Skin lighteners: fashion and family still driving uptake in SA

Rising numbers suggest the danger surrounding such products has not been communicated effectively

2021-11-30 08:00:00 AM

Rising numbers suggest the danger surrounding such products has not been communicated effectively

Rising numbers suggest the danger surrounding such products has not been communicated effectively

 the import and sale of products containing skin-lightening chemicals. Nevertheless, they remain available to consumers unlawfully because of the high demand for them.Research in various African countries has shown this practice is increasing in popularity, with a prevalence of

 23% in Sub-Saharan Africa among young adults aged 16 to 30. This prompted an investigation into the trend in SA, in which 401 health science students at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) were surveyed.Only 12% of those surveyed used skin-lightening creams. Nevertheless, the exercise gave useful insights into their reasons. Nearly half of the participants believed family and friends were most likely to influence their behaviour. And 76% said they thought people who practise skin-lightening do so because it gives them a more fashionable look.

There was also a clear urban-rural divide. Those living in urban settings were 10 times more likely to engage in the practice compared with people living in rural areas.The survey also showed that men and women were equally likely to use such products. headtopics.com

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