Back in the early 2000s, skin bleaching was a big problem in Ghana. Our aunties were really into it. They would term this as skin toning or blemish cleansing. Yes, that was the excuse they would be using.
The basic motivation was to look more beautiful than their natural state. To top it, some celebrities were in a way “spearheading” this movement. This was indirectly influencing a lot of people to bleach their skins.
But they’re not the subject of this piece. Let’s see some of the most popular bleaching creams.
- Maxi Light
- Lighten Up Plus
- Bio Claire
- Creme Cocoa Butter
These are some of the bleaching creams that were being used back then. The problem hasn’t vanished despite all the education about the side effects of bleaching the skin.
As a fashion and lifestyle publication, we’ve made it our duty to preach the best ways to go about things that pertain to lifestyle, beauty, and fashion. Thus, we’re preaching the side effects of using bleaching creams.
Effects of Skin Bleaching
1. Skin ulcers
Case studies and reports have linked the use of skin bleaching products to skin ulcers. This is inflammation of the skin caused by contact with certain ingredients in these creams.
2. Mercury poisoning
Bleaching the skin increases the chances of mercury poisoning since some bleaching creams contain mercury. Long exposure to mercury can seep through the skin and damage the essential organs like the kidneys and the lungs.
This is probably the most physically visible side effect of using bleaching creams. This skin disorder presents, blotchy, brownish pigmentation mostly on the face.
4. UV ray exposure
The sun’s ultraviolet rays are harmful to the skin when bleaching it. The dermis, the inner layer of the skin containing capillaries, nerve endings, sweat glands, and hair follicles, is protected by the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. Bleaching thins the epidermis which protects the dermis.
5. Risk of high blood sugar
As a result of the steroids contained in bleaching creams, they cause high blood sugar. Through the skin, the cream seeps into the bloodstream, which causes blood sugar levels to rise, which can lead to diabetes.
6. Stale smelly skin
Most often, people who overuse bleaching creams develop a stale smell when they sweat. This staleness comes from the peeling on the dermis. The peeling of the dermis also makes the soft susceptible to cuts.