Nigeria women have been ranked as the highest users of skin-whitening creams on the African continent.
The data was taken from the International Journal of women’s Dermatology and published by CNN. It shows that 75 per cent of women in Nigeria use skin-whitening products.
Nigeria is closely followed by Senegal at 60 per cent, Mali at 50 per cent and Ghana at 30 per cent.
Skin whitening is the use of cosmetic products or services to reduce the amount of melanin, or pigment, in the skin to make it appear lighter.
Skin whitening products often contain ingredients that are toxic when used cosmetically for long durations and without medical guidance as they have the ability not just to damage your skin but cause life-threatening ailments.
Skin whitening is a big industry and predominantly targets women of color in every region of the world, with the Asia-Pacific region being the most lucrative, according to a CNN report.
The report revealed that on the global stage, the Asia-Pacific market accounted for over half of the worldwide revenue in 2018 from skin whitening products. Meanwhile, China is among the fastest-growing markets globally.
Lighter skin has long been linked to wealth and status. Experts blame colonialism, slavery and globalization for this perception.
The report adds that colorism and light-skin privilege have led to disparities in every region of the world, in everything from social treatment to marriageability, education, employment and even, in the US, prison sentencing.