If you’re dying to know how to get rid of freckles fast, I don’t blame you. Almost everyone wants to get rid of them to have flawless skin. Here’s the question, though: Can you really get rid of them?
If your face is already covered with these flat tiny light-brown spots, I don’t think I need to describe how they look. However, I’m sure you’re curious why you have them. Two things: genetic predisposition and the sun. Clearly, you can’t do anything about the first culprit, so let’s focus on the second one.
Majority of freckles are caused by the ultraviolet light emitted by the sun. This process leads to increased production of melanin, which is best known for its role in giving your eyes, hair, and skin their distinct colors.
Melanin is not totally evil. This is just a way for your body to protect your tissues, organs, and skin from excessive sunlight that can damage and mutate your DNA, which in turn leads to skin cancer.
If over exposure to ultraviolet light is the culprit, it’s only logical to find treatments that prevent or treat its harmful effects, right? Fortunately, there are plenty of natural and effective treatments to help lessen the appearance or completely eliminate your bothersome freckles.
How to get rid of freckles fast and naturally
It’s either you totally avoid the sun or use effective sun protection.
Total sun avoidance is ideal, but it’s not always possible, especially if your work or extracurricular activities require you to be outdoors most of the time. The most practical solution is to use sunscreens.
Sunscreen don’t directly eliminate freckles. They do it by protecting your skin from premature photoaging, which early signs include liver spots, freckles, and wrinkles. Authors of a 2013 study suggested that regular application of sunscreen was able to decrease the participants’ risk for skin cancer. Plus, they were less likely to exhibit increased signs of aging. 
But, that’s not enough. Knowing the proper use of sunscreens and the importance of SPF is still a must, a study says.  Make sure you apply around a half to a quarter of broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and re-apply it every two hours or right after going out of the water.
(To know the best and worst sunscreen products available commercially, you can refer to the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide for 2015.)
Of course, there are plenty of natural options that can protect you from harmful UV rays. Examples are green tea, rosemary, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienol), tea tree oil, coconut oil, lavender, and avocado oil.
Arbutin cream may help reduce or eliminate freckles.
Arbutin is extracted from the bearberry plant, which is a traditional remedy for urinary tract infection (UTI). The extract of bearberry plant is also combined with other ingredients, like acids and vitamins, to treat pimples and lighten and even out your skin complexion.
Never heard of this before? Arbutin-based skin care products are actually commercially sold since the 60s. What’s great about it is it’s suitable for different skin types. And it’s known to be more effective and works faster than other single lightening ingredients.
It works by stopping the activity of tyrosinase.  Studies show that alpha-arbutin, not beta-arbutin, work wonders to minimize liver spots.
Arbutin is generally safe and milder on the skin, with fewer potential adverse effects, although there are no definite clinical tests to back up this claim. There are also conflicting reports that long-term use (more than a year) of arbutin could worsen hyperpigmentation. But based on my online search, users didn’t encounter any problems with using arbutin for up to 6 months.
Here’s the thing. Arbutin works fast, but its beneficial effects may take a couple of weeks to materialize. So, be patient. There are other skin lightening products that work real fast, but they usually contain harsh and potentially harmful ingredients, like mercury, which could increase your risk for skin cancer.
Generally, you can buy arbutin in cream and lotion forms. It’s also found in natural sources, such as pear (the fruit) and some varieties of wheat.
Licorice could decrease skin pigmentation, without the serious side effects.
The root of licorice is the most widely used part of the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra for treating different skin care issues and maintaining good health. Licorice root is traditionally used for depression, respiratory problems, tooth decay, heartburn, and fatigue. Studies have shown that it’s also effective for atopic dermatitis, rosacea, and eczema.
Licorice root is often used as an alternative to traditional depigmenting agents, such as corticosteroids, hydroquinone, and kojic acid, because it’s gentler and relatively safer. Its ability to lighten the skin by decreasing melanin production is due to its active component called as “glabridin.”
How do you use licorice for freckles and dark spots?
One way is to use it straight from the bottle. You can purchase standardized licorice extract online or from local health stores and Asian grocery stores. Once you have secured one, you can pour a few drops of licorice extract on a cotton swab, and then apply a thin layer on the freckled areas of your skin. Leave it overnight.
Another way is to boil licorice root. Allow most of the water to evaporate to isolate the syrup. Then add a small amount of honey to the mixture before applying to the affected areas.
According to WebMD, topical licorice root is generally safe if used in a short span of time. However, it may cause side effects if used in high amounts for over a month. If you experience any side effects, like swelling, contact your dermatologist immediately.
Other home remedies for freckles
Lemon juice is great for lightening skin. It doesn’t completely remove freckles but it lessens their appearance. Lemon’s acidity is able to bleach the skin’s dark spots.
Apply lemon juice straight to the affected area and leave it there for 5-10 minutes. After couple of months of continuing this remedy, the freckles will start to fade.
Note: lemon juice will dry out the skin so don’t leave the juice on for too long. Always moisturize afterwards.
How to remove freckles with fruit masks?
Kiwi and strawberry mask works great for lightening freckles. Smash and mix 3 strawberries with 1 kiwi to pake a paste. Massage the mixture on the freckles. Let the paste dry out completely before washing it off with cold water.
Other alternative is orange and cucumber mask. Mix half an orange with a few slices of cucumbers. Smash them well with a fork or put them in a blender. Apply the paste on the face and leave it there for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off. Orange juice will lighten the skin and cucumbers will soothe it at the same time.
Jojoba oil has nourishing, moisturizing and lightening properties. It also protects the skin against UV exposure. Mix jojoba oil with olive oil and apply it on to the freckles before bedtime. Wash it off in the morning with warm water. You can practice this remedy until the freckles are faded.
Eggplant is a natural skin lightener. It works great for getting rid of dark spots and freckles.
Cut a raw eggplant into thick slices. Massage the slices onto the area with freckles. Wait for 10-15 minutes before washing it off. You can do this treatment once a day for two weeks for better results.
Eating vitamin C rich food will not only nourish the skin and body but it will help to lessen the appearance of freckles. Citrus fruits and vegetables are great for improving your skin’s health and also a useful source for vitamin C.
Buttermilk will lessen the visibility of freckles. It contains lactic acid that can help lighten the skin.
Pour a little bit of buttermilk into the bowl. Take a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area. Leave it on for several minutes before rinsing it off.
Sour cream or milk
Sour cream or milk will reduce the appearance of freckles. It doesn’t completely eliminate them but it lightens them for more desirable skin tone.
Apply sour cream directly on to the freckles and leave it there for 10-15 minutes or when it has completely dried out. Wash it off with warm water. This remedy is safe to do it once a day. Make sure to moisturize the skin after this regimen.
Onion has exfoliating properties that helps to combat freckles. Massage the red onion slices gently on the freckles. You can do this up to two times a day.
You can also smash the onion to release its juice. Apply the juice directly onto the freckles. Leave it there for few minutes before washing and rinsing it off.
Honey has many medicinal properties including lightening the freckles, especially the red freckles. Honey also makes the skin soft and smooth.
Mix honey with water to make a paste. Warm up the paste a little and rub it on the freckles. Leave the mixture on for 10-15 minutes and then wash it off. This is a great regimen that you can do once a day.
I hope these tips would help you get rid of the freckles safely. If you have any other tricks on how to remove freckles, I’d like to hear about them.