A recent fashion campaign featuring a Chinese model with a face full of freckles sparked controversy among some netizens, who accused the brand of portraying Chinese people in an unflattering light. This raises questions about the nature of freckles, their prevalence, and whether they are an unavoidable aspect of youth. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the primary cause of freckles, which tend to appear more frequently in young people but can also affect children. Effective sun protection, including the use of sunscreen products, is key to preventing freckles.
Freckles are irregular, small, pigmented spots that appear on the skin’s surface, usually brown or brownish-yellow in color. They are commonly found on the nose or cheeks but can also appear on the eyelids, scalp, shoulders, or chest. While freckles are most prevalent among individuals aged 10 to 20, they can also affect young children. In contrast, people over the age of 30 are less likely to develop freckles, and the brown or oval-shaped patches that appear after sun exposure are generally larger “sunspots.”
The primary factor contributing to the development of freckles is exposure to UV radiation, followed by genetic predisposition. Those with fairer skin are more susceptible to freckles. Freckles tend to become more prominent in the summer and fade during the winter months, likely due to increased sun exposure.
To prevent freckles, it is crucial to adopt effective sun protection measures, such as applying sunscreen when outdoors. In European countries and the United Kingdom, it is recommended that children aged six months and older use sunscreen. Wearing wide-brimmed hats and using umbrellas can also help shield against UV radiation. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including abstaining from smoking and alcohol, getting sufficient sleep, and engaging in regular exercise, can also contribute to overall skin health.