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How can I get Rid of Freckles?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 21, 2024
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An individual can get rid of freckles by avoiding sunlight, exfoliating, using home remedies such as lemon juice or trying an over-the-counter or prescription topical skin whitening product. Some companies manufacture different types of makeup with ingredients similar to those in home remedies or other pharmaceuticals. When this doesn't work, going to a professional for laser, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion or chemical peel treatments is an option.

Avoiding Sunlight

Exposure to sunlight triggers the production of melanin, the protective chemical that causes skin to darken. The more a person goes out in the sun, therefore, the more likely freckles are to form. Using sunblock and wearing protective clothing such as hats disrupts this process and gives the spots that already are there time to gradually fade.


As cells on the outer layer of the skin die, they naturally fall off over time and others take their place. Exfoliating through simple techniques such as using body scrubs or brushes gives the body a helping hand with this process, reducing the time it takes. In theory, this can even out coloring, reduce the appearance of freckles and make scars less noticeable because the damaged or pigmented cells get removed faster.

Home Remedies

A home remedy people often use to get rid of freckles is to put lemon juice over the entire area and allow it to sit for at least fifteen minutes up to three times a day. Putting on a dab of sour cream is another option, and experts also recommend rinses containing certain botanical extracts such as kiwi fruit or licorice. These methods might take quite a while to produce noticeable results, but many prefer them because they are inexpensive, natural and appropriate for home use.

Home remedies such as lemon juice or milk rinses work because they contain lactic, salicylic, phytic, glycolic or other acids. These chemicals gently remove dead skin cells, inhibit the production or melanin or both. Many of them are used as ingredients in over-the-counter whitening treatments.


If milder remedies don't seem to get rid of freckles, the next step is to try a pharmaceutical that is applied to the skin. A person usually can buy a basic version over the counter, but depending on the strength of the ingredients, it might be necessary to get a doctor's prescription, and professionals don't recommend using these items for a long time. These options frequently contain kojic or azelaic acids, beta arbutin, niacinomide, paper mulberry, alpha arbutin and aleosin. Hydroquinone used to be extremely popular and still appears in some products, but it causes problems such as irritation and is now thought to be linked to cancer. Similar to home remedies, these products either promote cell turnover or slow down melanin production.


If freckles are not overly dark and do not cover a lot of the body, it might be possible to use makeup to treat them. Companies now make complete lines of cosmetics with natural or synthetic exfoliants or whitening agents. These already have become popular with people who have conditions such as rosacea. Regular makeup works for temporarily concealing the spots, but it won't make them fade.

Makeup is usually a good approach in places that aren't easy to hide, such as the face. Dermatologists and stylists normally start by picking a concealer that is one shade lighter than the skin. They apply this to cover the blemishes and then put on a foundation, pressed powder or both. This second layer should match a person's natural color.

Professional Options

More invasive treatments include laser applications, as well as heavy-duty exfoliation methods such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and dermabrasion. Additionally, cryogenic freezing is available. A licensed medical worker has to handle these procedures. They tend to be more effective, however, because they have a stronger effect on how much melanin is produced or remove a greater number of surface cells.


Some whitening agents and procedures make the skin increasingly sensitive to light. Wearing sunblock and concealing clothes becomes more important when a person uses these options to lighten or get rid of freckles. Additionally, everyone has a different skin type. To avoid allergic reactions or other problems like acne breakouts, it's always best to test a product or procedure on a very small area first.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon1007222 — On Jun 19, 2022

Why would one want to get rid of them? Freckles are cute and beautiful.

By burcinc — On Apr 28, 2011

There are a lot of home remedies out there. Some of them are good, I liked the cucumber mask I tried. But it still won't whiten the skin as much as whitening creams and soaps do.

Prevention is probably better than trying to treat it later on. I try and wear big hats in the summer time and I absolutely don't go out between 12pm and 4pm. I also don't use sunscreen that is less than SPF50 and that also has UV protection.

By discographer — On Apr 27, 2011

I think for light freckles, washing your face often and exfoliating might be enough. I always end up with some freckles after the summer even though I use sun lotion. But I've noticed that as I wash my face, the skin becomes lighter. Exfoliating with a wash cloth makes this even faster. There are also exfoliating face washes at the pharmacy.

By fify — On Apr 26, 2011

My mom always told me to dry my face, neck and shoulders immediately after swimming outdoors. She said that water drops plus sunlight cause freckles. So I always dry off right away and apply a lot of sunscreen.

I have tried the lemon juice remedy but it was a bit too drying for me. I apply honey and lemon juice sometimes, it seems to help.

By anon156280 — On Feb 26, 2011

well you could put a lot of foundation on. try a little shade darker and see if this helps.

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