Posts Tagged ‘AFRICANS’
This is the AFrican Queen Video. It is so elegant
and stunning like it should be. It’s the perfect
idea of how an African princess should be
treated. It’s one of the songs to treasure and
it makes you warm inside.
Beyond the Pale
Hydroquinone, widely used in skin lightening creams, is soon to be banned altogether.BY Prisca McGuire
Poisoning, convulsions, asthma, leukaemia, liver damage, anaphylactic shock and infertility are not conditions normally associated with cosmetics. However, prolonged use of certain cosmetic creams, which contain bleaching agents, has been linked with all of the above.
In recent years, despite rigorous campaigning to raise awareness about the dangers of excessive exposure to the sun, the serious health risks which can arise from using unregulated bleaching creams has received little or no attention.
Black skin renews itself quickly, rapidly producing new skin cells, this ability for regeneration keep our skin’s looking younger for longer. Whenever Black skin is damaged or traumatised, it produces an excess of melanin in the area. This hyper-pigmentation can result in a humble spot or cut producing a dark patch where it is healed. Skin bleaches are often used in an attempt to even out skin tone or remove dark patches caused by injury. However, in some sections of the society, particularly in African communities, skin bleaches are used to lighten the skin in the misguided belief that a lighter complexion is better.
The production of the most commonly used bleaching agent, hydroquinone (chemical formula C6H6O2), came about by accident, after Black workers in a rubber plant found that when a certain chemical came into contact with their skin it caused light patches of skin. The workers sued for damages as a result of their injuries, but their ‘discovery’ led to the commercial production of cosmetic creams containing hydroquinone as a bleaching agent.
Hydroquinone is a very powerful chemical that it used as the key ingredient in the photographic process of development, but is also used in the rubber industry as an antioxidant, and as an agent in hair dyes. Mercury is another product often used in some cosmetic products as a bleaching agent. Severly toxic, it can cause skin to go grey or blue black, rather than lighter, and in many cases has resulted in the user suffering from mercury poisoning.
How do they work?
Bleaching creams work by stripping the skin of its natural pigmentation. However, in dark skinned people, the pigmentation is the skin’s natural protection from the sun. Bleaching doesn’t just superficially lighten the skin, it alters the skin’s ‘natural’ structure, removing and inhibiting the production of the colour creating melanin.
Once the skin has been ‘bleached’ it loses its natural protective barrier, making it susceptible to damage by the sun’s rays. This is also why many bleaching products contain either sunscreen, or come with instructions advising people to use sun protection creams along with the product. Prolonged use of these bleaching products can also prevent the formation of melanin in the deeper basal layers of the skin, which will leave the skin lighter, but also leave it more vulnerable to damage. Hydroquinone in particular, has been found to damage the connective tissue in the skin and cartilage, hence its removal from skincare products.
People who use bleaching products can end up with rough and blotchy skin, and then get caught up in the ‘bleaching trap’ by using more cream to try and correct the problem, and by doing so, find themsevles causing even more damage to their skin. Alternatively, they may find that because of exposure to the sun, their ‘lightened skin’ gets darker.
Up until now it has been legal to sell and promote skin bleaches which contain a maximum of two per cent hydroquinone. Although there is anecdotal evidence of shops selling under the counter creams that contain over this legal limit. Even at national and international levels, standards differ. For example, anyone caught travelling to the Gambia with cosmetics containing hydroquinone is subject to a large fine. Yet, another African country was recently prepared to pay research scientist Sujata Jolly, two million pounds to develop a bleaching cream.
Sujata told us, ‘I couldn’t take the contract. Having seen the terrible effects skin bleaching has had on some people, there was no way I was prepared to take the contract, no matter how much money they offered.’ She said, ‘I’ve been campaigning against the use of bleaching creams for years, and have written and appealed to health ministers in an attempt to get them to do something, because I feel so strongly about the dangers of using these creams.’
Sujata adds that she’s not alone. Southwark Council’s Trading Standards Council recently led a campaign against the use of bleaching creams. The campaigning efforts have finally paid off, because this time next year, hydroquinone will no longer be approved as a bleaching agent for use in cosmetic creams in
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has received a directive (Twenty-fourth Commission Directive), from the European Commission, banning the use of hydroquinone as a skin lightener. The draft of the directive clearly states that ‘Harmful secondary effects have been shown to arise following prolonged use of hydroquinone as a skin-lightening cream. This particular use of hydroquinone must not therefore be authorised’. This means that not even the current allowance of two per cent of hydroquinone in cosmetics will be approved by law. Member states are already taking measures to implement the directive. However, worryingly, some major cosmetic companies are not even aware of the directive.
“SKIN BLEACHING IS DANGEROUS”SAYS BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKINNED TINUOLA OGINNI FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER 2008August 26, 2008
Skin bleaching is dangerous
updated: Friday 04-07-2008
She is Tinu Oginni, a beauty and make-up expert based in the United Kingdom, with a mission to create more awareness about the long term effect of using bleaching products to change skin tone by people of all ages and background. She also wants to create more awareness on why we are dark in colour and enable us build our confidence in being black, enrich our lives and reveal our hidden beauty so that we live in good state of health.
According to her, in this modern appearance- conscious society in which we live, there is a myth that lighter, pale complexion portrays beauty, riches, success, and people are often commended on the fairness of their skin. “This misguided belief has resulted in making a lot of people bow to this social pressure, which is enormous and cuts across all the strata of our society.”
“It is imperative, therefore, on our part that we put a halt to this. Banning of products containing hydroquinone and mercury will not stop the products from entering Nigeria, but the only way to make a positive impact on preventing this anormaly from spreading is to create more awareness about the long term effects of using skin bleaching products on our skin,” said Ogini.
She stated that in order to combat this problem, confidence teaching must start in the homes and then in the schools to enable children value themselves, i.e, their colour, religion, culture, family, country.” “Beauty is more than skin deep. The radiance that shines through an individual and her comportments are all attributes that attest not only to her beauty but also her confidence.
To change your skin colour is to betray your maker and your faith, for in the realm of religion there must be no room for vanity, “ she said. Bleaching, according to her, is most certainly not pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. “In order to change the psyche of our people, I am organizing a national crusade across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria in which various lectures intended to expose the negative underpinnings of bleaching will be delivered by scholars and researchers such as dermatologists, psychologists, beauticians and religious leaders among others.”
Areas of concern will include: Why we have our skin colour; medical, social, spiritual and economic implications of bleaching our skin. The campaign against this anomally aims to educate through the aggressive use of the mass media such as, television, radio jingles, newspapers, magazines, flyers, posters, bill board, public campaign, seminars and workshop.
What is bleaching?
Bleaching is using products that contain hydroquinone and mercury to change our colour. There is also a new product in market containing kajoic acid. All these products work by inhibiting the production of melanin. Hydroquinone is a severely toxic and very powerful chemical used in photo processing, the manufacture of rubber and is an active agent in hair dye. Mercury in the form of Mercury Chloride and Ammoniated Mercury is carcinogenic (Cancer-causing agent). They appear on the list of toxic substances that can only be purchased via pharmacies with prescribed labels of toxicity.
What are the long term effects of using bleaching products on our skin?
Bleaching leads to increase thinning of the skin and stretch marks.
Bleaching is associated to being a carcinogen. (Cancer- causing agent).
Bleaching pills are toxic and can cause damage to internal organs such as kidney and liver.
Bleaching leaves odour which is anything from stale, mousy, to fishy
Skin bleaching can cause rough, blotchy skin, leaving it with a spotty cavier appearance.
Why do people use skin bleaching products?
1. Uneven complexion tone (skin with blemishes).
2. Consumers being lured by marketing ploy.
3. Lack of basic information and education on why we are dark in colour (ignorance).
4. Social pressure (some consider bleaching as fashionable).
There is usually an underlying cause for uneven complexion tone. They include: Eczema, acne, poor nutrition. Visit a dermatologist, do not apply unprescribed cream on your skin! Manufacturers of skin bleaching products use marketing ploy to lure customers, i.e putting toning and lightening in the same sentence.
Skin lightening and toning are two different things Lightening is bleaching. Toning is freshenening up your skin. Manufacturers of skin bleaching products may not be fully versed with the side effect of their products. Some products present misleading labels or are economical with the truth (i.e. 2% hydroquinone while it contains 6% or even more). Manufacturers of skin bleaching products coming into Nigeria must label their products to include the proper warning label i.e (bleaching may harm your skin)
A lot of people lack basic information and education on why our skin is dark in colour.In Nigeria shinning of the sun is intense. God created us with the right skin type to survive the harshness. Our body produces melanin which protects our skin from the harmful (ultra violet ray of the sun). Without melanin production, we would need to cover our skin with sun screen; without melanin production, our skin will be vulnerable and risk a greater chance of developing cancer. The more melanin we produce the darker we are. We are beautiful creatures that God made and gave us different skin tone. All colours are beautiful but there are ways we can care for our skin by maintaining or improving its look and texture. Fortunately, a woman skin does not have to be truly flawless to look like it is, the steps to create a perfect finish starts with a great skin care programme, i.e,
Cleanse your skin to remove make-up and impurities.
Exfoliate your skin to remove dead surface cells.
Freshen your skin to tone and refine pores.
Moisturize your skin for soft, smooth skin.
Protect your skin from environmental damage using foundation while colour cosmetics will produce the fabulous finish when required.
NIGERIAN SISTER TINUOLA OGINNI CAMPAIGNS AGAINST BLEACHING OUR BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKIN! FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE,JUNE 2008August 26, 2008
A Nigerian’s campaign against skin bleaching
updated: Friday 13-06-2008
(L-R) Miss Tinuola Oginni, addressing
blacks resident in the United Kingdon
during one of her numerous campaigns
against skin bleaching.Assistant Editor, Jackson Udom, just back from London, writes on what Miss Tinuola Oginni, a London-based make-up artiste, is doing on the streets of London, with her solo crusade against bleaching by blacks resident in London and her plans to take the battle to her roots.
The bleaching culture crept into the consciousness of Nigerians several years ago, with little or nothing done to check its spread, which, surprisingly, cuts across virtually all sexes, class and groups.
Despite its grevious health consequences, Nigerians, particularly, the women and some men have turned deaf ear to the health implications of bleaching. But one Nigerian has decided to take the bull by the horn, and that person is London-based Miss Tinuola Oginni.
Nigerian Tribune encountered this amazon on the streets of London on three different occasions preaching against bleaching, and this caught the attention of this reporter, which led to the attempt at unravelling the reasons behind such a public crusade by a Nigerian against bleaching in a foreign land largely peopled by whites.
According to those who spoke with Nigerian Tribune on what they described as “the yeoman war against bleaching” by the London-trained make-up artist, “the crusade against bleaching has taken Tinu to virtually all the nooks and crannies of the United Kingdom. It is aimed at discouraging or completely eradicating the spirit of bleaching among Africans. She is more concerned about the health implications associated with bleaching and that is why she goes around the UK to let the people believe in the colour of their skin”.
Nigerian Tribune also gathered that she has also taken her crusade against bleaching to churches particularly those with predominantly African. It was further learnt that the crusade has, on a daily basis, been receiving the support of religious organisations.
In a chat with Nigerian Tribune at one of the venues of her anti-bleaching crusade, the make-up artiste said she was moved to preach against bleaching because of what she witnessed when her very close friend was to undergo an operation in the hospital.
“I am out on the streets against bleaching because of the experience I had when my very close friend was admitted for operation in an hospital. She did not survive the operation because she had been bleaching for over 15 years. According to the GP’s report after the operation, which was very successful, they found it difficult closing her up after the operation because her outerskin layer hadbeen destroyed due to long years of bleaching.
Because of that she died. It was a painful loss. In fact, I am yet to overcome that loss. That is just one out of very many tragedies occasioned by attempts by Africans to want to look like Europeans. They forget that God gave them that skin colour because of the weather and made the Europeans white because of their weather.”
She further said “black Africans still see bleaching as the in thing in town. I am yet to see any white man who wants to change his skin to black and that is why I have taken it upon myself to alert blacks on the dangers inherent in bleaching.”
On why she decided to carry out the campaign in London and not in Africa, the Osun State-born artiste said, “the war has to start from here because African’s resident here are largely influenced by what they see. They see the whites and they want to look like them in colour, forgetting about the health hazards associated with such things”
She however, assured that plans were underway to take the crusade against bleaching to Africa, saying, “I have Africa, the continent of the blacks, in mind. In the next couple of weeks I will move my campaign there because that is where we have the largest population of blacks, but as they say, charity begins at home. Nigeria, my country, will be my first port of call,”
According to Miss Oginni, “we will need the support of government, organisations, highly placed individuals for the success of the crusade and it is my prayer that at the end of the campaign against this social abnormality the blacks will come to the understanding of the dangers inherent in bleaching. There is dignity in the black colour because it is a special gift from God and any attempt to want to tamper with it is an indirect way of being ungrateful to God.”
© 2004 – 2008 African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc. Publishers of Nigerian Tribune, Saturday Tribune, Sunday Tribune.
All Rights Reserved