Outside her ground-floor apartment in Kingston, hairstylist Jody Cooper sits on the bright blue bench that serves as her makeshift salon. The year-old native Jamaican is flipping through photographs of herself—there she is a few years ago in a studded monokini, with strawberry blonde hair and blue eyeshadow, her skin several shades lighter than it is now. Cooper doesn ' t remember making a conscious choice to bleach her skin.
A multibillion-dollar industry of skin-whitening products dominates the West African cosmetics market, creating a world of mixed messages for the women who live there. Credit Credit Tiffany Ford. By Helene Cooper.
Skin bleaching —aka the act of using substances, mixtures, or treatments to physically lighten one's skin tone—has been around for a long time, and it's developed into a billion-dollar international industry. However, the way the Western media has reported on this topic feels problematic: We often hear of skin bleaching happening in Ghana and the Caribbean, yet it's widely practiced everywhereincluding in the United States, Southeast Asia, and India. The act of lightening one's skin goes beyond the physical effect—it can also be incredibly detrimental to one's self-confidence and mental health.
Dark spots are my archenemy. Every time I get a pimple, I end up with a hideous scar that stands out against my dark complexion. Like most women who struggle with hyperpigmentation, I've tried slathering on bleaching creams to fade acne scars and blemishes. While some have worked, I'm still uncomfortable with skin brighteners.
All women, regardless of age or ethnicity want even, clear and radiant skin. For most women, the challenge to achieve radiant skin begins with dark spots or hyperpigmentation caused by the accumulation of melanin. Hyperpigmentation can be exacerbated by genetics and ethnicity.
Long-term use of skin-bleaching products can cause visible skin damage and scarring, and less visible but serious internal effects. A true story of liver failure and permanent health problems highlights the risks. However, excessive skin bleaching and high levels of particular ingredients in products sold illegally are dangerous.
From an article on youbeauty. If you have heard about skin bleaching before, it has been probably been in a negative capacity. Andrea Kassima board certified dermatologist with training in both cosmetic and laser surgery, to get the low down.
Back to Cosmetic procedures. Skin lightening, or skin bleaching, is a cosmetic procedure that aims to lighten dark areas of skin or achieve a generally paler skin tone. Skin-lightening procedures work by reducing the concentration or production of melanin in the skin.
The thought of altering your skin colour might seem alien, even a little absurd — but for millions of people, skin lightening creams are just another part of their daily skincare routines. Billions is spent advertising these creams to women, girls and, increasingly, men across the world. Bleaching creams contain harsh chemicals that inhibit the production of melanin, and quite rapidly make the skin whiter.
Although the applications of bleach in anti-aging skincare are currently being studied and have yielded some positive results thus far the use of household bleach in facial skincare is strongly discouraged by doctors. Proponents of the popular yet dangerous "bleach facial" trend claim that bleach has a healing, regenerating effect and leaves skin with a youthful glow. However, it is important to remember that bleach is a caustic substance and can wreak havoc on your skin if used incorrectly. Starting with Step 1 below, you will find some useful information on the source of the facial bleaching trend and why you should avoid trying it at home.