Reader Question: Why Do I have Freckles?


Hi Jamie,

I, like you, have had freckles for most of my life but why do we have them and others don’t?! I’ve accepted them now, but hated them as a kid.



Hey A,

Haha, I get that. I’ve had freckles for as long as I can remember and I remember also playing a little game of “connect the dots” on my face one time as well…my mom was thrilled.

I actually wrote a piece for TODAY.com allll about freckles but I’ll summarize it here.

Long story short:

  • Freckles are dark spots caused by the sun so, no, you were NOT born with them (like I used to think)
  • Although freckles ARE triggered by sunlight, only those who are genetically pre-disposed to them (e.g. the Irish or anyone with fair skin, blue eyes, etc.) will actually get them
  • Freckles get darker in the summer (or whenever you spend the most time outside) and will often fade or lighten up during the winter
  • You CAN prevent them. It’s called wearing sunscreen 😉
  • You CAN fade the ones you already have.  Look for products that have vitamin C, Retinol or Hydroquinone.

Lastly, read this Buzzfeed story on 23 problems only people with freckles will understand 🙂




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