Skin Lightening and You

Posted on 2013-08-03 05:41:56

“Light is Right.”The misconception of beauty in modern African society is that those that are light skinned are more beautiful, more successful, and cooler, stand out in the crowd, rid themselves of imperfections and are more likely to get more marriage proposals!!! And they do get much more attention than your ordinary dark skinned girl. This has driven many women to resort to ways of bleaching their skin, now also referred to as toning. This does not only happen in Africa though but all over the world. Most women who bleach their skin actually do it in great haste in order to lighten their skin and claim the risks are purely the price of beauty. Skin bleaching is cosmetic treatment meant to make changes to the skin either to increase prominence, reduce said discolorations or make the skin color even. As it happens with most women they carry out this treatment not only to their faces but also their entire bodies in order to change their complexions. Skin lightening products are known as bleaching creams, whiteners, skin brighteners or fade. Older people have also used skin lightening in order to remove age spots , liver spots and other conditions which darken the skin. For other people some products may be prescribed by the doctor with specific instructions for therapeutic treatment of certain conditions although their treatment regimen should not be extended. Prolonged use of the said treatment with certain compounds results in adverse effects in addition to skin lightning. Africa has been known to a be a big market place for marketing of bleaching agents with Nigeria taking a lead according to WHO, followed by other countries such as Tanzania. Congolese men have also been known for skin lightening. As a consequence of skin lightening, women from West Africa, Senegal, Saudi Arabia and Mexico have been found with high levels of Mercury according to research done by University of Ohio in 2005. Fortunately in Kenya there have been regulations when it comes to selling of lightening creams and other skin agents. In previous years even road vendors were selling tubes and ointments for skin bleaching, where ingredients were unlabeled. Brands such as Movate, Jaribu, Peau Claire, Betalemon and Mekako have been long banned in the Kenyan market due to their dangerous components and the health risks associated with skin lightening.