What do you want to know about bleaching?
Time for fun?
To start with, variety is the spice of life, such as variety in food, clothes, hairstyles, etc. Variety also abounds in nature. That is why all people on Earth belong to different types of skin colours, from white to yellow and to black. Our living environment accounts for the different skin colours we have. For example, in cold climatic regions such as Europe, inhabitants tend to have a lighter complex due to the cold weather, whereas in Africa, darker skin is better suited in the hot and humid climate.
However, many people nowadays are bleaching their skin. Why do they want do that? Is fairer skin really more appealing than darker skin?
Actually many beauticians and doctors advise us that by eating healthily, exercising and using body cream rich in Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Collagen Elastin will produce more fascinating effects than applying mere bleaching creams.
All skin bleaching products contain one of the two active ingredients--- hydroquinone and mercury.
Historical background: Hydroquinone was first use in the thirties. Some of the African-American employees found that spots of discolouration appeared on their skin. The chemical substance responsible for it is Monobenzyl Ether of Hydroquinone (Monobonzone for short). Monobonzone thus became a newly discovered bleaching agent. However the daughter molecule of Hydroquinone later replaced it as it caused spots of depigmentation all over even in unapplied places.
Yellowish in colour as it is highy conjugated
The red portion is the oxygen atoms.
The yellow portions represents the double bonds.
The white spheres represents the hydrogen atoms with the correct bond angles.
The red spheres represents the oxygen atoms
The grey spheres are all the carbon atoms
Some of these creams may contain up to more than 2-5% mercury that will be harmful to health. Thus resulting in mercury poisoning, especially chronic mercury poisoning, may result.
In the Minimata epidemic in Japan, there were 42 brain-damaged children in 400 live births. Only one of the mothers had no sign of having mercury poisoning. Majority of the mothers had used mercury-based bleaching creams during her childbearing years.
Siblings of mercury-based cream users are also found to have mercury in their urine. These goes to show that second hand poisoning is possible.
Insights about other harmful effects of skin bleaching:
Skin bleaching destroys the black pigment found in the epidermis (top layer of the skin). Exposure of the dermis layer, underneath the epidermis layer, to the harsh weather will increase the incidence of skin cancer. The dermis cannot compensate for the absence of the epidermis and coupled with the hot sun one will get a higher risk of cancer.
Thus we can see that despite having fairer skin as desired, skin bleaching is also damaging to our skin.Epilogue
By this time, hopefully, you would have had more insights about the causes and effects of bleaching of the various parts of our body. To bleach or not to bleach? Is it worthwhile to risk the high chances of causing damage to our precious teeth, skin or hair, in exchange for our perceived view of beauty? Some said that Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Being natural is beauty in itself. What do you think?
Webpage by Team 27034
Last modified: 4/7/99