by Daniel Nkado
Most countries in Africa, particularly Ghana and Nigeria, are experiencing a massive trend of skin bleaching.
According to the WHO, some 77 percent of Nigerian women (more than 60 million people) are using skin lightening products on a “regular basis”.
News about pregnant women in Ghana taking pills to whiten the skin of their unborn babies went viral early last year.
Here are top 5 reasons you should stay away from bleaching creams:
1. Fair skin won’t make you finer
I don’t know the ugly experience that got your self-esteem crushed but the real fact is that your skin color is not the problem. The finest people in the world are still all dark-skinned so why even think that turning white will make you look finer.
2. Health risks
Most bleaching products contain two major chemicals — Hydroquinone and mercury — and both are very toxic.
Hydroquinone is a chemical used for photo processing and hair dyes and has been confirmed to burn, thin and permanently discolor skin. Mercury is a known carcinogen, which means exposing your skin to it increases your risk of skin cancer.
3. Bleached skin ages faster and horribly
The phrase “black don’t crack” came from the skin-revitalizing benefits of melanin. As bleached skin has little or no melanin, it means your skin is going to age faster and in a horrible way too. When bleached skin ages, it turns wrinkly and loose and terribly discolored.
4. Body odor
It has been confirmed that many chemicals found in bleaching products are capably of causing a bad body odor.
5. Color mismatch
Use of skin whiteners can cause pigmentation to build up in your extremities (fingers, toes, ears etc), causing them to look darker and mismatched.
Another negative reaction known as the “bleach panda effect” can also develop. This when the skin on the face becomes thinned around the eyes and have increased pigmentation.