Africa say no to toxic beauty

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In this article we are going to look at the amount of toxins that the African people are putting on their skin, From skin bleaching to unregulated cosmetic industry. I think its about time Africa says no to toxic beauty.

I am not even going to go deeper into skin bleaching because, after watching this video on YouTube

Its clear that people are aware of the dangers of using skin bleaching products yet they continue doing it, I was very surprised to see that even men in Kenya are now bleaching their skin, its really sad.

The man interviewed in the video went as far as to say that he doesn’t care about the health risks of using bleaching products, he even mentioned cancer and said he doesn’t care about it.

Even my grandmother thinks its time to say no to toxic beauty.

I was talking to my grandmother just recently when I visited my family and I told her that I run a website raising awareness about toxins in beauty and skincare products, it took me a while to explain to her what a website is and how I connect with people using website.

She asked me if its like a radio station lol 🙂 I said no, then I mentioned I write things on my computer, and then people read, she asked if I was speaking to people like her favorite news anchor ( I wish) She is funny, she likes making fun of people, I knew she was making fun of me 🙂

Anyway, we got talking about beauty and swiftly our conversation turned to skin bleaching, I asked her what her opinion was about African women bleaching their skin to look fair and explained to her the risks involved, I even told her that once they bleach their skin, they can not be out in the sun anymore because the skin is so delicate it burns very easily.

Her reaction was that of astonishment and disappointment, she told me that she does not understand why an African woman is not proud anymore of her beauty. She also went on to tell me that an African woman is strong, beautiful, and she should always carry herself with grace and class, and should never damage her identity by bleaching her skin.

During her younger days, my grandmother told me that it was considered beautiful to have a smooth dark skin, and curly black hair. In fact she told me in those days if you had fair skin and brownish hair, you were considered not so beautiful.

She also educated me a bit about girls who were light skinned by telling me that perhaps they were not liked because they were suspected to have been fathered by the colonial masters, (if you don’t know, Kenya was colonized by the British from 1920 to 1963)

I was very amazed to hear that, because now African girls, women and even men are working so hard to change the color of the skin they were born in. So my grandmother went on to share with me how they beautified themselves in those days.

She told me that coconut oil was used a lot, for skin and hair, when I asked her about lipsticks and eye shadows, her face went blank, she told me that they didn’t put anything on the eye area but they was a reddish colored powder they used to put on their forehead.

And they also used a white clay like mixture to make dots on their faces but that they did when there was a special occasion like wedding, end of harvest( they had a big feast then) or something like that. They also wore lots of Jewelry made of beads and some made of stones and horns of different animals.

Anyway, all this got me thinking how times have changed. We have so many products available for us to beautify ourselves safely yet we are choosing to poison ourselves with skin bleaching products that are damaging our kidneys and liver as well as putting us at risk of getting cancer.

Yet our ancestors didn’t do all these things and they were considered beautiful, where did Africa go wrong? when did we start hating ourselves so much that we even hate the color that makes us African?

I say arise Africa and say no to toxic beauty, you are dark, you are beautiful when will an African queen arise and look at her self and think man I am gorgeous, I was so saddened when I watched that Youtube video and one of the lady there says that she is very beautiful now that she has bleached her skin so sad.

Diversity makes Africa beautiful

The truth is, what makes Africa beautiful is our diversity, we are so rich in color, But I guess black has been associated with so many bad things that Africans have now decided they don’t want to be black anymore.

But in my opinion, this decision is very costly, I say if you are caramel or toffee or dark chocolate, you are beautiful, use natural products to take care of your skin, to make it smooth and use make up that will enhance your beauty.

Say no to skin bleaching say no to changing who you are to look like someone else, you can only be the best when you are yourself, say no to toxic beauty.

I wasn’t planing to say a lot about skin bleaching because I even have a post on it that I did a while back I actually want to focus on toxins in make up, I think Africa has become the dumping site of all the low quality makeup.

As I mentioned earlier, I was in Kenya just recently, and given the fact that I am always trying to see what kind of makeup people are using, I went to so many beauty shops both in Nairobi and other towns to see what people are buying.

I have to say that its worse than when I was working in beauty industry in Kenya, the ingredients are worse now, all the chemicals that should not be put on skin, are in those makeup kits, lead is found almost in every makeup kit I examined.

I got very sad when I saw this and I said I will do an article shading light to the toxins in makeup sold to Africans, I also looked at popular lipsticks and again, lots of harsh and toxic chemicals in lipsticks. I say again Arise Africa and say no to toxic beauty.

Our people are being poisoned slowly, I checked the statistics and cancer has risen significantly in Kenya and in Africa at large, also cases of kidney diseases have also increased. I know that there are many other factors to the increase of these diseases, but do we really want to take chance by using toxic beauty products?

Over 1000 ingredients are banned in Europe

I think African countries need to start venting makeup brands and find out exactly what they are subjecting people to, I mean if you think of how many ingredients are banned from skincare and cosmetics in Europe over 1000 ingredients.

In US they have a shorter list but at least they have a list and recently the FDA has raised its concerns about not having enough authority to control ingredients used in cosmetics and they want to have more authority so they can better control what ingredients people are subjected to, so they are working on it.

But Africa does not even have a list, I mean Kenya has only two ingredients that are banned and those are mercury and Hydroquinone and even those got banned after the World Health Organisation raised concerns about those chemicals being used in skin creams.

And the ban is not even doing much because the products made with this chemicals are still being sold in Kenya being imported illegally from neighboring countries where these products are not banned.

I think the only way to fight this epidemic is by coming together, Africa needs to arise and admit that there is a big problem when it comes to cosmetics and skin care. And we need to not only uproot skin bleaching products, we also need to eliminate toxins from cosmetics too.

Let us make a list, African countries need to ban at least 10 ingredients used in cosmetics and skincare.

At least lets have a list, lets start there, lets have a ban on top 10 most toxic ingredients in cosmetics, like parabens , Phthalate and others like Formaldehyde.

And also as consumers, lets look at the labels, lets not just look at color of lipstick or eye-shadow, I think if you are wearing makeup every day, you need to make sure that the product you are putting on your skin on daily basis, is not going to cause you health issues in the future.

Trust me these products can cause you a lot of health problems. The reason why Africans are at very high risk of being exposed to large amount of toxins in cosmetics, its because there is a lot of Counterfeit beauty products that are finding their way to Africa.

Whether they are from Asia or from other places, Africa is getting lots of unregulated cosmetics, and most of these products are harmful to the consumer, who are mostly young people I might add, so our young generation is being poisoned slowly.

When it comes to counterfeit, its a losing battle because who knows what is in those products the consumer has no way of knowing what kinds of toxins they are applying on their skin. At least with legitimate brands, you can read the label and decide if you want to buy that product or not.

I think the best way to control this is by governments of African countries coming together and crack down on all those greedy individuals who are smuggling this poisons into Africa.

I thank you so much for reading this post and I request you to share it, let’s spread the word and fight against harsh chemicals in beauty and skincare products, lets say no to toxic beauty.

As I have said many times, we should not have to sacrifice our health in the name of beauty, we should be living a healthy life and look beautiful by using safe products on our skin. And I think it takes you and me to keep the conversation going.

Myself, I have done my part by speaking out and I will continue to raise awareness until action is taken by parties involved, this is not the last article I am writing about this issue, I will write many more.

Many young people are exposing themselves to products that are even damaging their skin, I have young nieces and I am very concerned about them, can you imagine a young person lets say 16 years old putting lead, Irion Oxide(rust) filled makeup on their skin for years and years.

I have been speaking young girls in my family, nieces, cousins, and I am working very hard to educate them about skin bleaching and makeup, i just hope they are listening, who knows, young people can be stubborn sometimes but I hope my message is getting across.

Think about the kind of damage they would be doing to themselves I don’t even wanna think about it because it wasn’t until recently that I became aware of the amount of toxins, I was putting on my own skin.

And that’s why I am so passionate in talking about these things because I really want to make this world a better place by helping people clean up their beauty routine, I mean what is the point of cleaning your eating habits then put on toxin filled lipstick?

Or eye shadow for that matter.

Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think about this article, I really appreciate your feedback, it encourages me to keep writing these posts,so please don’t read and leave without saying something.

Thank you for your time

Rose

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2 thoughts on “Africa say no to toxic beauty”

  1. Thanks for writing out this lovely article and I must say its a must for everyone to read and digest.African are beautiful with the skin color they have. They should be proud of their skin colour we are much different from other nations with our diversity. Have gotten Alot of experience of people who engage in bleaching that later regrets of bleaching. It’s nothing to talk about anymore. Africans should embrace their skin colour. Thanks for this bleaching awareness. Health is wealth. 

  2. Deep insights on toxins, that are increasingly being made part of beauty Industry! You have a made a very informative post that is not only meant for Africa, rather this could well be helpful awakening people from across the globe against the growing menace of intoxicating entire beauty industry.

    You have well explained that our mindsets towards assessing beauty is responsible for allowing this toxin market to grow in first place. Secondly, the manufactures with shortsighted goals at the cost of big harm to humanity are responsible in a big way. And further, if the govt. does not regulate the ingredients of this industry strictly in consonance of US and Europe the problem is going be scary for you and me.

    I would say, you are doing a great job in the larger interest of Africa and mankind in general. Keep up the good work !

    Kavita

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