It’s hard to over-estimate the importance of taking care of your skin. It’s the body’s largest organ and is the first line of defence against infection and disease. Yet why do we erode the very thing that aims to protect us? Is your skincare killing you?
When I started my skincare business, I would often get asked the question…does it tone? Aka skin bleaching! WHO (2011) estimated that in Nigeria alone, 77 per cent of women—by extrapolation, more than 60 million people—are using lightening products on a “regular basis”, the World Health Organization.
In Nigeria particularly, skin bleaching has become commonplace that we are either unaware of the health risks or in our quest for “beauty” for whatever reason, we are indifferent to it!
Melanin is the pigment producing compound found in beautiful black skin. it is the protective pigment in skin, blocking UV radiation from the sun and from damaging DNA and potentially causing skin cancer.
Most skin bleaching products lighten skin by inhibiting the production of melanin. Typically, hydroquinone and mercury have been the main ingredients used in skin-bleaching products. recent research shows that in the long term these ingredients can be toxic. In fact, these ingredients can darken skin and cause premature aging if used for extended periods of time. [Read: What new mums need to know about caring for delicate skin]
Disadvantages / side effects of bleaching
Bleaching completely destroys the amount of melanin in our skin making it more vulnerable and making those without it more susceptible to ailments such as skin cancer. Most often you can spot a person who has been bleaching a mile off because their skin tends to exhibit these
- Uneven Coloring
- Impaired Healing of injuries
Here are a couple of natural ways to even out skin tone and get rid of dark spots and blemishes
1. Lemon juice
Lemon contains citric acid, that helps exfoliate the skin. It helps remove dead skin cells to reveal healthier skin.
2. Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera is as an excellent moisturizer and has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It can help in evening out the skin tone. …Fade dark spots and lighten sunburns, acne scars.
Love the skin you’re in! We were created beautifully with different shades of melanin.
Pamela Orji is the CEO and Founder of Hannah and Hugh Skincare, a range of amazing natural and toxic free products suitable for the whole family.