Freckled women (and men) are major trendsetters right now. Those adorable little natural spots are a trend of their own on Instagram, and some of the most famous makeup artists in the world encourage us to draw them on for a more unique, youthful look. So if you're lucky enough to have them naturally, you're probably feeling pretty smug.
But your freckles don't just exist to make you stand out. There's actually a pretty interesting reason behind why some of us have them, as explained by SciShow on their YouTube series. According to them, freckles are produced by cells called melanocytes, which form small areas of skin that have an increase in melanin. Don't be worried: melanin is just the protein which produces the color of your skin, eyes and hair, so when more develops, you're left with freckles. Which could also explain why some of us get freckles when we've caught some sun on vacation.
But freckles aren't a sign that you've been in the sun too much: they actually double as a natural sunscreen, protecting your skin from the sun's UV rays (but don't go throwing out the SPF 50! That's a necessity, no matter what.)
They come and go depending on how much you're exposed to the sun, so that's why your freckles fade in the winter. Not to be confused with liver spots, though, which stay put regardless of your sun exposure.
So, if you're ever feeling insecure about your beauty marks, just remember that your body is pretty darn awesome and made up of ALL the science.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.