From traditional television adverts to rap music videos and social media postings, society is consistently preaching “ the lighter your skin, the sexier you are and more opportunities would knock your way”. For this simple, but bizarre message, millions of “darker skin” people are battle-ready, equipped with the most lucrative weapon of all times, bleaching creams, ready to conquer their own natural glow. It is an individual choice! Nevertheless, bleaching or like it is now called whitening, glowing or toning, has terrible health risk attached.
Bleaching is a choice. A choice with a strong message to society!
Yes it is choice. People choose to smoke and eat very unhealthy. So why can’t we let those who choose to bleach fall into depression, and anxiety? Afterall, these health side effects complete the devil’s circle for them. The more anxious and depressed, the higher you crave to look lighter, as this visual effect would make things better. But that’s not the reason for this article. You can continue to bleach to whatever degree you intend to. But read through to see how you can actually become an entrepreneur solving real problems around this lifestyle.
The issue here is the message that is now prevalent in society about lighter skin being a better option and appearance. There are countless studies that have shown this perception to be in strong existence. Therefore the lifestyle of bleaching strengthens the perception in itself. And please save that argument that white people tan. Yes, many do, but must that be our measurement standards?
When you focus on trying to be what you are obviously not, you fail to see how extraordinary you could be.
We have a “self-esteem problem” and you can solve it with a business idea.
Bleaching or whitening is not a financial issue. Financially poor people bleach. Wealthy people bleach. And at the end, the health defects doesn’t discriminate. When the information we consume leads us to believe we are “not enough” but rather to begin to explore ways to “become more” at the detriment of our own health and for the profits of others, in this case, the cosmetics industry, we have to question it!
Especially when the concept sets to threaten the self-esteem of young girls and youths growing up to learn what it means to look a certain way. We have to address it! And addressing these kind of problems is what leads to great business idea. Read more about how to find a business idea using the problem approach.
77% of Nigerians bleaching.
One might think that this is a racial issue and yes, white people tend to fair better because of their white skin. Asia and America have their own fair share of the experience. The black African continent is experiencing a “bleaching creams wave” that needs to end! In salons and beauty spas, the topic of best whitening cream for face and body, how to attain glow for skin, skin lightening etc. is a non-stop.
Over 77% of Nigerians use what used to be simply called bleaching but now refined with code words like “glowing, lightening, whitening, toning” creams, soaps. Some go as far as taking pills or conducting laser corrections. In South Africa it’s like one third and two thirds in Gambia. Statistics from the World Health Organization. Crazy, right? Many countries have banned the use of such products, especially those containing harmful chemicals. But there is not an anti-bleaching police on the streets to control or monitor the market. So yes, black market is booming and people are still topping their games trying to be white.
The colonial experience is over but not over!
today, we are literally not colonised. We “choose” to promote “the lighter is better” ideology through our media. Therefore creating a social dynamic and self-esteem easy-fix or booster for teenage girls, for less than a dollar per week at the detriment of their health. As a teenager growing up in Nigeria, someone can actually mean to complement you by saying “Wao, you are not so dark”. Starting from nursery school. The lighter babies dare not cry too much as they are delicate and precious.
Then in primary school. She was much lighter and so was the best fit to stand on stage to represent the group, even when she had definitely less to offer apart from the skin color. It has gotten so bad that even parents tend to bleach their young children. This experience shows that the issue of bleaching in our continent is far deeper than banning the bleaching creams. We need awareness, wokeness and self-esteem building to start right from the kindergarten. Thank God that barbies are now black, brown and many shades too. Economically speaking, it took way too long to get here.
Get the “glow”. Visual benefits vs. health defects!
Who gets the largest profit out of this long trend? The bleaching industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, promising the “glow”. So face it. If about 77% of Nigerians buy these products at an average cost of about 1200 Naira, that’s approximately over 450 million Euros. And you say there is no money in Africa. Check our this interview on YouTube and another one from Al Jazeerea. So that you can successfully lighten that skin, a specific chemical substance is included in every lightening cream – called Hydroquinone. Some products even have high mercury and steroids inside.
Crocodile skin, high blood pressure and kidney failure are all included in the package.
Mercury in consistent consumption either through skin or food, is toxic and can lead to depression, anxiety, memory loss, numbness amongst other health issues. These 2 health risks is cause for alarm – High blood pressure and kidney failure. And I know that high blood pressure is an issue in many African urban cities today. Simply the waste resulting from the use and production of the cream contaminates our environment.
Skin inflammation and sensitivity to light should not be ignored because at the end of the day, bleaching (toning, lighting, whitening, glowing) consistently for a longer period affects the deeper layers of the skin, it results to the contrary of what you aimed for. Instead of getting “lighter” you get even more darker patches.
Why destroy what protects you the most.
The skin on which you apply these harmful chemicals on is one of the most important parts of the human body organ system called the integumentary organ system. Because the skin is the largest organ we have and it acts to prevent the body from damage and helps in multiple ways to keep the body in balance.In it we produce what is called Melanin, which is a pigment that we need to protect us from sun burns and UV radiation after overexposing your body to sunlight.
So when you begin to bleach, you destroy the melanin in your skin and therefore become very sensitive to the sun. Now, remember that the body is made of up many organs that work interconnectedly to make sure everything works perfectly for you. These organs have what is called cells and they are way too small for you to see with your naked eyes. These cells communicate with one another. So when you begin to destroy one cell, it affects another cell. Somewhere else in your body.
How can I achieve a glowing skin? Fat is not the enemy!
Nutrition is important for health. What you eat affects every organ of your body. Remember I told you the skin is the largest organ? So yes, there are natural ways to get the glow and keep it without having to fear the sun or spend a fortune on bleaching creams. Get more healthy fat to your meal plans. The conventional vegetable oil is more or less like poison to your skin and body if used consistently. Why? I would share more in upcoming blogs on Well being for entrepreneurs. For now, know that the healthier the fat you consume, the more glow you will have. Fat is not your enemy, just which, how and when. Healthy fat can heal you and you can find some in avocados.
Benin city avocados are the best!
A couple of months back, when I visited in Benin city, if avocados could make you high, I was definitely 24/7 high. Benin avocados are the richest and most tasteful avocados I have ever eaten. Try to add half an avocado every other day to your breakfast. Avocado is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and that’s what you want to get the glow. It helps to keep your skin flexible and moisturised. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant that helps protect your skin from oxidative damage.
Also vitamin C is included. There are other foods that contain omega 3, vitamin E and C, find them and incorporate into your meals. Some other nutritious foods that you must include in your meals are Walnuts and tomatoes. But when I say tomatoes, I mean it raw. Not over cooked to the extent it releases harmful substances. I will release new content about this in my Well Being for entrepreneurs blogs, so stay connected via blog subscribing.
Your well being is a priority at Joadre.
At Joadre, we believe that an entrepreneur is a whole person that approaches life within and outside from a holistic perspective. So therefore, being healthy and attaining a fit state of mind is key in our business platform. The first element to being successful is to take care of yourself. To find ways to understand what you can do better and how you can impact the lives of people around you. Sure you are now aware of the health defects, rather than benefits, that can arise from consistent bleaching.
This is a result of a problem, a much more deeper problem attributed to low self-esteem, societal misinformation and greed to make financial benefits of vulnerable people. If you feel inspired to do something, here are some solution oriented approaches that could even be developed to be a business case. To learn more about how to develop a business case, feel free to either visit and enrol for my 6 key program or join the free online coaching platform.
Some ideas and ways to address the color complex society and create innovative businesses around it.
- We need more self-love preaching. Grooming self-love increases your own confidence which would then be the source of your daily motivation. And yes, when you are highly motivated, you go for it. You take the actions you need to get the results you want. You become even more productive and achieving your big “WHY” seems even more realistic to you. If you have the means and voice to motivate others on this journey. Do it! Start by sharing this blog article. Parents can simply start by reframing the messages our children consume to more empowering stuff. Do you see the business idea here?
- More innovative and confident entrepreneurs can come up with a more healthy and sustainable cosmetic product alternative. I bought an organic cocoa cream from the Lagos brand Aralewa, some time ago and I must tell you, there is so much good stuff out there. And more entrepreneurs will spring up in the future. Would you be one of them?
- Short-term solution would be to promote or demand the ban of such harmful products in regions that have not yet implemented the ban but also to create an effective control system of how to monitor the sales even after ban. This would of course include promoting healthy alternative products that actually help to protect the skin while bringing out the true glow which has no skin color other than the native healthy version of the individual person.
- More health awareness, because sincerely speaking, the most effective way to get the glow on your skin is through nutrition, movement and mindful living. Mindful living will include protecting your skin from long periods of harsh sunlight using sheds if you work exposed to harsh sunlight. Nutrition is not a new way to get the glow. Our ancestors have used this techniques from generation to generation. What you eat, how you eat, when you eat and all these elements play an important role. I will discuss nutrition for entrepreneurs in future blogs. Stay subscribed not to miss out. Movement is key because, even the best food would not complete the equation. Humans are built to move. That’s how we get our multiple organs and systems, such as the skin, up and running.
Can you start a business around my above listed solutions? Sure! How? Join our free community forum to start a conversation with us. Wao, so I hope this was not my longest article. So that you can still take much away, here is a quick recap. Bleaching is bleaching! You can call it glowing or lightening. When you use chemically active creams that intentionally bleach your skin and destroy the melanin, you are set for some health defects in the future – high blood pressure, kidney failure, anxiety and depression.
It is your own choice. If millions of people are vulnerable to the ideology that they have to be lighter to have a better chance, then we have a deep problem that needs your innovative entrepreneurship ideas to solve. Remember to get some healthy fat, vitamin E and C into your weekly meal plan so that the glow will shine naturally, shining bright like diamonds so that those discriminating your for your darkest skin can now truly have the gift of sight once more.
Thank you so much for staying till the end of this article. Please, please do me a great favor. Share your thoughts, experience and share this article with your friends if you liked it. Remember to stay connected on social media and subscribe to my newsletter to know when the next article or video is posted on Joadre Wellbeing.