Why Bleaching Your Skin is Unnecessary

Why Bleaching Your Skin is Unnecessary

Why Bleaching Your Skin is Unnecessary

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  • Post last modified:September 22, 2023
  • Post category:Health
  • Post comments:3 Comments
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Skin bleaching is a practice that has been going on for some time now. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) discovered that 40% of African women bleach their skin. The African countries that practice skin bleaching the most are Nigeria (77%), Togo (59%), South Africa (27%), Senegal (27%) and Mali (25%). Why do most Africans bleach their skin, anyway? Sadly, some believe that fair skin is prettier than dark skin.

Of course, skin bleaching can achieve the results you want. However, the cons of bleaching outweigh the pros. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t have to bleach your skin.

Skin Discoloration

There is nothing as unattractive as seeing someone with an uneven skin tone. To get the picture, an uneven skin tone would be a case where you have dark legs but light arms. Due to the skin tone imbalance, you end up with a patchy appearance. This usually happens when the user fails to apply the bleaching product evenly on their skin. That is understandable because there are body parts you cannot reach unless someone helps you, e.g. your back.

Also, skin discoloration occurs due to a condition called rebound hyperpigmentation. This condition is caused by excessive or prolonged use of skin bleaching products. As you use bleaching products, your skin reacts to harsh chemicals in them. Some harsh chemicals found in bleaching products include parabens, sulfates, talc, toluene, alcohol, etc. The reaction to the chemicals results in the overproduction of melanin, which causes your skin to have dark spots.

Ethical Reasons

For the longest time, black people have had to battle with colorism. This discriminative practice has been taking place since the slavery period. During that time, light-skinned blacks would work in homes while their dark-skinned counterparts would work in the fields. Although slavery took place long ago, it is interesting how some people still treat light-skinned blacks better than dark-skinned ones. It is no wonder the latter feel they must bleach their skin to be liked by society.

Unfortunately, skin bleaching fans the flames of colorism. That is because you are sending the message to others that they are better off being light-skinned. Instead, dark-skinned people need to be encouraged to be comfortable in their own skin.

Health Risks

We have already established that bleaching products contain harmful chemicals. Besides altering your skin’s appearance, they damage your skin. One problem you may experience is skin irritation. Its symptoms include burning, swelling, itchiness and redness. Another health risk you could suffer is skin thinning. Thinning usually occurs due to the presence of corticosteroids in the bleaching products. With thin skin, you will be more prone to experiencing injuries, bruises and tears.

Remember, these chemicals from bleaching products get absorbed into your system. Therefore, the skin is not the only organ that gets affected. Skin bleaching products can damage the nervous system, liver and kidneys. This usually happens after using products that contain mercury. As you such products, mercury gets absorbed into the bloodstream and accumulates in your body with time. The more mercury in your system, the greater the risk of organ failure.

Identity Crisis

There is a relationship between skin color and racial identity. For instance, black people tend to have very dark skin. However, you should remember there are different shades of black. Anyway, bleaching your skin can cause you to look radically different from your race. For instance, didn’t you always think the late Michael Jackson was white despite being black? Understandably, he did it to even out his vitiligo. Due to looking different from your race, you will question whether or not you are black. To make things worse, other people will also question your racial identity following your skin bleaching.

Due to an unclear racial identity, you may get ridiculed by your race. For instance, your fellow blacks may ask you why you bleached your skin. They may assume you did it because you hate being black. As a result, they will accuse of you keeping the spirit of colorism alive. At the same time, there are people who prefer light-skinned blacks, which leads to some bleaching. Therefore, it helps to accept who you are.

Hormonal Imbalances

Skin bleaching products with hormones or corticosteroids, usually cause hormonal imbalances. One problem you may experience is menstrual irregularities. Examples of menstrual irregularities include abnormal bleeding patterns, missed periods and longer/shorter cycles. Besides interfering with menstruation, they cause fertility issues. They do that by interfering with reproductive function and ovulation.

Bleaching products interfere with hormones differently depending on the chemicals in them. For instance, corticosteroids cause adrenal suppression. Adrenal suppression is a situation where the adrenal glands (found on each kidney) produce insufficient hormones. As for those products with estrogen, they mimic that natural hormone in the body. As a result, that is how hormonal imbalances occur.


Skin bleaching causes more issues than you would expect. When it fails, people will notice how odd your skin looks like. To make matters worse, they will keep reminding you about it. Within no time, you will develop self-esteem. However, you will convince yourself that you must finish what you started. As a result, you will continue bleaching your skin. Sadly, you will have to worry about organ failure and not just your skin tone.


Here is the thing, skin bleaching can work when done properly. However, some products can be costly. That is why it is important not to care too much about what you and others think about your skin. Accepting that black is beautiful takes time. However, you will soon be glad that you did not interfere with your skin.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Carson Anekeya

    This is really helpful, it will guide many, thanks for sharing.

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