Freckles appear as small spots of skin discoloration, often dotting your face, shoulders, arms and legs. Freckles may detract from the flawless, even skin tone you want and may even be an important indicator of skin cancer risks, reports the American Cancer Society. Several skin care creams can help you fade and lighten freckles.
Hydroquinone is commonly found in skin lightening creams and works by inhibiting skin pigment production and bleaching the skin cells. The University of Cincinnati says it's effective for fading hyperpigmented skin conditions like freckles. Once faded, the results may last for up to six months before you need additional hydroquinone treatments. Numerous creams contain hydroquinone at concentrations of approximately 2 percent and will effectively lighten your freckles within two to three months, reports the university.
Freckles develop from a combination of genetics and sun exposure in some individuals. New freckles may appear and old freckles darken when exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. To prevent the recurrence of your freckles, wear a sunscreen or spray regularly. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends wearing a sunscreen product with a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30 or more. Additionally, avoid going into the sun when its rays are strongest, which occurs between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Alpha hydroxy acid works by accelerating skin cell turnover and removing your top layer of skin. It can help fade skin discolorations and pigment problems, like freckles, according to the University of Southern California. On a skin cream label, it may be listed as lactic acid or glycolic acid, according to the The Skin Sciences Institute. Because the acid makes your skin more susceptible to sun damage, you may wish to only smooth on such creams in the evening before bed.
Skin care creams formulated with vitamin A derivatives, like tretinoin or retinol, help protect your skin from sun damage and reverse discoloration like freckles, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. They may also help with other signs of skin aging, including wrinkles. For the fastest results, use a cream from your dermatologist that contains prescription-strength vitamin A.
Freckles typically signify skin damage. Antioxidants can help slow such damage. Though they may not help with reversing freckles, they can help keep damage from recurring when used in conjunction with other skin treatments and may also help prevent new freckles from forming. For skin health and even color, the University of Maryland Medical Center advises using creams formulated with vitamin C, vitamin E and niacinamide.