The Bright Side

ELLE Singapore|March 2020

The Bright Side
Freckles are not perceived as a facial blemish anymore —they’re even an Instagram filter, but as someone who grew up with them, I am at the crossroads of wanting to keep my freckles lighter while not removing them
Caroline Suganda

I have had a long-term, love-hate relationship with my freckles. As early as at the age 10, I remember my father bringing me to the pharmacy in search of something that would “make them go away”, way before I learnt they were called freckles. I was given a “serious-looking” tube of cream, and although uncertain of the cream’s ingredients, I used it anyway; but one thing’s for sure, the freckles stayed.

I am relatively fair, so the sprinkling of freckles, mainly on my cheeks, are more obvious when compared to someone with a darker skin tone. Growing up with freckles put the same speckles on my self-esteem too, especially during my teenage years when peer pressure made it tough to not stand out. I learned how to apply concealer to cover them up, only to find my face looking too cakey and skin tone uneven due to the heavy-handed way I had applied it on. Mind you, this is almost 15 years ago, before #selflove was a thing, when flaws were, well… just flaws.

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March 2020