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Spot the Difference: Sun Spots vs Freckles

Sun spots and freckles may look similar, but they’re actually two entirely different things that are often mistaken for each other. So while they share characteristics, it’s important to understand the difference so that you can use the correct skincare and sun protection products for your skin type. In this post, we’ll be covering the key differences and offer some advice on how to protect your skin.

The Different Marks Caused by the Sun

Freckles and sunspots are both types of skin pigmentation, learn the difference here.

Freckles and sunspots are both types of skin pigmentation that are related to sun exposure. Here are the main differences to look out for.

What are Sunspots?

Sunspots are dark and flat spots on the skin that are usually caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays from the sun. They usually appear in areas that get the most sun exposure, such as on the face or hands. The primary cause of sunspots is due to an overproduction of melanin, and they are often associated with the aging process as they’re more common in older people. Sunspots are usually a little bigger than freckles and can have a range of colors, often ranging from light brown to black depending on how much melanin the skin is producing.

What are Freckles?

Freckles are caused by genetics and are often inherited from parents or grandparents. They can often be triggered by sun exposure, causing them to become darker or develop on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun. They’re usually small and round, and range from being a light brown to reddish-brown. Freckles appear in clusters on sun-exposed skin, and can develop in people of all ages.

The Key Differences in Sunspots vs Freckles

  • Cause
    • Sunspots are caused by sun exposure.
    • Freckles are caused by genetics and can be triggered by sun exposure.
  • Aging
    • Sunspots are more common in older people.
    • Freckles are not caused by aging and can appear on anyone regardless of their age.
  • Location
    • Both sunspots and freckles commonly appear in areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s UV rays. Common areas exposed to the sun include your hands, face, and neck.
  • Size
    • Sunspots tend to be larger in size. Generally ranging from 0.5 – 2.0cm.
    • Freckles are generally smaller in size. Generally smaller than 0.5cm.
  • Colour
    • Sunspots can range from light brown to black.
    • Freckles are lighter in color.

Prevention Strategies

Check your local UV Index daily to help you understand the level of sun protection & reapplication to use for that day.
  • Limit Sun Exposure – By limiting your sun exposure, there’s a lower chance that you’ll trigger freckles and develop sunspots. When outside, make sure to cover your body with clothing or an umbrella to limit sun exposure.
  • Check Your Daily UV Index – A UV index is a measure of how strong the sun’s UV rays are at a particular time and place. Weather websites and apps can show the day’s UV index.
    • 0 to 2 indicates complete safety even without sun protection.
    • 3 to 7 requires moderate protection. This includes clothes, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
    • 8 to 11+ indicates that you should try to avoid the outdoors when possible and seek shade whenever possible.
  • Invest in Quality Sun ProtectionQuality sun protection includes daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30. You should also consider wearing quality clothes, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses to protect your skin from exposure to UV rays.
  • Reapply Sunscreen Often – As a standard rule, try to reapply your sunscreen every two hours if you are outdoors to maintain adequate protection.

Amp Up Your Sun Protection with Black Girl Sunscreen

Knowing how much sunscreen is enough to use is just one aspect of protecting your bare skin and exposed areas of the face. Choosing a high-quality sunscreen that does not harm your skin, like Black Girl Sunscreen, will keep your face looking healthy and young.

  • Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing SPF 30 – Filled with ingredients that will protect your skin from the sun, our SPF 30 doubles as a moisturizing lotion that dries completely clear. Making it perfect to use before any outdoor activity or as a primer under your favorite makeup products.
  • Black Girl Sunscreen Make it Matte™ SPF 45 – Black Girl Sunscreen’s lightweight, gel formula protects against sun damage leaving no white residue and a mattifying finish for oily skin. Make it Matte is a broad-spectrum SPF 45 infused with ingredients such as aloe, squalene, and shea butter that help moisturize, soothe and heal your skin.
  • *Bonus* Make It Pop™ Sun Gloss – A revolutionary sun gloss for protected, glossy, and poppin’ lips. Formulated with Broad Spectrum SPF 50, hyaluronic acid, tripeptides, and jojoba. This sun gloss will make you feel good and look good while protecting your lips from the sun.

What’s more, incorporating sunscreen application into your daily skincare routine will boost the benefits further. Regular sunscreen use is an important step that provides the needed level of protection for both your face and body.