As a student of Applied Biosciences (NUST) and a concerned citizen I urge the concerned authority to seriously look into this emerging trend of the use of fairness creams in our society these days, not only by the females but also by the opposite gender.
Our society has this strange paranoia that people with dark complexion are not considered to be beautiful. This results in the so called complexion complex. The cosmetic companies make use of this complex and make different fairness creams and other products, they advertise them through television, neon signs, print and electronic media etc and people fall prey to them without knowing the harmful effects these products have.
Taking about the research facts about these products, fairness creams are considered to use the mechanism of skin lightening and skin bleaching by the incorporation of chemical substances in attempt to lighten skin tone by reducing the amount of melanin pigment in our skin. Melanin is a natural skin pigment that is quite useful in protecting our skin from ultraviolet rays which can even cause skin cancer. Number of these chemicals are considered to be toxic and have questionable safety profile.
Internationally, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) tests the safety level of these products before considering them safe to be used by the public. On the other hand in our country number of fake and local fairness creams are made and even advertised without being approved by FDA or other such authorities. Most of our country women and now even men use these unapproved harmful creams with the desire of getting fair complexion. Their skin tone comparatively becomes light in a couple of weeks which encourages them to use these even more frequently ultimately encountering the harmful dermatological effects of acne, wrinkles etc and even If these effects are not seen the chances of getting skin cancer in the long run can’t be denied.
I will conclude by saying that there is a dire need to bring awareness among our society about these facts and help our people to come out of this complexion complex. This will only be possible if the concerned public health authority works competently and approves only the marketing of the safe products and discourage the advertisement of these products especially the ones which promote this paranoia that fairness is the only key to success.
RIDA-E-ZAINAB NAQVI,
Rawalpindi, December 6.