Some time ago, Nigeria was declared the “World capital of skin bleaching”! The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that Nigerian women are the highest users of skin lightening products in the World, as about 77% of Nigerian women buy and use these products!

Call it whatever name you wish: skin lightening, skin whitening, skin brightening, skin fading; if you like, hide under the guise of “skin toning”; skin bleaching is not a wise decision! Period!

Skin doctors (called dermatologists), sometimes, for some medical skin conditions, prescribe certain skin lightening products. And give you a guide to prevent serious health problems. This is the only situation that these products are permitted; if you use them for any other reasons—especially to look more beautiful—you are strictly “on your own”!

#1: Skin bleaching damages the skin!

Bleaching products contain very strong chemicals. I don’t want to bore you with the exact scientific details of what happens here. But, the skin gets thinner; bruises easily; wounds heal slowly and poorly; stretch marks develop easily; and there’s early wrinkling (and aging) of the skin. Agents, like hydroquinone, in these creams and soaps could cause very ugly discoloration and eczema of the skin—maybe that’s what the late musician, Fela, called “yellow fever”!

#2: Skin bleaching increases the risk of skin cancers!

You see, the rays of the sun have damaging effects on the skin causing skin cancers and sunburns. The dark skin is naturally equipped to protect the skin from such hypersensitivity to, and damage from, sunlight. Bleaching removes that God-given protection! Bleaching has also been associated with increased risk of blood, liver, and kidney cancers. “White” is not always right: stop skin whitening!

#3: Skin bleaching leads to several health problems!

Some of these harmful chemicals get “rubbed in” and absorbed into the blood, especially if used in large quantities and for a long time! These agents—including steroids, mercury, and hydroquinone—go beyond the skin (causing skin infections and damage), deep into the body (causing kidney damage, and nerve damage) and, yet, deeper into the mind (causing memory problems, anxiety, depression, and even psychosis)! For pregnant ladies, it could enter the womb and affect unborn babies!

#4: Skin bleaching could cause severe skin reactions!

Apart from skin damage, skin infections, and skin cancers, bleaching of the skin, even with some of the so-called “natural” products, agents, and ingredients could cause unwanted, and, sometimes, irreversible skin reactions. Instead of skin whitening “bringing out your beauty”, all we then see is repulsive, ugly, multicolored scars and skin color! You would then agree that “black is beautiful”.