Why The Faux Freckles Makeup Trend Is Questionable And Needs To Be Done Away With

freckles

I was in 8th grade when the fake glasses trend blew up. My classmates with perfect eyesight were buying prescription-less spectacles on purpose. To me, who wore glasses on the regular (to….you know, see and stuff) even before ‘four eyes’ became cool, this was bizarre. You’re telling me that the thing I’ve wanted to change about myself for years was now a trend? Convenient for those who don’t have to bear the brunt of the reality of having glasses. They don’t have to go for eye checkups every six months and can take off this ‘accessory’ at any time and still be able to see clearly. My point is that turning insecurities into trends in the name of inclusivity is….debatable. 

In 2021, TikTok made dark circles a makeup trend. Yep, people all over the world intentionally painted on the one thing that concealers were invented to cover up. “Covering my natural dark circles just to draw on prettier ones,” says content creator Lexi (@fatherr.lex) as she mocks the trend in her video. 

 

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It’s a similar thing when it comes to the freckles trend. I would be all for it if the beauty movement was about accepting and highlighting your natural freckles. But the fact that it has turned into a makeup trend with people drawing on ‘aesthetically placed’ freckles using ‘faux freckle pens’ that multi-million dollar makeup companies have lured them into buying, does not sit right with me. You can also find multiple tutorials on the internet about how to create freckles using henna. It gets better— like microblading and lip blushing, now semi-permanent freckle tattoos that mimic the look of natural freckles exist too. I mean, c’mon! Doesn’t this just go against the whole notion of accepting your natural skin as it is, freckles or no freckles? 

 

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Freckles come from ultraviolet (UV) radiation stimulation. They develop as a result of an excess of melanin, the pigment that gives skin and hair their colour. People with red or blonde hair, as well as light-coloured skin, have higher ‘pheomelanin’ which is linked to freckles.” says Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, Founder and Medical Director, ISSAC Luxe. 

Adding to the conversation, Dr Priyanka Reddy, Founder, MD & Chief Dermatologist at DNA Skin Clinic says, “freckles by themselves are harmless, but continuous sun exposure leads to an increase in freckles and the chances of melanoma as well.” 

Perrie Edwards embracing her natural freckles.

Freckles are a sign of too much sun exposure and individuals with a high density of freckles are found to have a greater risk for developing melanoma later in life than people with no freckles, but sure, let’s go ahead and make it a makeup trend. Who cares that when this trend dies down as all trends do, people with natural freckles can’t just wash them off at the end of the day.

The Freckle Mind

Sukriti Shahi, Beauty and Health Editor, ELLE India says, “I have been in the beauty industry for over seven years and I have seen it evolve. One of the major changes has been in the way we perceive beauty trends. Trends are exciting to predict the flavour of the season; but I find them obsessive and toxic at times, especially for the generation that feeds on social media. While we try to change the dialogue in favour of skin positivity, trends aren’t always an appropriate way to do so. The fake freckles trend could be offensive, to say the least, to people who fought hard against the long history of contempt towards freckles.”

Kesha with and without makeup

For the longest time freckles were considered blemishes that needed to be concealed using full coverage foundations. From being seen as a flaw that was airbrushed out of pictures to now having Instagram filters that add freckles to your selfie, it’s evident that beauty trends are transient. But to the people who grew to hate their skin because they were constantly told that these tiny brown spots were imperfections, this isn’t just a makeup trend that they can choose to move on from once the social media hype dies.

“The good part about this trend is that it is harmless and fun (to people who enjoy doing this) and questionably promotes skin positivity. The sad part about it is faking a skin condition that you don’t have and working hard to look natural,” concludes Dr Priyanka. 

Society’s beauty standards are ever-changing. Bushy brows for example were once considered unflattering but now they’re aspirational. What’s important is to realise the cyclical nature of trends, not be blindly swayed by what’s popular on social media and embrace the qualities that make you YOU through it all. 

Also read about what experts have to say about makeup therapy

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