With the skin lightening industry growing, with pockets of interest and revenue generated all over the world, it leaves you wondering, is the preference of fair skin over olive or dark skin a sign of racism? Or is it just simply "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"?
Historically speaking, fair skin meant that the person was rich and meant they had a high social standing. Dark skin was associated with a labourer, the skin over time became darker due to tending to the crops or farming or road sweeping for example. The obsession with fair skin shows over history. From the slave trade to the rule of British Raj in the Indian Subcontinent. In Japan even, the geishas were and are still known for painting their skin white to represent beauty, grace and a high social status.
With working in the beauty industry, I get asked many time daily about which products a customer can use to lighten their skin. I always wonder why they want to do it especially when I do not see any age spots on their faces. A lot of the time I find myself asking them. These products and their marketing can lead to insecurities. As these products are mainly targeted toward woman, I believe many of them think it is a sign of beauty to be fair, even still after all these years. I want everyone to take one thing away from this post and that is "you are beautiful no matter what colour, shape, or size you are, everyone is beautiful in their own unique way." I am so proud of my skin colouring! I am mexican/spanish and chinese and I am a nice olive skin colour.
I believe that skin lightening products should only be used for age spots or scarring or pigmentation problems such as pregnancy masks. But to lighten your skin I think is wrong. This subject can be a very controversial topic to discuss as it involves effects on health, identity, self image, racial supremacy and colonial mentality. There is proof that some skin lightening products are harmful.
Just needed to get that out of my system. Now there are legitimate reasons to lighten the skin.
It does not matter on nationality or skin colour, you can have uneven skin pigmentation. You could experience blotchiness, patches of brown or freckles. This is caused by too little or too much melanin. Melanin is a pigment produced by melanocytes which creates skin colour, eye colour and hair colour.
Effects of skin lightening?
It causes sun sensitivity. If you are lightening you skin, make sure to wear a sunscreen! No matter what!!
Some ingredients have been proven to cause leukemia in mice or other animals such as hydroquinone.
Some skin whiteners contain toxic ingredients such as mercury(II) chloride or ammoniated mercury.
Ingredients to look for
Morus alba(white mulberry)
Broussoneita papyrifera(paper mulberry)
Mitracarpus scaber extract
If you have any questions about certain products let me know. Or want advice on which to choose as well. I highly recommend doing your research first though.
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