The Ivorian government has banned skin-whitening creams. According to the ministry, this is an act of health due to the lasting damages of skin whitening.
“Cosmetic lightening and hygiene creams … that depigment the skin … are now forbidden,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ban will apply to skin whitening creams and lotions containing mercury and its derivatives, cortisone, vitamin A or more than two percent hydroquinine, a lightening agent that is used to develop photographs.
Christian Doudouko, a member of Ivory Coast’s pharmaceutical authority, made links of skin bleaching with skin cancer and stated “The number of people with side effects caused by these medicines is really high.”
Lightening products can also lead to hypertension and diabetes, said Elidje Ekra, a dermatologist at the Treichville university hospital in Abidjan.
This is a bold step for Ivory Coast. In many countries in west Africa, one can hardly find admiration for skin bleaching such as Gambia, Senegal, Ghana, Benin, Niger and much more, however when it comes to Nigeria, Togo and Ivory Coast such creams are used more often.
However, it is evident when reviewing most of their tv advertisements and promotions, why there is a case of admiration for everything but their natural skin tones. Its a plausible step, however it would be more magnificent to rather tackle the symptoms that lead to skin bleaching.
Simply banning the cream will not tackle the disdain young girls have for their own skin, and admiration they may have for other skin tones when growing up, especially if that makes up the majority of billboards conceptual beauty ads. Let’s face it, in this age of internet, there are many way around such a ban.