By Patricia Uyeh
Skin lightening creams, lotions and soaps are designed to give users that ‘fair’ complexion but not everyone knows about their side effects or dangers.
Many of them are banned products and should not be used because of their hazardous chemical contents. Did you know that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 77 percent of women in Nigeria use skin-lightening products, the world’s highest percentage? That compares with 59 percent in Togo, and 27 percent in Senegal.
The reasons varies but most women say that they use skin lighteners because they want to have ”white skin”. There are many techniques used to lighten skin and these includes skin bleaching, using skin lightening creams, soaps, pills, laser treatments and even surgery.
Skin bleaching comes with hazardous health consequences:
The dangers associated with the use of toxic compounds for skin bleaching include blood cancers such as leukaemia and cancer of the liver and kidneys as well as severe skin conditions. Some bleaching creams contain use illegal ointments containing toxins like mercury, a metal that blocks production of melanin, which gives the skin its colour, but can also be toxic.
Some known hazardous chemicals in skin lightening products includes: Hydroquinone, Mercury and Alpha Hydroxyl Acids. So when buying products for your skin ensure they do not contain these ingredients. Instead invest in real, quality, natural, organic products.
Photo credits: http://connectnigeria.com/