Freckles cover all our body and yet, many of us are not even too informed about them. However, one freckle here and there doesn’t really catch attention. It’s when freckles cover a part of your face that they get noticed. Talking about freckles, here are 8 interesting facts about the beauty marks most consider cute:

1 – No one has freckles since birth

While babies aged 1 or 2 may have a few freckles on their face, back or shoulders, no one is born with these brown pigments. People actually develop freckles due to sun exposure. Basically, the sun triggers pigment production. Freckles are, therefore, caused due to UV rays. Most babies don’t have freckles because they are not taken out in the sun.

2 – Freckles are not a sign of damage

Though tanning is a clear sign of sun damage, the freckles formed due to going out in the sun are not a sign of damage. In fact, these marks are not harmful as they are not formed on a cellular level. Therefore, continue to wear sunscreen and protect your skin. Those freckles aren’t something to be ashamed of and they don’t hint at any illness.

3 – They are genetic

These specks on your skin are genetic. If both your parents have freckles this means that both have the freckling gene. This gene is a mutation of the MC1R gene which is responsible for the color of your skin and hair. Typically, it’s when both the parents have freckles that the child too develops freckles. Let’s expect that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son Archie will get freckles too!

4 – There are two kinds of freckles

The freckles that you commonly see on the faces of your friends or maybe even in the mirror are called Ephelides. These are regular freckles which have a flat and light brown appearance. There are another type of freckles too, called lentigines, often referred to as age spots or liver spots. The latter aren’t considered cute as it is in the case of the former.

5 – Freckles offer sun protection

The most interesting fact about freckles is that they work as a natural sunscreen. Basically, freckles darken a person’s skin which protects it from UV rays. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ditch sunscreen. You see, some freckles are sensitive to sunlight which means the risk of getting skin cancer is higher.

6 – Not all redheads have these spots

You’d probably have noticed in your vicinity how most redheads have freckles. However, did you know that about 20% of redheads have no freckles at all? In fact, the gene for red hair and that for freckles are both entirely independent of each other. Moreover, the gene linked to freckles is dominant when that which is associated to red hair is recessive.

7 – There was a time freckles were thought to be witch marks

There’s a superstition that people with freckles are not good. This belief was created in the medieval times when it was thought that women who had freckles were witches. However, rest assured that there is no truth to this concept. In fact, it was probably created because freckles were not as common as no freckles at all.

8 – Freckles change seasonally

If you have noticed that your freckles get darker during the summer months while they somewhat fade during winter months, this is nothing to worry about. Freckles darken in the hot season because of the sun. Exposure to UV rays causes more freckles to form. Since the sun is not as intense during the colder time of the year, freckles get lighter in winters.