The ugly sides of skin bleaching

The search for a true and fine-toned skin, admirable by all, have driven people to procuring products, which transmogrifies the natural skin colour, with the unhealthy chemical substances therein.

By Ezinne Success

No one falters the notion, that good looks – skin care giving, is a category of business, in and of itself. The craze to have an untainted, ageless and a possibly sun-kissed skin, fuels people to taking unthinkable measures towards its acquisition.

Contrariwise, there is a boundary, as it were, in such quest. The availability of a vast range of skin care products, which contain nocuous chemicals, constitute serious damage to the skin, and generally affect a balanced health.


The search for a true and fine-toned skin, admirable by all, have driven people to procuring products, which transmogrifies the natural skin colour, with the unhealthy chemical substances therein. The products containing these substances, most times do not go through the required safety measures, before being let out to the market. Owing to this, the natural state of the skin’s complexion, is unguardedly altered, with regular application.

As much as there may be attempts to run off from the consequences of altering the skin’s colour, they are always bare, and cannot be dodged. The temporary seeming benefits of this act, breeds umpteenth and lasting side effects, not only to the exterior body parts, but also the internal organs, generally.

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These aftereffects, made realized by noxious chemicals are Hydroquinone, Tretinoin, Kojic Acid, Niacinamide USP, Mercury etc. They pave way for the unhindered susceptibility of the skin to somewhat irreversible consequences, further highlighted.

Premature Skin Aging: The protracted use of skin care products which are abundant in these harsh chemicals, have the chance of causing the skin to wear the face of an aged granny. It exposes the skin to quickly wearing away, at a point it’s meant to be sheen and alive. In a world where everyone seeks to have an appearance likened to that of a day old baby, it is only best abstaining from products with these substances.

Skin Cancer: With regular and prolonged application of these products, there is an increased possibility of contracting cancer of the skin. This however, is quickened due to the exposure of the skin to sunlight. The presence of hydroquinone which inhibits melanin production and removes the top layer of the skin, makes this possible. It has also been validated to cause leukaemia in mices and some animals. For this reason, certain countries have banned its use, due to the life-threatening health challenges.


Kidney, Neurological and Psychological Problems: Most skin care products have Mercury as its active ingredient, and this poses deadly risks to the body. The chances of getting high blood pressure, excessive fatigue, numbness of a particular body area and sensitivity to sunlight, are as a result of this specific agent. This makes it commonly regarded as Mercury Poisoning.

Skin Infection: Certain skin products are composed of steroids which are harmful to the skin in diverse ways. These lightening chemicals cause skin disease, thinning, acne and poor wound healing. The steroids if applied in large portions of the skin, will be absorbed into the body, eventually leading to internal dysfunction of vital organs.


Irritation from Allergies: Skin bleaching have adverse reaction on the outer skin layer. Asides the irritation it gives, rashes, burning sensation, flaky or dry skin leading to cracks and peeling, profuse redness, swollenness, are side effects. All these are realized, due to constancy of the application. Consequently, the skin opposes any slight atmospheric and environmental change, normal or strange, contrary to what it originally experienced.

Uneven Colouration: The use of bleaching products expose the skin to an ununiform colouration. A part of the skin tends to blend while another portion remains dormant or unyielding. This is one reason the knuckles, knees and elbows of people who apply lightening creams, get relatively darkened, without any hope of it conforming with other areas of the body. This skin discolouration, is most times untreatable.

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