Thursday, January 3, 2013

Nigeria: 77 per cent of Women bleach

A recent study by the University of Cape Town suggests that one in three women in South Africa bleaches her skin. In many parts of Africa, lighter-skinned woman are considered more beautiful, are believed to be more successful and more likely to find marriage.

Local musician Nomasonto "Mshoza" Mnisi, now several shades lighter, says her new skin makes her feel more beautiful and confident.

She has been widely criticised in the local media and social networking sites for her appearance but the 30-year-old says skin-bleaching is a personal choice, no different from breast implants or a having nose job

Nomasonto Mnisi bleaching her skin because she hates being black
Nomasonto Mnisi before and After

"I've been black and dark-skinned for many years, I wanted to see the other side. I wanted to see what it would be like to be white and I'm happy," she says candidly.

Over the past couple of years Ms Mnisi has had several treatments. Each session can cost around 5,000 rand (£360; $590), she tells the BBC.

The dangers associated with the use of some of these creams include blood cancers such as leukaemia and cancers of the liver and kidneys, as well as a severe skin condition called ochronosis, a form of hyper-pigmentation which causes the skin to turn a dark purple shade, according to senior researcher at the University of Cape Town, Dr Lester Davids.

He says over the past six years there has been a significant increase in the number of skin lighteners flooding local markets, some of them legal and some illegal. This is what prompted their research.

The World Health Organization has reported that Nigerians are the highest users of such products: 77% of Nigerian women use the products on a regular basis. They are followed by Togo with 59%; South Africa with 35%; and Mali at 25%.

According to WHO, the amount or concentration of mercury in a product may be labelled on the packaging or in the ingredient list. Names to look for include mercury, Hg, mercuric iodide, mercurous chloride, ammoniated mercury, amide chloride of mercury, quicksilver, cinnabaris, hydrargyri oxydum rubrum (mercury oxide) and mercury iodide.

Skin lightening products are manufactured in many countries like China, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the USA.
Alao-Akala is responsible for 97% of skin lighteners in Nigeria.

nigerian women bleach
A recent picture (on the right) of the sexy Nigerian rapper Kel’s has doing the rounds on a number of blogs with allegations of skin bleaching to account for a lighter shade and different look.


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