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Chasing fair skin, Ivorians ignore whitening cream ban

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Chasing fair skin, Ivorians ignore whitening cream ban

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By Christophe Koffi 9 hours ago
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Abidjan (AFP) - At just 26, Fatou's skin is marbled from layer on layer of whitening cream. Some even call her a "salamander" woman after the little reptile with light spots and translucent skin.

But nothing can stop the hairdresser in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan from using the skin-lightening cream in her quest for a paler complexion.

"I love light skin," Fatou said. "I can't stop."

Many Ivorian women -- as well as more and more men -- are using creams with dangerous chemicals for depigmentation, despite government attempts to stop the practice.

In late April, Ivory Coast banned whitening creams because of the negative health effects associated with them, ranging from white spots and acne to cancer.

If applied liberally, the cosmetics can also cause high blood pressure and diabetes, according to Professor Elidje Ekra, a dermatologist at Abidjan's Treichville university hospital.

The banned products include creams containing mercury, certain steroids, vitamin A, or with hydroquinone levels above two percent.

A large billboard advertises skin-lightening products in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (AFP Photo/Sia Kambou)

Hydroquinone is often used in black and white photography and is banned as a skin-lightening ingredient in Europe as it is considered a potential carcinogen.

The dangers don't seem to deter consumers, though.

- 'Women who shine in the night' -

While no official statistics are available, "tchatchos" -- or those with lightened skin, often recognisable by their darker knuckles and elbows -- are omnipresent in Abidjan.

Businesses continue to sell the whitening products, because they know people will continue to buy them despite the risks.

"We know that our lightening products are dangerous," an executive for an Ivorian cosmetic company said, adding that a ban would be counterproductive.

While no official statistics are available, 'tchatchos' - or those with lightened skin, ofte …

"It would push consumers to make their own products, which would be even worse.

"At least we know the composition."

Some women say that it's societal pressure -- particularly from men -- that forces them to lighten their skin.

"It's men that push women to become lighter," said Marie-Grace Amani, who has been whitening her skin for the past four years.

Ivory Coast's Health Minister Raymonde Goudou Coffie agrees.

Ivorian men "love women who shine in the night", she told AFP.

A woman, who uses skin whitening cosmetics, poses poses for a photo in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (AFP Pho …

"They bring light and glow in the bedroom."

- Measure still an 'empty shell' -

Three months after the new law was introduced -- which could entail a fine of 50,000 to 350,000 CFA francs (76 to 534 euros / US$83 to $585) for violators -- salons are still advertising their lightening products.

Whitening soaps with names like "Glow and White" and "Body White" leave little doubt as to their intended use.

"After raising awareness, we will move to the next phase of removing products from the market," Coffie said.

A national evaluation and marketing authorisation committee has been set up to ensure implementation of the measures, but one of the biggest fights could be against cultural beauty standards.

Lightened faces continue to proliferate on billboards in Abidjan, with the featured models flaunting fair skin.

Ekra says that while it's a great initiative, the text is still an "empty shell".

"We see women on national television who use the corrosive products," said Ekra.

"Do those that enforce the measure even respect it?"

If people want to lighten their skin, experts say they'll always find a way to do it.

"We tell people it's not good for their health, but if they find something good there... we cannot forbid someone to do what they wish," said Paul Aristide Kadia, who sells the products.

The practice is not only present in Ivory Coast, but widespread elsewhere in Africa, as well as in large parts of Asia.

In nearby Senegal, people mobilised against skin lightening in 2013, but failed to get a ban on products.

http://news.yahoo.com/chasing-fair-skin-ivorians-ignore-whitening-cream-ban-043859433.html

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Man I thought this was spam and was about to flag.


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this is stupid. The products made in Eithiopia for the Eithiopian market not have this problems.

Maybe there's a Chinese Manufacturer behind the scenes there for this Ivory Coast 'problem' ?

I likes a girl 'all natural', not needing the skin lightening products.


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Man I thought this was spam and was about to flag.

Why would I spam?

this is stupid. The products made in Eithiopia for the Eithiopian market not have this problems.

Maybe there's a Chinese Manufacturer behind the scenes there for this Ivory Coast 'problem' ?

I likes a girl 'all natural', not needing the skin lightening products.

Why use these products period is the question? It is so sad that the world has made being black or brown so bad that women are risking their lives to conform to any form of acceptability by bleaching themselves.

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There is a skin whitening cream? And there is a ban?? why? Can it cause permanent damage?

I unfortunately have had melanomas removed so I have to avoid the sun like the plague so I use skin darkening cream when I travel - which I assume outsells skin whitening cream by about 10000 to 1 since they have whole sections devoted to them in Walmart and entire stores devoted to them in every strip mall in the US...


I don't believe it.. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. -Ford Prefect

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There is a skin whitening cream? And there is a ban?? why? Can it cause permanent damage?

I unfortunately have had melanomas removed so I have to avoid the sun like the plague so I use skin darkening cream when I travel - which I assume outsells skin whitening cream by about 10000 to 1 since they have whole sections devoted to them in Walmart and entire stores devoted to them in every strip mall in the US...

Yes, it causes permanent damage. There has been numerous accounts of women having damage from whitening cream. In some cases it looks like acid was thrown on their faces.

I am sure the skin darkening cream does not have bleach inside of it, which is a main component of the whitening cream. Whitening cream is in every part of the world that has black or brown people. It is a hot commodity.

Whitening creams are big business, not just in Africa but all over the world where the girls aren't white and pretty.

Aren't white, yes I agree. However, this has nothing to do with not being pretty. Their are some very beautiful women who uses whitening cream because they are taught they are more acceptable to society the whiter or fairer they are.

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wait wait - it's the black men there that are causing this problem !

Some women say that it's societal pressure -- particularly from men -- that forces them to lighten their skin.

"It's men that push women to become lighter," said Marie-Grace Amani, who has been whitening her skin for the past four years.

Ivory Coast's Health Minister Raymonde Goudou Coffie agrees.

Ivorian men "love women who shine in the night", she told AFP.

come on, refocus on the black men there - the root cause of the problem !

Whitening creams are big business, not just in Africa but all over the world where the girls aren't white and pretty.

I know, right? There's a tonne of products sold in India as well.


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

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Why would I spam?

Why use these products period is the question? It is so sad that the world has made being black or brown so bad that women are risking their lives to conform to any form of acceptability by bleaching themselves.

I just saw the thread tittle. I realized it wasn't spam when I saw your name. :)


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Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

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Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

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wait wait - it's the black men there that are causing this problem !

come on, refocus on the black men there - the root cause of the problem !

I know, right? There's a tonne of products sold in India as well.

So if it is strictly the black men causing the problem, why is it also a big seller in India, Sri Lanka and everywhere else?

Is it not because there is a huge pressure on the rest of the world to conform to European standards of beauty?

I just saw the thread tittle. I realized it wasn't spam when I saw your name. :)

Awwww shucks, :luv: thanks. Does this mean I have a good reputation?

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So if it is strictly the black men causing the problem, why is it also a big seller in India, Sri Lanka and everywhere else?.

whoa - why you get geographically challenged so quickly ?


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

Whoa Nelly ! Want NVC Info? see http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/NVC_Process

Congratulations on your approval ! We All Applaud your accomplishment with Most Wonderful Kissies !

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Yes, it causes permanent damage. There has been numerous accounts of women having damage from whitening cream. In some cases it looks like acid was thrown on their faces.

I am sure the skin darkening cream does not have bleach inside of it, which is a main component of the whitening cream. Whitening cream is in every part of the world that has black or brown people. It is a hot commodity.

If it causes damage that is another story.

I would mention that there are a good many thousands of skin darkening factories here (sun tanning salons) that can cause cancer. People wanting to reach an idealized view of beauty/youth will risk their health through chemicals, extreme surgery, injecting bio-toxins into their skin, radiating their bodies, etc.


I don't believe it.. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. -Ford Prefect

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Whitening creams are big business, not just in Africa but all over the world where the girls aren't white and pretty.

So the millions of white people that darken their skin is that because they are not dark and pretty?


I don't believe it.. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. -Ford Prefect

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