And if one is considering using any skin-lightening products, it is important to make research on the ingredients and if possible talk to a dermatologist.
“If it makes you feel beautiful, then do it“. A well-known quote that has made many Nigerian females go overboard as regards skin care and their choice of skincare products. Most females are likely to go for skin-lightening products that have glowing, whitening, gold lightening, intense exfoliating, and so on as extra description to their names most of the time, with the notion that skin lightening is not the same as skin bleaching. Wikipedia defined skin-lightening as the act or practice of using chemical substances in an attempt to lighten the skin. Some of these products have been shown to be effective and some toxic; over time. And since our culture and society sees having a lighter skin as attractive and beautiful, females don’t mind going the extra mile to be ranked as such. And really, the physical appearance alone does not in any way define beauty. In subsequent paragraphs, the general research on the usage of skin-lightening products as well as the dark sides (effects), will be discussed.
It is estimated that the global market for skin lightening products will reach 31.2 billion dollars by 2024, and that these skin-lightening products happen to be popular in African countries. In Nigeria, 77% of women happen to use skin-lightening products. Unfortunately, these skin-lightening products contain toxic and dangerous chemicals like hydroquinone, corticosteroids, and mercury components that on the long run cause serious skin irritation, acne, discolouration, health problems, and even skin cancer.
In addition to the aforementioned physical risk, there are psychologically risk associated as well. Many who use skin-lightening products have been studied to have low self esteem and the desire to conform to the popular standard of beauty that is based on lighter skin tone. This can lead to the feeling of worthlessness, shame, and insecurity about their natural skin colour.
It is important to take note of the dark side of using skin-lightening products that especially contain the earlier mentioned and other toxic components, as well as the physical and psychological risk associated with it and remember that beauty comes in all shades and that every one is beautiful in their own unique way. Females on their part should not in any way adopt the definition of being beautiful as just lighter skin tone alone. Skin-lightening products should therefore, not be seen as a way to achieve beauty but rather as a potential health hazard. It is then, up to each individual to decide if skin lightening is right for them and make sure they put their physical and psychological health in view by taking all necessary precautions to ensure their safety. And if one is considering using any skin-lightening products, it is important to make research on the ingredients and if possible talk to a dermatologist.