A Dangerous Trend: Skin Lightening

Although Western media has been championing the bronzed, tanned, golden girl look—With the Kardashian sisters’ at the forefront—The reality is that most of the world still is under the impression that fair skin is more beautiful than tan skin.

The desire for a pale and flawless skin tone originates from an ancient notion of beauty which was derived from the class system dating back as far as ancient Egypt where the subordinate classes were forced to labor outdoors and as a result, had complexions that were darkened by the sun. Since then, these perceptions have filtered down through the generations with manufacturers of skin whitening products exploiting this notion.

2 Toxic Whitening Ingredients Hydroquinone: The most common bleaching ingredient used in skin lightening products and is also found in film developing products. As it is considered a possible carcinogen and has risks of causing respiratory issues, it is banned for

use in cosmetics in the UK, EU, Japan and Canada; however, it is still allowed in the U.S. Mercury: Many skin lightening creams have this chemical in them usually in the form of Mercury Chloride and Ammoniated Mercury, which is a carcinogenic. Toxic levels of mercury can lead to mercury poisoning which causes neurological and kidney damage, and may also lead to psychiatric disorders.