Cameroonian Government Fights Against Skin Bleaching

A beautician who works on Nairobi’s River Road illustrates how to apply skin-lightening cream, on March 18, 2015. The product is mostly targeting dark women who want to look lighter and old ones seeking to look younger. Unlike in India where lightening creams are very common, in Kenya, skin lightening is generally done in small backstreet venues. Experts believe it’s on the rise, and warn of the dangers of unregulated black market treatments. Skin-lightening treatments in various compounds have been popular in Africa, Asia and the Middle East since the 1930s, and one brand, Fair and Lovely, is now one of the most popular formulas in the world. Owned by Unilever, it claims to ‘synergistically lighten skin color through a process that is natural, reversible and completely safe.’ AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)


The practice of skin bleaching can have devastating consequences for the skin.


Faced with the increasing popularity of whitening creams, the Cameroonian government was recently forced to ban the import of these cosmetic products due to the growing cases of skin damage.

Some local craftswomen did not waste any time and rushed into the cosmetics sector for black skin mainly.

“There you have dart leaves that I use very often to make soap. I also use lemon leaves and I also use guava leaves. Beyond that I can use snail slime for certain cosmetic products because it is well known that snail slime is reputed to fight against stretch marks”, said Annette Engoutou, cosmetician and promoter of the Cosmetic Mall.

Alongside these entrepreneurs, there are activists like Alex, who is openly opposed to skin bleaching. He is co-founder of the Black Attitude association.

“We at Black Attitude want Africa to return to its originality”, said Alex Ebonguè, founder of the Black Attitude association.

DermatologistDr Tatiana Eroumè added:

“The black complexion protects five times more than the white complexion. It is therefore a skin that is more resistant, it ages more slowly, and it has nothing to envy of other skin tones”.

The advantages of keeping one’s skin black is perhaps the ideal message in the fight against skin bleaching in a country where the extent of this practice continues to worry the authorities.


Written by How Africa News

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