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High use of lightening creams in Nigeria

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By Abraham Adekunle

Women spent $8.6 billion on skin lightening products annually.

The skincare industry is growing all over the world. However, in a quest to enhance their beauty, women have spent a whooping $8.6 billion annually on skin lightening products. Since 2018, Nigeria has been the world’s largest consumer of skin bleaching or lightening products. The World Health Organization (WHO) has earlier held that the use of skin lightening products is prevalent among African women, with Nigeria leading at 77 percent above other nations. A survey carried out by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has confirmed the long-held position.

Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, said at a workshop for health journalists in Port Harcourt that Togo, a neighboring West African country, follows Nigeria with 59 percent in the use of skin bleaching products. This is followed by South Africa with 35 percent and Senegal with 27 percent. Over all, the West African region leads the world chart in the use of these products with an average of 49.5 percent in use. This is not an impossible reality as the standard of beauty in these African countries are somewhat of a fantasy.

The fairer women’s skin complexion, the more beautiful they are.

Currently the fantasy of light skin as the high point of beauty is a matter of self-esteem for women of color around the world. In many cultures of the world, skin color is a social standard that is regularly used by people of color as well as Hispanics in lieu of race. Many believe that attractiveness, marriageability, career opportunities and socioeconomic status are directly connected and proportional to skin color. In Nigeria, skin complexion is used to categorized people, with darker shades seen as less beautiful and fairer shades seen as more beautiful and desirable.

As a result of this standard, many women seek chemical remedies to lighten their complexion. This has created a booming global business in bleaching creams and injectables, which is valued at $8.6 billion as of 2020. It has been revealed that in the United States alone, $2.3 billion was spent. The global market for skin bleaching creams is projected to reach $12.3 billion by 2027. In a way, this industry is also part of the body augmentation industry which includes BBL, liposuction, and more.

Skin lightening products have severe health risks.

At the workshop, Adeyeye told the media professionals about the dangers of “bleaching cream.” She said that the statistics show the prevalence of bleaching cream use in Nigeria has become a “national emergency” and a call for concern. The NAFDAC boss, who was represented by the director of chemical evaluation and research, warned that the harmful effects of bleaching cream include damage to vital body organs, cancer, prolonged healing (in the case of being injured), among other risks.

WHO has also said that bleaching has life-threatening side effects such as skin cancer, liver damage and kidney failure, regardless of the benefits that the users claim to have derived from it. Apart from these long-term effects and risks, bleaching also has some effects on the body. It gives the skin different shades of color such that they do not rhyme. The skin also becomes so fragile that it is susceptible to injuries at the slightest contact.

NAFDAC will crack down on bleaching products nationwide.

Meanwhile, NAFDAC has said that it will embark on nationwide regulatory actions aimed at “Stemming the use of bleaching creams and cosmetics that are harmful and injurious to the body.” These measures include sensitization of the public through the media on the dangers of the use of the products, enforcement and raids of distribution outlets accompanied with seizures and destruction of violating products. The government agency said it is consolidating a system to train people in all the zones in the country as a deliberate strategy of mobilizing, educating, sensitizing Nigeria’s health journalists to play a frontal role in a concerted effort to eradicate the menace.


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AN-Toni
AN-Toni
Editor
8 months ago

High use of lightening creams in Nigeria.Women spent $8.6 billion on skin lightening products annually. Express your point of view.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
Member
8 months ago

Skin lightening may be perceived as a means of improving one’s appearance and health, the risks associated with these products cannot be ignored. It is important for individuals, healthcare professionals, and policymakers to work together to address this issue and promote safe and healthy skin care practices.

Abusi
Abusi
Member
8 months ago

The rate at which we use lightening cream in Nigeria is alarming. We need to stop this menace as soon as possible. Bleaching is capable of causing cancer.

DimOla
DimOla
Member
8 months ago

The reason why Nigeria constitute 77% of women in Africa who use skin lightening products is not far fetch. It is purely low self exteem sold to us by the colonialist couple with our high population. What is wrong with dark skin colour? Why can’t we celebrate our heritage? That is why women can afford to spend $8.6 billion on skin lightening products annually because they believe that is what will make them attractive.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
Member
8 months ago

The amount of use of lightening cream is high woman spending a huge amount on lightening cream which can also affect there health they make use of the cream to look good and well

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
Member
8 months ago

At the end the lightening of skin does not sit well even if it’s for a female. All these lightening skin products are armful in one way or the other so why spend so high on buying such things.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
Member
8 months ago

In my own view,due to most advert that most of the companies that produces both soap and cream product normally make that when you don’t use those product that people are not beautiful and most of the models use in those advert are fair in complexion, people tend to believe that is only when you fair in complexion that you’re beautiful and this makes people to be buy the product.

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
Member
8 months ago

It was discovered that the use of skin lightening products is more prevalent in Africa among whom over 77 percent is from Nigeria. The high percentage could be attributed to the Nigerian population. The eagerness to always wanting to remove the top skin layer via light skin product is as a result of the notion that light skinned women are more beautiful and attractive than dark skinned. However, such thought is nonsense. Those who uses skin lightning product only subject their skin to skin diseases and cancer. Therefore caution should when using all these products.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
Member
8 months ago

Although there is a common belief that using skin lightening cosmetics can improve one’s beauty and wellbeing, the many serious hazards linked with them must be taken into account and that should prevent people from using it.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
8 months ago

It’s sad, but the portrayals of women in Nigeria are more like fantasies, and so women there try to improve their appearance with these kinds of products.

Christiana
Christiana
Member
8 months ago

Lightening cream contains hydroquinone which is harmful to the skin, women should spend ok healthy skin product rather than lightening products

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
Member
8 months ago

Bleaching damages the skin and some people are not aware of the side effects of using these bleaching products and I hope some sort of awareness on these dangers so people will desist from the act.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
Member
8 months ago

High use of lightening creams in Nigeria. This is huge amount of money spent on lightening cream. So many woman are not satisfied with what they have. They want to impress us, they want to look very good before man