By N. Riziki Mulimba, IPSF AfRO RPO
They say black is beautiful and white is wonderful, they say the darker the berry the sweeter the juice, or perhaps we should say, “They said”?
The African woman has lost pride in the above sayings that spoke volumes of her, why?
Skin bleaching has become an epidemic in Africa. Sky high percentages of women on the content continuously spend on skin bleaching products is alarming. It is so prominent that those who cannot afford to buy the high-end skin bleaching cosmetics, result to using battery acid, house detergents and cloth bleaching products among others on their skin, all for the sake of a lighter skin tone. How bad can it get!
To create awareness on the health risks associated with the use of skin bleaching products, skin cancer being the primary risk, the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) through the African Regional Office (AfRO) has recently launched an Anti-Skin Bleaching campaign with the theme “Beautiful beyond Color”. The aim of this campaign is to highlight to the public especially to the young women the harmful chemicals found in skin bleaching cosmetics such as mercury, hydroquinone, kojic acid among others, the short and long term effects on health pointing out key chronic conditions such as cancer, neuropathy, premature skin ageing, scarring, high susceptibility to skin infection, the list is endless.
Africa is not the only continent whose men and women are “victims” of skin bleaching, Asia is victim too. But let us focus on our own and set an example for the rest. Let us be proud of our God given skin and embrace it. We acknowledge that it’s a free world and that one has the right to their own opinions, but as a health provider, we Pharmacists are concerned and thus this awareness campaign.