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The first thing that comes to my mind when I see any fairness cream advertisement is “oh my god that is so racist”; it’s like going to a black person and saying “ would you want a fairness cream? You should use it because you aren’t fair enough to be human. I don’t know why I hate their ads but I do; it’s highly racist when you showcase a girl sad when she is dark and happy when she is fair. Generally in the fairness creams advertisement you will see the girl being normal, sad and not reaching her goals because of her color and BANG she uses a stupid cream and she gets what she wants and everyone falls in love with her.
Don’t you feel sad for the girl? She has the same talent, the same face, same body but fair skin ( just on the face by the way :P). I find it highly annoying because I see things in that ad that others don’t. I am a literature student and an essential part of my study is that of post colonial nature. I study a specific paper which deals with the affect of colonization on the colonized (effects of the English on Indians). I study literature regarding this but the one thing that surprises me is the actual practice of this in India.
My dislike of the fairness creams stems from my knowledge of colonization in the idea of a fairness cream; trying to be fair is more than just wanting to be pale. The people who buy the fairness cream are getting included in this cycle of wanting to be white- it’s like trying to be like a white person because unconsciously you feel they are superior to you or their appearance is more desirable. I don’t think any Indian consciously wants to be white but I can’t generalize.
Some Facts About Fairness Creams
I know it’s easy for me to say that “don’t use fairness creams” considering the fact that I am fair but let me tell you the truth behind fairness creams. Our skin color is determined by our race and genetic lineage which in turn decides the amount and structure of melanin (the pigment in the skin which is the reason for our color). According to most dermatologists, achieving fairness up to 20% is possible, but not more than that. The fairness creams block sun rays and prevent secretion of Melanin, which gives the dark colour to the skin. So in effect fairness cream reduce tan, prevent the skin from getting darker by preventing melanin secretion; but fairness creams cannot change a person’s natural skin color. Nothing can change that structure of melanin. It’s the same as if you have curly hair, you cannot use any product to naturally make it straight , you can comb it when its wet but the actual and natural structure of your hair will remain curly, you can even get it chemically treated but the new hair growth will always be curly. A fairness cream does the same , it removes your upper skin layer so that the skin below appears. Fairness creams can contain harmful bleaching agent such as hydroquinone, the percentage of which is between 3- 4%, but most of them do not mention the percentage of the chemicals on the packets which can cause skin allergy, cancer, kidney problem. Hydroquinone is a strong inhibitor of melanin production, meaning that it prevents skin from making the substance responsible for skin color. Hydroquinone does not bleach the skin but lightens it, and can only disrupt the synthesis and production of melanin hyperpigmentation. It has been banned in some countries (e.g. France) because of fears of a cancer risk.
I am not trying to turn you away from the fairness cream you have used for some years now but I just want you to question the products you use. You should think before you apply something on your face because it represents you. Anything that is used by you or comes in contact with you changes and formulates your personality. If you are applying a cream to your face because it boost your confidence it is okay but you should question if you are comfortable in your natural skin color. I am not against some person using anything on their face but the question is of “questioning” the product.
There are natural variants to make your skin ‘clear.’ I use besan with lemon on my face; that is the only thing I have used for 7 years now to wash my face 🙂 The lemon clears your skin of any marks and dark spot. Lemon will not erode the upper layer of the skin but it will lighten the imperfection in your complexion. I am not miss white but I like my complexion. Be proud of what you have, any color, any shape, any size… a person is beautiful when they smile 🙂
Some Myths About Fairness Creams
- Fairness creams can make you fair: All fairness cream or skin whitening creams are effective only if the pigment is in the epidermis. If the pigment is deeper, the product canot help or make changes. Thus, fairness cream can help remove a tan or discoloration due to some pigment in the top layer of the skin. It cannot make a dark person fair.
- Manufacturers list all their ingredients on the product label: This is not true. Manufacturers are not required by law to mention all the ingredients on the product label.
- Fair skin is better than dark skin: Medically, dark skin is believed to be less vulnerable to skin diseases than light skin. More melanin in dark skins provides protection from the sun and, in turn, disease. Light skin contains less melanin and thus less protection.
- Ayurvedic or herbal fairness creams have no chemicals: This is a myth. Only home remedies for fairness can be free of chemicals. All commercial products have chemical bases that give them the texture and consistency and preservatives that prevent them from going bad.
- Herbal ingredients have no side effects: A person can be allergic to plant based herbal ingredients also. It is advisable that they apply the cream to a small area on their hands before using them.
Himalaya Herbals Fairness Cream
Lotus Herbals Cocofair Ginseng Fairness Creme
Oriflame Fairness Lotion with Mulberry & Vitamin E
Kaya Fairness Nourishing Day cream with SPF 15
Skin Care : Revlon Touch and Glow Advanced Fairness Cream
Face: Skin Whitening Products