Skin bleaching is a global practice and lucrative industry that continues to influence our perception of beauty today. Speaking to doctors, trading authorities, historians as well as the people who bleach their skin in secret, Ngunan Adamu examines its harmful effects on the mental and physical health of many men and women. She also considers whether skin lightening can ever be safe, as well as the reasons behind its stigma.
The widespread practice of skin bleaching was heavily influenced by the Western colonisation and slavery of African and South Asian countries. Ngunan Adamu explores this toxic history.
Discover why some Black people feel more attractive with lighter skin. Ngunan Adamu speaks to three women who explain how they got hooked on skin bleaching.
Warnings about permanent health damage don’t deter those using skin-bleaching products for years on end. Read the story of one woman who suffered from liver failure after years of striving to be paler.
Skin bleaching tends to attract a negative press for a whole host of reasons. But when used to treat medical problems, its positive side becomes clear.
Could your moisturiser be damaging your health? If it contains skin-lightening agents, the answer is yes. But this is an area where consumers definitely do not have the upper hand.
About the author
Ngunan Adamu is a radio presenter and producer for BBC Radio Merseyside, CEO and founder of iWoman Academy/Media, and an international multimedia trainer for the BBC.