I recently met with my dermatologist friend Dr Richard Desnoes and we expressed concern about skin-bleaching in Jamaica. As a pharmacist, I thought I knew almost everything about skin-bleaching but the experiences and expertise which Dr Desnoes shared were a true eye-opener. What is skin-bleaching?
The dictionary tells us that to bleach is to make something white or colourless mainly by using chemicals. With skin-bleaching, chemicals are used to lighten (or whiten) the skin. The chemicals are applied to the skin directly or are taken by mouth as pills. On the face of it, people bleach with a view to getting lighter tones than their natural complexion. The Big Eye News of London, England, reported recently that 'skin-bleachers' are having an ethnic identity crisis. The report suggested that a 'white-induced' confusion exists among people of colour who bleach. Bleaching with a sense of purpose
I have asked numerous people in the street why they bleach their black beauty. Respondents say that they feel better about themselves; they receive more attention from the opposite sex; they experience more romance; they get better job/economic opportunities; they bleach to clear up spots; they just like how it looks; they prefer a cool complexion and they do it as a fashion statement. They bleach the entire body or parts thereof, including the face, neck, back, ears, nape, hands and fingers, breasts, nipples, abdomen, buttocks, entire legs, feet and toes, and yes, the penis or the outer lips of the vagina. Skin-bleaching mechanism
Curry powder is used as a skin-bleaching agent.
Melanin is the dark-brown pigment in the skin which makes us dark. Melanin protects the skin from the cancer-causing ultraviolet rays of the sun. The more melanin our skin...