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What Are the Pros and Cons of Bleaching Freckles?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 21, 2024
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Freckles are small pigmented dots that are sometimes visible on a person's skin, particularly the face. Over-the-counter skin bleaching creams are usually somewhat successful for bleaching freckles, but these also often contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin. They can also sometimes cause unwanted skin discoloration. Natural remedies can also be used for fading freckles, but these are not usually effective as bleaching cream, nor do they work as quickly. Instead of trying to get rid of freckles, many experts recommend that people work at preventing them.

Melanin is the pigment in the skin responsible for freckles. When this substance is unevenly distributed in the skin, sun exposure can cause tan, brown, or rust colored spots to appear, which are commonly referred to as freckles. Some people do not like how these spots look, and they will try bleaching freckles to get rid of them. Over-the-counter skin bleaching creams are one of the most popular ways to bleach freckles.

These creams can be very successful for bleaching freckles. After using skin bleaching products, most individuals will notice that their freckles have faded considerably. For some people, the freckles may even disappear completely.

Skin-bleaching creams usually contain several chemicals, some of which have been linked to dangerous side effects. Hydroquinine, for instance, is a common ingredient in many skin-bleaching creams, and it has been linked to increased risk of skin cancer. The chemicals in skin bleaching creams can also easily irritate the skin.

Skin discoloration may also be another disadvantage of bleaching freckles with skin-bleaching creams. The areas around the freckles can sometimes become lighter than a person's skin color, for instance. Also, long-term usage of hydroquinine can cause hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin.

Instead of applying harsh chemicals to their skin, some people prefer natural freckle-bleaching methods. Applying pure lemon juice to freckles, for instance, is said to lighten these dark spots. Although it does not involve harsh chemicals, it may not be as effective as bleaching freckles with skin bleaching cream.

Taking steps to prevent freckles is usually considered the best way to lighten them. Freckles typically appear or get darker when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Therefore, people who dislike their freckles are advised to avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible. Applying sunscreen to areas where freckles are likely to appear, such as the face, is usually recommended to help prevent freckles.

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Discussion Comments
By literally45 — On Apr 21, 2014

@bear78-- I think bleaching freckles once a month is not a good idea. If you do that for several years, you will definitely develop negative side effects. The biggest risk with bleaching skin is the risk of cancer. Other side effects are permanent skin thinning and discoloration. It has been noted that in Asian women who bleach skin frequently develop an odd bluish hue to their skin. Hyper-pigmentation is also a problem. Some parts of skin can become very light while other parts darken.

Obviously, you might not develop these side effects after a few uses of bleaching products. But if you use them regularly and for long periods of time, you will definitely experience them.

By bear78 — On Apr 21, 2014

@serenesurface-- I used a bleaching product recently for my freckles and it worked very well. Most of my lighter freckles are completely gone and the darker ones have faded considerably. It has been a month and the effect seems to be lasting.

I realize that these types of products have chemicals in them, but I'm not going to be using them all the time. I'm going to try to maintain the results by staying out of the sun and using face cream with SPF. As long as I don't use bleaching cream more than once a month, I think it will be okay.

By serenesurface — On Apr 20, 2014

I personally don't think that there are any pros to bleaching freckles. Yes, skin products with bleaching agents may fade them somewhat, but it's not really a permanent treatment and the side effects are not worth it.

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