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Thursday, February 19, 2015


 Almost all skin lightening products contain one of the above, and in most cases at least two, if not all of them. I am not going to preach and try to convince you NOT to use these products. BUT what I am going to do is share with you the potential risks associated with each of the above. Here we go!

HYDROQUINONE: This is the most common ingredient found in skin lightening products. It is a potential carcinogen, which means it can possibly encourage the development of cancer cells. 70% of people who use this experience "irritant contact dermatitis". This ingredient has also been linked to nail discoloration, peripheral neuropathy (discoloration and deterioration of the eye), skin cancers, ochronosis (darkened patches of skin that are bluish/gray), and much more. Hydroquinone has been banned in the UK, EU, Japan, and Canada.

MERCURY: This is another extremely common ingredient that is found in skin bleaching products. Usually comes in the form of Mercury Chloride or Ammoniated Mercury, which are both carcinogenic. The toxic levels of Mercury have been linked to Mercury poisoning which causes kidney damages, neurological complications, and psychiatric disorders. Mercury can also cause birth defects.

STEROIDS: Clobetasol Propionate is the most common steroid found in beauty products and skin lightening products.  It also tends to be the most potent topical steroid used in dermatology. It is also important to point out this steroid is supposed to require a prescription, but many of the off shore companies that make these creams use it illegally. Long term use may result in hypertension, stretch marks, elevated blood sugar levels, and suppression of the body’s natural steroids.

PARABENS: These are mainly added to skin care products to increase their shelf life. The most common parabens are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.  When using products with parabens present, these will be absorbed into your skin, and can mimic hormones within your body, disrupting the functioning of your endocrine system.
It is unfortunate that it is extremely common to see all of these inside of today's over the counter skin lightening products. Millions of people use these products daily without any knowledge of the potential threats they may carry, especially with long term usage.

(Bola Akinboade-Bello is a lifestyle blogger, fashion designer and beauty therapist/cosmetologist. She started her journey into the fashion and beauty industry as a model in 1999 and modelled for top fashion and beauty brands. In March 2006, she joined City People Media Group as a style writer, and rose with a short period to become the Fashion Editor. Her clothing line, Betyl BAT Clothing and Accessories and natural skincare range, Chanterelle Skincare, are doing great in the market)

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