Pulse Blogger: Under our skin


Today, bleaching is a norm and it really has come to stay on shelves of every cosmetic shop.

Bleaching, bleaching cream, bleaching agents, and bleaching consultants have taken over the Nigerian society.

Presently in Nigeria, it is very difficult to find a dark woman or man in a room filled with people. There is this hunger, plight and goal to look light-skinned, younger, or sexier. People are no longer comfortable living under their skin.

Need vs Want

One often wonders aloud on how bad the economy could get in the present meltdown. Presently in Nigeria, things have toughened up like the tie round the neck of the average government school teacher. People have grown more conservative than spendthrift.  It is all about keeping the stomach quiet than what appeals to the eye.

We have lost all sense of comfort or luxury; the watch word is ‘conservation or conservative’. The dollar has affected the importation of goods and services, and the classy lady would rather prefer a well sewn Ankara to a Turkey gown for an occasion, any day. That is how bad it is in Nigeria at the moment. But this is not the case with some department –the women’s cosmetic department.

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Bleaching Business in Nigeria

In the fifties, bleaching was not a norm, but today it is too obvious amongst men and women. Although these products are sold at exorbitant prices, but their consumers’ pocket never run dry. Today, bleaching is a norm and it (bleaching creams or agents) really has come to stay on shelves of every cosmetic shop. It is normal to walk on the streets, into a shop or a restaurant, and meet a young lady whose face is as bright as the morning sun, but her arms and legs delude the facial appearance.

There are more of cosmetic shops, beauty parlors and bleaching specialists selling their products all around, especially on social media. Bleaching businesses in Nigeria reign as number one on social media. Bleaching business is one of the most profitable business at this point, judging from the large number of young men and women who have either become business owners or famous as a result of their bleaching products.

Consequences of Bleaching

Consequently, these bleaching agents do not just cost a cut-throat price, although there are cheaper ones today, but have proven to highly carcinogenic; it leaves users with highly irritating foul smell. A survey of users proves a protracted form of skin irritation, discolorations and deformation.


Surprisingly like tobacco, a huge amount of money is pumped into the promotion of this skin destructive agent, but nothing has been done to caution people against the lasting negative effects of bleaching or bleaching cream.

The Complex behind Bleaching

Most of the influence or idea towards bleaching comes from the wrong notion that beauty comes with being light skinned or the only definition of a beautiful or attractive woman is fair skin; this is propagated through the constant use of light skinned models in advertisement of beauty products, clothing line and so many more. This leaves a feeling of inferiority complex and disgust (bitter taste) for melanin.

A visit to these cosmetic stores proves the extent of dependence through the fast sale of these products and the crowd witnessed at such spots.

Most times, these bleaching agents cost so much, that a different conspicuous section of the shop is dedicated to them, where they are locked up in show glasses.


Their price tags range from thousands and above, with special attendants assigned to them, in the name of bleaching consultants.

The Average Nigerian Woman

It is heartrending that an average Nigerian lady or man is uncomfortable under their skin but pride in bleaching. So also, the quest for that radiant skin shade deprives the need from want on the present list of an average house wife, young lady or teen.

Written by Oluoma Udemezue.