Not everyone who is applying a bleaching cream, as it is popularly called, knows the dangers of doing so.
Sadly, most have been made to believe that when it is ‘organic’, it is natural. Remember that there is organic chemicals in chemistry and those are not natural.
Most of the creams referred to as organic are not natural and they cause more harm than good, as indicated by different researches. One of those issues is infertility. This is increasing among women of child-bearing age.
These days, it is possible to see a lady two weeks after the first meeting and notice that she is few shades different.
The gaze in Tolu’s face when he saw Diva few weeks after their first meeting was that of confusion and doubt.
He had seen a dark beautiful lady the first time they met and he requested for her telephone number.
His intention was to establish a relationship with her, but complex came between his desire and Diva.
Now her complexion has changed. She is glowing!
Yes! Glow is the new word for skin bleaching, which people of old will easily relate with.
Ladies are glowing, blowing their hormones up, and laying bricks of health issues ahead of them.
A 2016 research that examined the effect of skin bleaching on an individual quoted Simmons (1989) as emphasising that the skin does not only wrap the body.
“It also forms a busy frontier between the body and the environment.
“It controls the loss of valuable water from the body, protects the body from harmful radiations of the sun and controls the entry of foreign materials.”
The skin also prevents the entry of harmful micro organisms, cushions the body against mechanical shocks from bumps and knocks, regulates the loss of heat from the body.
Also, the skin receives information from the environment and relay it to the brain. By its colour texture and odour, it transmits social and sexual signals to others.
Furthermore, the skin helps in the production of vitamin D which is responsible for strong bones and teeth in the body.
Interestingly, the skin performs great functions, but people chose to lighten it up for different reasons.
From low-self esteem to the need to attract people and raise the bar a bit, women and men have engaged in skin bleaching.
However, there are side effects of skin bleaching. The most common is the gradual disappearance of melanin in the skin. This is the reason people who are into skin bleaching cannot walk in the sun.
Different bleaching agents are in bleaching creams and we will examine them.
We will also look at the effects of these chemicals used in making these creams.
Components Of Bleaching Creams
Different things could be put together to give the skin the glow that people seek. In some countries it is regulated, but in Nigeria that is not the case. Anything goes.
It has been banned in most countries and this is because of its side effect.
When added to a cream it causes exogenous ochronosis which results in an irregular blue-black staining affecting sun-exposed skin and nails.
Ochronosis may also cause loss of skin elasticity and impaired wound healing. Excessive use of of this chemical in combination with certain foods in the diet (fish, eggs, offal, beans) could cause offensive body odour.
The body will secret such odours when the individual sweats or urinates.
Sometimes, Hydroquinone has other names. 1, 4-Benzenediol, Quinol, Benzene-, 4-Diol, p-Diphenol, p-Dihydroxyl, and benzene.
Also, some persons call this p-Hydroxylphenol, Hydrochinonium, Hydroquinol, or Tequinol.
Based on recommendations, this skin bleaching agent is applied for 15 minutes each day.
It is also used for up to 12 weeks. After the period it is then applied twice weekly for maintenance. It can cause temporary burning sensation and redness.
This is one of the most used and Tretinoin is the main topical retinoid.
It lightens the skin and thins it, increasing the penetration of other agents. One of its troubles is its potential risk in pregnancy. This is why it is a prescription drug in most countries.
These are lightening compounds isolated from plants which are added to modern cosmetics.
According to researches, they inhibit the production of melanin without being toxic to the melanocyte.
Mercury is a volatile element and is harmful to the skin when used in an effort to lighten the skin.
However, chronic exposure of the body to mercury at very low concentration can cause long-lasting neurological and kidney impairment.
Other items Used
Some persons also use Kojic acid, Azelaic Acid made from yeast, Mequinol, Isopropylcatechol, N-acetyl-4-cysteaminylphenol, N-acetyle glucosamine and Piceatannol as bleaching agents.
Agents Used In Nigeria
Several other agents have been identified as part of what Nigerians bleaching cream makers add to their mixture.
A 2019 research says Mercury, Cadmium, Lead and Arsenic are popular.
According to researches Cadmium in the skin-lightening creams could cause harmful effects to the human body.
Exposure to low levels of Cd over time found to cause kidney damage, bone deformity, and the ability of bones to break easily.
Some of the side effects of this compound is vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea, as well as skin disorders and cancers.
More Damaging Side Effects To Women
Sadly, women use bleaching creams more, moving shades lighter. Our concern is that some of this chemicals find their way into the body and that is why it is harmful to the organs.
While it harms organs, hormones are not separated from being affected.
This Article 3 Reasons Orange Peel Helps In Skin Lightening May Be Helpful
There is an increasing cases of fibroid among young ladies and other fertility issues. One of the things that could cause these issues is hormonal imbalance.
Some chemicals in bleaching creams find their way into your body and then cause long term issues that are not noticeable on the outer body.
Let us not talk too much.
In 2009 a research showed that it could cause infertility.
It stated: “Women, especially pregnant and nursing mothers, who use these creams are at risk of mercury toxicity because long-term exposure can cause permanent neurological damage, nephrological disorders, fertility problems, and birth defects.
“Our data indicate that dermal exposure to mercury can result in a significant accumulation in the ovaries of mice following the application of skin-lightening cream.
“This may cause alterations in reproductive behavior and contribute to infertility or ovarian failure”.
This highlights the need for women to give a second thought to the side-effect of skin bleaching before engaging in it.
Natural plant-base compounds can lighten skin but in most cases are not able to give several shades difference because they are natural.
Kindly share this article with your friends and loved ones so they could know more about bleaching creams.