Yaounde: Whitening creams are very popular among women all over the world, but from time to time the harms of these creams are revealed, recently in many African countries cases of skin cancer have been reported from the use of such creams.
Jane, 63, from the African country of Cameroon, who used to wear a big hat to protect her face from the harsh rays of the sun, now regrets using skin whitening products after being diagnosed with skin cancer.
Jane Cameron is one of a number of women who used controversial products that have been banned after criticism on social media.
“I feel embarrassed when people look at me,” says a woman vendor selling such products in the capital Yaounde.
On the other hand, after 5 months of developing a sore on her face, Jane went to a doctor, who diagnosed her with cancer, doctors told her that she had developed the cancer from using skin whitening products for 40 years.
There are millions of people like Jane in the world who use skin lightening products.
According to the Cameroon Dermatology Society, in 2019 about 30 percent of residents of the economic capital Douala and a quarter of school girls used bleaching products.
For some, such as 20-year-old student Annette, the effects of such products can be quite harmful. She says her face has red spots, peeling and burning skin.
My face gets hot in bright sunlight and I have to stop. Products with names like White Na and Super White are instantly recognizable on store shelves by the pictures of fair-skinned women on their packaging. .
The uproar began in the summer when social media users criticized a company selling skin-lightening products belonging to opposition MP Noreen Futsing.
In general, many products have never been scientifically tested, containing dangerous levels of chemicals that inhibit the production of melanin, a substance produced in the body by the heat of the sun.
One of these chemicals is hydroquinone, which was banned by the European Union in 2001 due to its risk of cancer and genetic mutations.
On August 19 this year, Cameroon’s Ministry of Health banned the import, production and distribution of cosmetic and personal hygiene products that contain dangerous substances such as hydroquinone and mercury.
According to the World Health Organization, skin whitening products are commonly used by both men and women in many African, Asian and Caribbean countries.
Black people in Europe and North America also use such products.
Despite the terrible results, men and women believe that they will become more beautiful after using these products.