Extreme Skin Bleaching…Creamy Crack for the Skin
Extreme lightening is a controversial topic within the global black community. Whether African American, African Caribbean, African Latino or those in the diaspora, in Europe, extreme skin lightening almost always, evokes negative reactions. From the ongoing discussions that still exist today surrounding Michael Jackson’s hue to Blac Chyna being accused of colourism for selling a so called “illuminating and brightening cream”. We cannot dismiss this conversation. Keep reading for a deeper dive into this topic.
Skin Lightening OR Unhealthy Ideal?
Acne scars and other types of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation can give way to low self-esteem and very poor self- image. It is not surprising that many women seek various means to correct these skin imperfections on a daily basis and thank God nature has provided many resources to aid in this human request for lighter, brighter skin. However, there is an extreme side to the pursuit of lightening the skin tied to politically charged behavior, which gives rise to the old ideas of blacks hating themselves, and desperately trying to give themselves a European inspired visage, in an African derived form. While for some it is purely cosmetic for others it is tied to social acceptance and their perception of their self-worth and this idea has led to extreme lightening of the face and body. The practice of extreme lightening is not confined to Africa. It is widespread in the west as well as South Asia. People use over the counter and prescription “lightening” products to bleach the skin of their babies. Pills and injectables are also used in high concentrations to achieve lighter skin. When the pursuit of lighter skin turns to an obsession resulting in pursuing unsafe measures to treat the skin that is the point at which it turns extreme.
What is in extreme lightening products?
Mercury, steroids, lethal dosages of hydroquinone and even lead are some of the ingredients in bleaching creams sold illegallyand designed to restrict the melanin production of the epidermis.These treatments are also applied over the entire body to lighten naturally dark skin. Using such products over ones, entire body can be a risky affair. There are even pills and injectables. It really is a mixed bag and some countries like Europe and other parts of the world have banned the sale of these products outside the use of medical facilities. In the United States The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any of the injections also known as glutathione treatments to be sold online, however you may receive them by medical professionals.
Consequences and Risks
There are several risks that result from too much lightening. Mercury poisoning, premature aging, and increased risk of skin cancer are all consequences of extreme bleaching. Some people have reported an increase in skin infections, thinning of the skin, a delay in healing of a wound and acne after using products like these. These conditions are normally felt by people who use skin lightening creams that are combined with steroids. Ochronosis a darkening of the skin caused from high concentrations of hydroquinone used over a long period of time is also possible. Some doctors feel extreme skin bleaching products may even be harmful to the liver and kidneys.
YELLE beauty encourages you to embrace the melanin you are in. We urge you to seek the advice of a trusted and trainedmedical professional to treat advanced hyperpigmentation and to also seek emotional support from a psychologist or psychiatrist to address emotional and mental suffering associated with colourism.