Skip to main content

What Are Freckles And Moles? Friend Or Foe

What Are Freckles And Moles? Friend Or Foe
Writer and expert15 days ago
View allbeauty's profile

Freckles and moles are common skin features that are often emphasised in the summer months when sun exposure is at its peak. Knowing the difference between freckles and moles will help you make informed decisions about your skincare routine and help keep your skin healthy.

What are freckles?

Technically, there are two types of freckles. The first are scientifically as ephelides and are small, flat, tan or light brown spots on the skin that are usually 1-2mm wide. These small spots of pigmentation often appear on the parts of your body that are commonly exposed to sunlight, such as the face, shoulders and arms.

The other type of freckles are called solar lentigines. These develop in adulthood, usually after age 40, and include age spots and sunspots.

What are freckles caused by?

An increase in melanin production causes freckles, the pigment responsible for skin colour. When your skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun, melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin) become more active, resulting in the darkening of existing freckles or the formation of new ones.

There are also genetic factors that influence freckle formation. If you have lighter skin or are prone to burning, you’re much more likely to get freckles and if your genetic makeup means you produce more pheomelanin than eumelanin you are less protected from UV rays and more at risk of developing freckles.

What are moles on the skin?

So now we know what freckles are, but what are moles? Moles, or nevi, are small, dark brown spots that can appear anywhere on the skin.

Moles are composed of clusters of melanocytes, they vary in size and colour and can be flat or raised. Most moles are harmless, but some can develop into melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

What are the differences between freckles and moles?

Freckles and moles might look similar, but there are a few ways to tell them apart.

Freckles are usually flat, small and the same colour. They are caused by sun exposure and tend to fade when they aren’t exposed to sunlight.

Moles can be raised or flat, vary in size and colour and are generally more permanent than freckles.

Products to protect freckles and moles

Protecting your skin from UV radiation is crucial, especially if you have moles or freckles. Using broad-spectrum sunscreen in the summer months can help reduce the formation of new freckles and protect existing moles from damage.

Of course, the sun can still damage your skin in winter, so it’s important to protect it with SPF in the winter months too.

Sunscreen and SPF to protect freckles and moles

Clarins Invisible Sun Care Stick is a compact and easy solution for sun protection on the go. This high-protection SPF50 sunscreen has a ‘bare skin effect’ that provides invisible protection and is designed for the most delicate parts of the face.

For your body,Clarins Sun Care Cream for Body SPF30 uses senna, plane tree and baobab to resist photo-ageing and dehydration, whilst melting into the skin with high-level protection.

Wear protection

In addition to suncream, wearing protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats and UV-protective sunglasses can help shield your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

How to prevent or reduce freckles

The good news is, that for people who don’t like their freckles but have a genetic predisposition to them, good quality sunscreen and safe sun habits can prevent their formation entirely.

If you already have freckles and want to reduce their appearance, you might want to try products containing ingredients such as Vitamin C, AHAs and retinoids, which can help lighten hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone.

What products do I need to reduce freckles?

Start your mornings with a hydrating antioxidant serum, such as IMAGE Skincare Vital C Hydrating Antioxidant A C E Serum. Containing Vitamins A, C and E, this serum will reduce and correct visible signs of ageing and provide antioxidants for protection against free radicals.

When it comes to evening cleansing, opt for theElemis Superfood AHA Glow Cleansing Butter. This must-have cleansing butter melts away impurities whilst brightening the skin with a unique blend of AHA-rich fermented pumpkin enzymes and acerola cherry.

Finally, add a night cream such as Murad Moisturisers Resurgence:Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream. This product will transform your skin overnight, using red algae extract to reduce pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.

How to do fake freckles?

If you love the look of freckles, but weren’t genetically blessed with them, you can achieve a sun-safe variation of the freckle look using makeup.

Theutan Face Pencreates instant wearable freckles that develop to your unique skin tone and last for up to 24 hours.

Fake tan freckles

Another popular method to create fake tan freckles is by using a self-tanning product. Apply a self-tan such as theutan Body Bergamot Turbo Mousse with a fine brush or earbud to create small, scattered dots. Leave the tan on according to instructions, before washing off the excess, leaving behind subtle, natural-looking freckles.

Discover more skincare tips… 

Protecting your skin is a crucial step in any skincare routine, especially when it comes to freckles and moles. To explore more products formulated to keep your skin healthy and safe, check out the fullskincare collection.

For more skincare tips and the latest hair and beauty trends, don’t forget to check out our blog.

Writer and expert
View allbeauty's profile