Free The Freckle
Freckles have always struck me as beautiful, a charming part of the human landscape (who doesn’t love Punky Brewster?!). I have never not loved my own freckles, opting to wear sheer tinted moisturizers to show them off and ignoring suggestions to zap them off with lasers. I was inspired last week by the call by @honestlygorgeous (on Instagram) to free the freckle, so I decided to delve into the biology of the freckle for all those curious about where they come from.
Well, the short answer is that ephelides, the fancy word for freckles, are a gift from our parents. These adorable tiny brown spots on our faces and arms are genetically determined, and when exposed to sunlight, there is a focal increase of melanin (skin pigment) production. They tend to fade in the winter, when they are exposed to less UV rays. Unlike moles, aka nevi, freckles don’t have an increased number of melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment in the skin), but the melanocytes present are hyper-productive. Freckles don’t have any malignant potential, but can be a marker for how much sun exposure you’ve had in your lifetime. I don’t personally advocate for getting rid of freckles but staying out of the sun can minimize their appearance and there are lasers at your local derm’s office that can get rid of them for you. I hope this mini-biology lesson has deepened your appreciation for gorgeous freckles!