Missing in Action: Lindsay Lohan's Freckles



 Can one exist on earth in 2005 without awareness of photogenic phenomenon Lindsay Lohan? She has zinged to a zany zenith of superstar saturation. Two films in 2004, notable TV appearances, a peppy pop album, her face plastered across any magazine that will take her. To borrow slang from Lohan's flick, "Mean Girls," she's so Fetch. Yet who could have predicted it six years ago?

 Yes, that's Lindsay Lohan, circa 1998.

And now, late 2004. She looks different. But how?

 Lohan's freckly twins try to set a "Parent Trap."

 What do think caused their spots?

 In "The Parent Trap," a twelve-year-old Lohan was already working overtime playing sisters attempting to reunite their estranged parents. Yet sometime between playing scheming twins in the Disney flick, and acting as a scheming teen in "Mean Girls," this incipient ingenue underwent the ultimate makeover: adolescence. Yet what is most strikingly different about her? The altered facial structure? Her figure, whether naturally (or otherwise) enhanced? An extreme use of Photoshop software? Yes, you in the back row of Skinema 101, you're right: Her freckles have nearly vanished! Somehow, those sun spots are now harder to find than a live microphone at an Ashlee Simpson concert.


Where did her spots go, and why? Freckles, a genetic marker of skin that should be sun-shielded, are benign pigmented points brought on by UV radiation.

 They are often considered "cute" on the cheeks of children. Isn't Swedish superstar Pippi Longstocking simply adorable?

 In "The Polar Express," computer enhanced kids had odd-looking eyeballs...

 ...but at least showed reassuringly familiar freckles.

Freckles seem to be a film marker for pre-adulthood. Speckled cheeks can enhance a kid's charm, but somehow, once a girl goes glam, she ditches them like a Hello Kitty backpack. Lohan is not the first to banish her blemishes. She has a diva-ous role model for her freckle-free fate: None other than Aussie actress Nicole Kidman.

 Kidman today: Spotless.

 But in 1983, Kidman had a frizzy hairdo...

 ...a precocious smile...

 ...and as many spots as fish in the Great Barrier Reef.

Like Lohan, Kidman started her cinema career inauspiciously. In the Australian trifle, "BMX Bandits," Kidman is a rail-thin teen with a freakishly frizzy head of curls, pretending to be a shreddin' peddlin' meddlin' hot doggin' biker. Like Lindsay, Kidman is also full-on freckly, as one would expect living fair-skinned in a land down under. And like L.L., Nicole nixed the spots, ultimately becoming the poster girl for paleness.

Yet how are freckles removed? First, we will admit that Lindsay today may still retain some ot the spots seen in her Disney debut. Frecks are candidly some of the most camouflagable colors conceivable. Thick makeup, especially the faux tan look adopted by Lohan in her world dominating mode, effectively masks Pippi Longstocking-style pointillism. Yet a more mature matinee idol like Kidman appears to have undergone freckle-ectomy (not a real medical term--yet). Other than makeup, how can one make mottling go missing?

How to fade freckles? First and foremost, we can't overestimate the power of sun protection. We recommend sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or more and broad spectrum UVA protective ingredients. French sunscreens like the Anthelios line are particularly protective against pigmentation.

For the motivated, prescription fade creams containing hydroquinone, retin-A, azeleic acid, or kojic acid can also settle down the spots. Finally, intense pulsed light treatments (IPL) can effectively even the tone of the skin, decreasing redness and sun spots. But for those who can't live without "a little" sun, you have to live with the traumatic emotional burden of freckles.

We hope Lohan weathers this career climax and allows her charm and talent to proceed with productive projects. Fame can sometimes be as fickle and fleeting as a...freckle.

Runner up, Missing in Action:

"An Unfinished Life"

 Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman chat about why their film's release was delayed.

 Freeman now misses Oscar consideration for his sympathetically scars.

 Did he cut himself shaving? Not in Hollywood: It must have been a bear attack!

 With starring roles for skinema favorites Robert Redford and J-Lo, and a strangely sympathetic bear attack facial scar for Morgan Freeman, this potential Oscar fave had Skinnies award written on each celluloid frame. Unfortunately, the powers that demand high profits put this epic on the back burner, banishing it to an uncertain release date in early 2005. The life of this flick is unfinished, indeed.



© 1996-2008 Vail Reese M.D.

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