Sun, 16 Oct 2022 Beauty & Fashion

Your Health Matters: How bleaching destroys your skin and health

By Esinam Mabel Awagah
Your Health Matters: How bleaching destroys your skin and health

In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health with a phrase that modern authorities still apply. “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

Mental and physical health are probably the two most frequently discussed types of health. A person who has good physical health is likely to have bodily functions and processes working at their peak.

Good health depends on a wide range of factors;

1. Genetic factors

2. Environmental factors

Now, What Is Skin Bleaching?

Skin Bleaching is the act of using substances, mixtures, or treatments to physically lighten one's skin tone. It is the intentional alteration of one's natural skin color that one relatively, if not substantially lighter in color, through the use of chemical skin light agents, either manufactured homemade or a combination of the two as defined by the World Health Organization (Konlan 2016)

Many black African women today see light skin complexion as more beautiful than their original dark complexion hence going to the extreme of buying all sorts of creams and products just in the name of toning or lighting their skin color.

It has become a common trend that many ladies and gentlemen are giving up their dark skin tone for a much fairer complexion. They think looking fairer makes them look more beautiful to their partners

But the question these women and men fail to ask themselves is: will changing my skin color affect me in the long round?

If you admire people with fair skin and want to make your skin like him or her then I advise you to read this write-up as much as you can.

Why Do People Bleach?

Some people, especially women, bleach mainly because of psychological and peer pressure and other reasons. Some women have low self-esteem because they feel that fair-skinned girls are more beautiful and more attractive to their opposite sex.

Like I said earlier, for some women, it is as a result of peer pressure. So it is like everyone around is bleaching so they do not want to be left out or to be seen as the uncivilized ones.

So before you even decide to bleach your skin in the first place, do you think of the damage it will cause you in the future or you are just thinking of just the current looks? Well if it's just the current look then I tell you that bleaching causes a lot of damage to your skin than what you can imagine

Bleaching damages your overall health gradually, it might take a long while sometimes years, but I tell you in the end you will wish you didn't bleach your skin.

Before you make a mistake you will regret in the future, let's take a look at how bleaching can be dangerous to your skin.

  • Bleaching causes skin cancer: skin cancer is a major reason you should rethink the decision to bleach your skin. One of the functions of melanin in black skin is to protect your skin against the harmful carcinogenic effect of ultraviolet rays from the sun. This is why dark-skinned people are at a lower risk of cancer than light-skinned people. When you bleach, you deprive your skin of this protection, and this makes you prone to having cancer.

  • Bleaching makes your skin prone to injuries: most bleaching products contain steroids. When you use steroids for a long period, it destroys your skin and causes skin atrophy. This is a skin condition that reduces the thickness of your skin, making your skin becomes very pro injuries like cuts, bruises etc.

  • Bleaching can damage your internal organs: it is possible that bleaching products can affect your internal organs especially if you continue using them for a long period. This product contains mercury which is a heavy metal known to be one of the causes of kidney failure. So if your bleaching product contains a lot of mercury, then you might get Mercury poisoning which can affect your liver and might cause irreversible damage to your brain.

  • It can lead to ugly skin and premature aging:

skin-bleaching products that contain hydroquinone and Mercury stop the production of melanin in your skin. This naturally makes your skin lighter and reacts to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It will make you look beautiful at the beginning but in the long time round you will grow to very ugly person

In conclusion, the negative effects of skin bleaching far outweigh the positive side. Therefore, it is better not to bleach your skin at all. Do not pay attention to those bleaching vendors with their persuasive approach that says it is organic products. Your skin is beautiful in its dark and natural complexion. Instead, look for those products that contain shea butter that would maintain your beautiful complexion.

An article by, Esinam Mabel Awagah school of communication and media studies, department of Journalism.