Out, Damned Spot: The Battle of the Freckle - Beauty Addict

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Out, Damned Spot: The Battle of the Freckle

Can we talk about freckles for a sec, my dears?

Seems that these little tan speckles have an uncanny ability to stir up debate. Some love 'em, saying they're quirky, cute, and youthful, while some hate 'em -- the whole "red hair and freckles" stereotype is one that's always made me cringe. Thanks a lot, Pippi Longstocking.

And for those who actually possess freckles, the debate is often this: cover them up, or let them shine?

I've had a smattering of them on my face since I was a kid, and for years wore absolutely no face makeup. The freckles were just a part of me - although there were days I hated them - and they were pretty light anyhow. Then I started wearing tinted moisturizer and noticed how my more even skintone brought so much extra attention to my eyes, lips and general face structure. The freckles faded into the background and let my other features really stand out.

Thus, I decided to take more permanent action against the freckles.

This came in the form of a lightening gel with hydroquinone, and WOW, it worked. Most of my freckles - just a few remained, and I didn't mind one bit - faded to the point that I no longer had to wear any makeup to achieve that even skin tone. Just a little self-tanner every few days and I was good to go. I also vowed NEVER to leave the house without sunscreen, to prevent the little buggers from returning.

Many people complimented my "glowing" complexion and asked what I'd done, unable to quite put their finger on it. When I told them, I got a few wide-eyed looks and "why would you get rid of your freckles?" gasps. Invariably these comments came from people who were freckle-free to begin with. They usually followed with some glib line about how they think freckles are cute.

See, when people think of "cute" freckles, they picture a perfectly placed dusting of light brown dots across the nose and cheeks. In my estimation, this is indeed cute. But in reality, freckles rarely follow such a sweet little pattern, friends! They show up on your hairline, near your eye, along your jaw...and over the years, each little spot can spread out. Not so cute anymore, eh?

At least not on me. I far preferred the minimal-freckle look that I'd achieved, though I applaud anyone who fully embraces their freckles and lets them shine. It's just not something I wanted to do anymore. (And maybe, just maybe, this attitude stems from my upbringing in Brooklyn private schools where perfectly tanned, freckle-free Italian skin was both the norm and the ideal. But that's another story.)

Anyhow, I followed my sunscreen regimen religiously for years, and the spots did not return, but this spring I fell off the wagon for a few weeks, and I've begun to notice the return of a few freckles. A week ago I started zapping them nightly with DDF Fade Gel 4, and they're already on their way back to oblivion, where they belong.

What's your take on the freckle debate? Be honest - I'm open to all opinions here. (But also, please be nice.)