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10 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Freckles Naturally

Natural Remedies For Getting Rid Of Freckles

For getting rid of freckles on your face, apply raw radish juice, aloe vera gel, licorice extract, or avocado pulp on them. These inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in the production of melanin, a skin-darkening pigment. A paste of bitter orange peel, yogurt, and honey might also be useful. Dabbing on some lemon juice, soy milk, or turmeric paste work too.

Many of us find freckles adorable but if you’re tired of the smattering of freckles on your face and want to get rid of them, we might have some answers. Freckles form when your skin makes excessive melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin color and protects it from the harmful rays of the sun. Whether or not your skin is prone to freckles depends on your skin type. For instance, people with red hair and fair skin are more likely to get them. But in any case, they don’t cause any harm – except maybe for making you self-conscious!1

Applying fading creams which contain active components such as alpha hydroxy acids, kojic acid, retinoids, or vitamin C might help fade freckles but, then, several natural remedies can help do the trick too. In fact, many natural substances also contain ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin C. Here are a few that you could try.

1. Apply Raw Radish Juice

Papaya is another good source of alpha hydroxy acids. It is also known to remove sun tan.

Raw radish has traditionally been used to tackle freckles. How does it work? Turns out radish may be able to inhibit tyrosinase, which is an enzyme involved in producing melanin. It is believed that radish owes this ability to its vitamin C and phenolic compounds, which are known to inhibit tyrosinase.2 So applying a touch of radish juice on your freckles every day might help fade them gradually.3

2. Dab On Some Buttermilk

The lactic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) in buttermilk can help you tackle freckles. It removes pigmented skin by facilitating the shedding of the epidermis, the outer layer of your skin. Additionally, research states that lactic acid-treated skin has lesser deposits of melanin. Hence, it might also reduce the incidence of pigmentation.

Since lactic acid is the active ingredient involved in removing freckles, you can also try sour cream and yogurt.

Treatment with lactic acid has also been found to increase collagen, the protein that gives skin its structure. This means that it can also keep your skin looking firm and give it strength.4 To try this remedy, apply a little buttermilk to your freckles and brown spots and wash it off once it’s dry.5 6

3. Apply Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains alpha hydroxy acids in the form of citric acid. And, as stated earlier, these chemical exfoliants can reduce the appearance of brown spots and freckles.7 But, that’s not all. Lemon juice is also rich in vitamin C which can inhibit melanin formation.8

Don’t step out in the sun right after a lemon juice treatment. It increases the chances of a sun tan.

So, while dabbing lemon juice on your freckles can definitely help, you could amp up its power by mixing in equal amounts of buttermilk. Apply this mixture to your freckles daily and moisturize with a little olive oil or almond oil after you rinse it off.9

4. Smear On Some Aloe Vera

Is there anything the miraculous aloe vera can’t do? It can moisturize skin, enhance its elasticity, treat acne, and reduce skin irritation. 10 Research states that it can help you deal with freckles too. A compound known as aloesin, present in aloe vera, can inhibit the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase, thereby retarding the production of melanin.11

To try this remedy, break open an aloe leaf, scoop out its gel, and apply it to your freckles. You could also combine aloe vera with equal quantities of lemon juice and buttermilk to make a potent freckle eraser. While all three counter melanin production, lemon juice will also exfoliate the outer layer of skin while aloe vera speeds up skin renewal.12

5. Spread On Some Turmeric Paste

Southeast Asian communities have traditionally used turmeric to lighten hyperpigmented skin. Hence, this spice might help you tackle those pesky freckles as well. Research has found that curcumin, a major component of turmeric, can block the production of melanin.13 So, in order to use this remedy, simply make a paste with turmeric powder and water and apply it to your freckles and brown spots. Rinse this off once it has dried.14

6. Apply Licorice Extract

Licorice is another common remedy used to tackle hyperpigmentation. Research indicates that glabridin present in licorice roots can inhibit tyrosinase activity and reduce the production of melanin.15 While you can dab this on directly with a cotton ball, some skin experts suggest mixing in a few drops of licorice root extract with your face oil (say, coconut or olive oil) and applying it to freckles.

7. Dab On A Little Soy Milk

Another go-to remedy to counter melanin production is soy milk. Proteins in soybeans called soybean trypsin inhibitor and Bowman-Birk inhibitor can interfere with biological pathways for melanin transfer and thus reduce melanin in your skin.16 17 So, to try this remedy, soak a cotton swab in unpasteurized soy milk and apply it to your freckles. And, remember, using unpasteurized soy milk is important because pasteurization can wreck soy milk’s ability to lighten skin.

8. Apply A Bitter Orange Peel, Yogurt, And Honey Paste

Seville oranges or bitter oranges might be your favorite ingredient for a tangy marmalade. But, they can work as a freckle buster too. Studies show that Seville orange peel extracts can inhibit tyrosinase and ease hyperpigmentation.18 And, to use this remedy, make a freckle-fading paste by grating about a tablespoon of orange peel and mixing it with lactic acid-rich yogurt and hydrating honey and apply to brown spots. Leave this on for a few minutes and wash it off.19

9. Apply Avocado Pulp

Rich, creamy avocados may be just the thing to tackle those annoying freckles. An antioxidant known as glutathione which is present in avocados can inhibit tyrosinase and thereby reduce melanin levels.20 Give this remedy a go by scooping out the pulp of an avocado and applying it to freckles to lighten them.

10. Protect Your Skin From The Sun

Freckles typically develop on skin that’s exposed to the sun. Covering up with a wide-brimmed hat or long-sleeved shirt can prevent their appearance. Using a sunscreen with a wide spectrum also help. In fact, protection from the sun may even help your freckles fade away.21

While trying out the home remedies listed above, remember that you’ll need to be patient – these are milder and side-effect-free, but it may take a few weeks to even a couple of months before you start to see a difference.22

References   [ + ]

1. Freckles, moles and melanomas. NHS Foundation Trust.
2. Lim, T. K. “Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus.” In Edible Medicinal and Non Medicinal Plants, pp. 829-869. Springer Netherlands, 2015.
3. Sharma, S. K., Juice Therapy. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd, 2016.[/Ref] An added bonus? Radish is rich in antioxidants which might have an anti-aging impact on your skin.[ref]Stepanovs, Juta. Skin Saver Remedies. Harald Tietze Publishing P/, 1999.
4. Yamamoto, Yuki, Koji Uede, Nozomi Yonei, Akiko Kishioka, Toshio Ohtani, and Fukumi Furukawa. “Effects of alpha‐hydroxy acids on the human skin of Japanese subjects: The rationale for chemical peeling.” The Journal of dermatology 33, no. 1 (2006): 16-22.
5. London, Davina. Skin Cures from Your Kitchen Cupboard. Dorrance Publishing, 2014.
6. Stepanovs, Juta. Skin Saver Remedies. Harald Tietze Publishing P/, 1999.
7. Freudenberger, Richard. The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money: Folk Wisdom for Keeping Your House Clean, Green, and Homey. Fair Winds Press, 2011.
8. Huh, C-H., K-I. Seo, J-Y. Park, J-G. Lim, H-C. Eun, and K-C. Park. “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin C iontophoresis in melasma.” Dermatology 206, no. 4 (2003): 316-320.
9. Todd, Jude. Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies: Natural Health, Beauty & Home-Care Secrets. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2014.
10. Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “Aloe vera: A short review.” Indian journal of dermatology 53, no. 4 (2008): 163.
11. Jones, Ken, Jennifer Hughes, Mei Hong, Q. I. Jia, and Steve Orndorff. “Modulation of melanogenesis by aloesin: a competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase.” Pigment cell research 15, no. 5 (2002): 335-340.
12. Wolfer, Alexis. The Recipe for Radiance: Discover Beauty’s Best-Kept Secrets in Your Kitchen. Hachette UK, 2014.
13. Tu, Cai‐Xia, Mao Lin, Shan‐Shan Lu, Xiao‐Yi Qi, Rong‐Xin Zhang, and Yun‐Ying Zhang. “Curcumin inhibits melanogenesis in human melanocytes.” Phytotherapy Research 26, no. 2 (2012): 174-179.
14. Sharma, Rajeev. Herbal Home Remedies. Lotus Press, 2006.
15. Yokota, Tomohiro, Hiroyuki Nishio, Yasuo Kubota, and Masako Mizoguchi. “The inhibitory effect of glabridin from licorice extracts on melanogenesis and inflammation.” Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research 11, no. 6 (1998): 355-361.
16. Paine, Christine, Elizabeth Sharlow, Frank Liebel, Magdalena Eisinger, Stanley Shapiro, and Miri Seiberg. “An alternative approach to depigmentation by soybean extracts via inhibition of the PAR-2 pathway.” Journal of investigative dermatology 116, no. 4 (2001): 587-595.
17. Parvez, Shoukat, Moonkyu Kang, Hwan‐Suck Chung, Chongwoon Cho, Moo‐Chang Hong, Min‐Kyu Shin, and Hyunsu Bae. “Survey and mechanism of skin depigmenting and lightening agents.” Phytotherapy Research 20, no. 11 (2006): 921-934.
18. Adhikari, A., H. P. Devkota, A. Takano, K. Masuda, T. Nakane, P. Basnet, and N. Skalko‐Basnet. “Screening of Nepalese crude drugs traditionally used to treat hyperpigmentation: in vitro tyrosinase inhibition.” International journal of cosmetic science 30, no. 5 (2008): 353-360.
19. Jayden Labs. 28-day Skin Plan: For Clear and Glowing Skin.
20. Sonthalia, Sidharth, Deepashree Daulatabad, and Rashmi Sarkar. “Glutathione as a skin whitening agent: Facts, myths, evidence and controversies.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology 82, no. 3 (2016): 262.
21. Freckles and moles. Women’s and Children’s Health Network.
22. Brown spots and freckles. DermNet New Zealand Trust.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.