By Gift Omo Zakari
Skin bleaching is popular with dark skinned people in a bid to obtain a more fairer skin tone. It appears everyone is light skinned these days, even those whose parents and family members are very dark in complexion. Bleaching, a practice that had once been seen as something practiced only by the ignorant and the illiterate, is now a fairly common phenomenon involving both men and women.
In some parts of the world, it is believed that light skinned people portray beauty and in some parts, people with dark complexion are considered below standard and so people opt for skin whitening or bleaching creams, pills and other products, to help them live up to other people’s expectations.
One of the reason some Nigerians bleach their skin is as a result of low self esteem. They believe that the only way one can be beautiful, attractive and accepted is to be light skinned but in my opinion, it all boils down to not appreciating the real and natural YOU; not having enough self respect for your body; not being proud of yourself .
If I may, why would you decide to be fake to please others? Well that’s best known to you! To me, bleaching is an act of indiscipline because it’s only an undisciplined mind that will seek to change what is natural.
By way of introduction, the skin is the largest organ in the human body, serving as a natural mirror that reflects the overall health status of an individual. Undoubtedly, a healthy looking skin is not something anyone wants to trade off or sacrifice. However, in a failed bid to enhance their skin beauty, many have ended up falling victim of several diseases that only leave their skin worse and even jeopardize their lives.
Arguably, the beauty and cosmetic industry has enjoyed unprecedented attention and patronage in recent times to the extent that a shocking statistic revealed that about 75 per cent of Nigerian women make use of one skin lightening product or the other.
Unfortunately, some of these products contain harmful chemicals like hydroquinone which is notable for its rapid bleaching abilities and also causing damages like skin Cancer.
Effects of Bleaching
*Damage to internal organs
The use of these skin-lightening creams and chemicals may not be in the best interest of your internal organs especially your kidneys, liver and brain. For instance, heavy metals including mercury are major causes of kidney injury and failure. In large doses, the liver and brain may not be spared as well.
It is a well-known fact that the melanin pigment of the black skin protects against the harmful carcinogenic effects and these explains why black people have a lower risk of skin cancer than the whites. You see the more reason why you should appreciate and cherish what you have?
If you don’t want to get old and you are using chemicals on your body now that you are young, I wonder how you want to eat your cake and still have it.
When the skin is constantly being exposed to bleaching cream, it also results to wear and tear which we see as stretch marks.
On a final note, you are beautiful the way you are. Trust me, beauty is not all about bleaching, if you really think you aren’t beautiful the way you are then you need to work and change your mind and not your skin colour.