun, the sun will activate the gene, and your freckles will show. Conversely, people without the freckle gene will not produce freckles even if they go under the sun.

Freckles are important for people who have them as a hereditary gene as freckles are meant to protect your skin from the sun. If you have the freckle gene, you are more likely to have fairer skin that is more susceptible to burning from the sun. Hence, the melanocytes, which are the pigment-producing cells, produce more melanin on the vulnerable areas of the face such as the nose bridge and cheeks, which are typically where freckles form. Freckles are hence super important in protecting your skin by absorbing the UV rays that would cause damage.


How do freckles form?

Freckles form when the number of melanocytes increases. Melanocytes are the cells that produce the pigment melanin, and melanin is the pigment that gives our skin color.  A greater number of melanocytes logically means there will also be a greater production of melanin,  hence darkening the skin in the form of freckles. 

Freckles will usually appear as flat, circular spots come in a variety of tones of browns, beige, and red. These small spots scatter all over the face and are usually more commonly found across the cheeks and bridge of the nose. Freckles may become darker in the hotter summer months when there is more sun to be exposed to, and they may become slightly lighter during the winter season when there is less sun. They usually fade away with age, which is why we tend to associate freckles with the sun and youth.

The other type of freckle

There is another kind of freckle, one that is not genetic. Instead, it is caused by sun damage and it is more commonly associated with sunspots. These spots look like freckles, as they are also round, brown, and flat. However, these freckles, known as solar lentigines, are a form of hyperpigmentation from overexposure to the sun. There is no gene involved in this process, and it is a result of melanin being produced in clumps under the skin, causing brown spots to form. These spots, unlike freckles, do not fade and are often permanent.

How Can I Get Freckles Without Damaging My Skin?

While you can’t get freckles naturally if you aren’t born with the MC1R gene, you can definitely fake them! Makeup has come a long way and there are many products you can use to give yourself that cute freckled look that we like so much. There are many easy ways to do it, and here are some tips for making your fake freckles look as natural as possible.

Use both an eyeliner and eyebrow pencil

The number one tip with freckles is to remember that not all freckles are the same. Some are lighter, some are small, some are dark brown, and some are a redder shade of beige. Using just one product in the same color will give you very unnatural looking freckles. The best way to make freckles look natural is to use different products with different colors, such as one liquid eyeliner and one eyebrow pencil. The different tips and textures will give you more variety in the look of your freckles.

Placement is king

Finding the perfect placement for your freckles will make or break your look. Do you want just a scatter around your nose bridge for an extra bit of texture, or do you want a real smattering of dots all over for a super quirky look? Play around with formations and the sizes of your fake freckles. You have free reign to decide where you will place your freckles, and the beauty of it is you can just wipe it off and start again! Remember that natural freckles are very random and have no set pattern, so just have fun and dot your’s on sporadically. If they look too dark, just use a finger to press it and take the excess product away.

Don’t use henna to create your fake freckles

You might think that henna is an ingenious way to get fake freckles since it will last on your skin a lot longer than eyeliner, saving the hassle of reapplying it. However, there are a few things to keep in mind with henna. Practically, it is also a lot easier to mess your freckles up because you can’t just wipe it off and restart. What if you hate how it looks after you’re done? On a more culturally sensitive note, henna is a part of Indian and Middle Eastern culture and is usually only applied to the bride for religious and ceremonial festivities. Hence, using henna to create fake freckles could potentially be disregarding its sacredness.


Conclusion

Freckles are super cute and it’s nice to see everyone celebrating them! Just remember to stay safe when you choose to apply fake freckles and avoid using the sun as a freckle creator!

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