7 Skincare Rules Everyone With Freckles Should Know

Top dermatologists reveal skincare rules to follow for people with freckles, from regularly applying sunscreen to exfoliation

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Skincare tips for people with freckles

If you have freckles you’ve probably asked yourself these two questions: How did they get on my body? and Why do I have more (or less) freckles than others? Typically harmless, freckles can naturally occur at a young age, whether it’s through sun exposure or genetics. The tiny specks can reveal how your skin will react to the sun, among other things, and dictate how skincare should be handled.

Get started with the help of our top dermatologists who weigh in on the skincare rules everyone with freckles should follow.


Use sunscreen daily

Freckles form and darken in the sun, so it’s important to wear sunscreen, cautions Lindsey A. Bordone, MD, board-certified dermatologist and instructor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “You should wear a daily sunscreen and wear a strong one.” In addition to adding freckles to your skin, too much sun damage can put you at risk for skin cancer. If you have fair skin, Dr. Bordone recommends a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 40 year-round.


Reapply. Reapply. Reapply.

A single daily application of sunscreen may not be enough. Freckled and fair-skinned individuals should reapply anytime they think they may have washed off or wiped off their sunscreen. “If you’re out in the sun and you’re sweating a lot and wiping off your brow, you’re also wiping away sunscreen,” Dr. Bordone explains. “You should reapply every 60 to 90 minutes.” The same goes when you’re spending a lot of time swimming or playing in the water. Check out these other sunscreen mistakes you may be making.


Get a skin cancer screening each year

“If you freckle easily, you are more prone to sun damage and skin cancer,” Dr. Bordone warns. “I recommend that people with fair skin and many freckles get checked once a year.” During a yearly skin screen, your dermatologist will visually look over your skin. Your doctor will be looking for any symptoms of sun damage or abnormal moles or growths that may be signs of skin cancer.


Check out your spots, too

Much like self-exams for breast cancer, this practice is about becoming familiar with your body so you will be aware as soon as something changes or starts to look suspicious. Making a habit of looking yourself over from head-to-toe will, about once per month, allows for early detection and intervention if a problem were to arise with your skin. If your family has a history of skin cancer you should have a professional check once per year. These are surprising places you didn’t realize you could get skin cancer.


Use topical antioxidants

Antioxidants have long been praised as cancer fighters and when applied topically, they are great for the skin. According to New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Jessie Cheung, MD, serums containing antioxidants play an important rule in protecting the skin from the free radicals in the environment. Many dermatologists recommend Skinceuticals C E Ferulic serum.


Exfoliate regularly

There are many benefits to exfoliating regularly, including removing dead skin cells, which allows your other skin products to penetrate your skin more deeply. For freckled individuals, exfoliating encourages healthy skin cell turnover, which helps your skin renew itself and stay healthy, according to Dr. Cheung. If you have freckled skin, exfoliate once or twice a week with a product like Kate Somerville Exfloikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. (Related: Don’t miss these face-washing mistakes you didn’t realize you were making.)


Embrace your freckles

More and more women are choosing to skip makeup and embrace their freckles as part of what makes them uniquely beautiful. “The trend nowadays is not to cover up freckles but to let freckles shine through,” encourages Dr. Cheung. Need an added incentive? Freckles are a sign of youthfulness, she says. Still not convinced to go makeup-free once in awhile? Check out the ways your makeup may be making you sick.

  • Lindsey A. Bordone, MD, board-certified dermatologist and instructor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center, New York City
  • Jessie Cheung, MD, board-certified dermatologist, New York City
Medically reviewed by Joshua Zeichner, MD, on April 17, 2020