It could be one of two things—a freckle or a sunspot. There are a few factors that determine which one it is. Let’s dive in and figure it out. Plus, learn what you can do to prevent them.
What are sunspots?
A sunspot is a brown spot on your skin (about .2-2.0 centimeters wide) that develops due to repeated sun exposure and sun damage. Sunspots are usually larger than a freckle, because they are formed when multiple pigmented cells are lumped together. They are also frequently called age spots (since they come as you age), senile lentigines, or liver spots. Sunspots are often found on your hands, face, shoulders, back, arms, and tops of your feet.
So is this form of hyperpigmentation permanent? Not necessarily. Sometimes a dark spot can fade if you avoid the sun for a long period of time, but usually they require treatment to go away. However, prevention is always better. Stay sunspot-free by limiting sun exposure, using sunscreen liberally, and avoiding artificial tanning like sun beds.
How do you treat sunspots?
The treatments available for unwanted sun spots are effective and have proven to give great results over time. Some include topical creams that contain ingredients such as hydroquinone, retinoids, or a mild steroid, which can gradually lighten the pigmented spots. But remember, consistency is key.
Regardless of the treatment path you choose, the first step is always prevention. Our Refreshing Water Cream Organic Face Sunscreen SPF 50 is perfect for shielding your skin from UVA/UVB and Blue Light, making it a superb all-in-one protective solution for your daily routine.
Looking for a way to nourish environmentally damaged skin? Our Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion is enriched with organic Agave and nourishing Sunflower Oil to promote skin repair and skin hydration. It is a perfect way to nourish and soothe sun-damaged skin, and it’s packed with antioxidants and skin calming properties that provide a therapeutic effect on the skin.
If you want a more immediate solution, cosmetic dermatology procedures like laser treatment, chemical peels, dermabrasion or microdermabrasion, which involve the removal of the upper layer of your skin, can be considered. These treatments should always be carried out by a professional and generally involve a series of sessions to achieve optimal results.
What are freckles?
Freckles are small, dark brown spots (less than 5mm in diameter) where your skin cells have produced extra skin pigmentation called melanin. Most freckles have a uniform color, but the color varies depending on your skin tone. They can be red, tan, light brown, dark brown, black, or any pigment that is darker than the person’s skin color, whether you have fair skin or darker skin.
Did you know freckles are genetic? So if your parents have freckles, you probably will too. But you are not born with them—they are only activated by sun exposure and skin cell production. So you need the freckle gene and sun exposure to produce freckles.
Plus, freckles serve a larger purpose. They act like sunscreen and sun protection, blocking harmful UV rays from penetrating the deeper layers of your skin naturally. They are not a sign of sun damage to skin cells, but a way to protect areas of your skin that are particularly sensitive to UV radiation. Wondering how much sunscreen to use on your face? If you have a lot of freckles or not, you should apply sunscreen regularly with the two finger rule in mind to prevent sun damage.
So, are either harmful?
Sunspots and freckles are harmless, but they can make you feel self-conscious. Protecting your skin from the sun is always important. Pick an organic face sunscreen or an anti-aging sunscreen that has broad spectrum protection since UVA is often the cause of skin discoloration. You can also search for products that contain Niacinamide, Vitamin C, and antioxidants, which can help break up dark spots.
Our Sun Silk Drops Sunscreen SPF 30 is an organic, non-comedogenic formula with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and Hyaluronic Acid. It also contains our proprietary plant-derived BlueScreen™ Digital De-Stress™ technology, which helps mitigate the effects of HEV light (including blue light), IR, and pollution. The airy, antioxidant-rich formula also helps minimize free radical skin damage. Bonus: these drops can be used on their own or mixed with your favorite moisturizer, easily incorporating them into your skin care routine!
Want something with Vitamin C? Our Day SPF 30 & Night Organic Eye Cream Duo contains two cutting-edge formulas that work together to provide around-the-clock protection. Our Vitamin C-infused day cream protects with SPF 30 and helps reduce the look of dark circles and fine lines, while our Resveratrol-infused night cream helps revive and restore stressed skin overnight.