Skin bleaching is a method used by people across the globe to make their skin lighter for a multitude of troubling reasons – most of which take root in colorism and placing much higher value in lighter skin than darker skin.
Putting all of the moral complications to the side, the main ingredient in skin bleaching products, hydroquinone, has been found to cause cancer in its users. As a result, the country of Ghana will be banning the sale of the product within its borders starting this August.
“Concerning skin lightening products, we are saying that from August 2016, all products containing hydroquinone will not be allowed into the country,” said James Lartey, Federal Drug Administration Head of Communications to Starr FM in Aug. 2015. “From 2016, the acceptance for skin lightening products is going to be zero.”
According to Face 2 Face Africa, skin bleaching isn’t only widely accepted in Ghana, but even celebrated in many cases by celebrities and youth alike. Local professional boxer, Bukom Banku, proudly admitted to using skin bleaching products with the hopes that his now light skin would qualify him to be Ghana’s ambassador to Germany.
While banning the sale of hydroquinone likely won’t solve the skin bleaching practice overnight – as it clearly stems from a deeper psychological origin – but it will surely be a step in the right direction towards encouraging people to love and appreciate themselves.
Photo Courtesy: Pixabay (open source)