The act of lightening one’s skin with harmful cosmetic products, which is often referred to as bleaching, continues to be a non-stop trend not only in Nigeria, but in Africa at large.
In an interview with Vice.com, a skin lightening expert along the River Road, Nairobi, Kenya, Rose speaks on a fast method with which the country’s elite lighten their skin.
Where her business is located is known for its “backstreet beauticians” who promise clients they will look younger and wait for it – ten shades lighter.
“You must only use a small amount, otherwise you can become albino. This is strong stuff,” Rose says as she unwraps a syringe and a needle, then fills the syringe with pink cream which costs up to $70 (N11, 455).
The content over years has caused health scare as its known to contain high mercury content.
Rose says “The injection lightens you from inside. It makes women clean. If you want an event colour and fast results, injecting is much better than a cream.
Most of my clients are wealthy and some are national celebrities. Many are Somali or Indian. But, those ones never come to my shop. They send a driver with a photo of their skin color and I supply what they need.
Some girls go back to their village and tell them the water of Nairobi made them lighter. There is great shame for wanting to change what God gave you.”
One of Rose’s clients (seen pictured above) reveals that her dream is to be as white as an European, claiming her “husband prefers half-caste women to darker girls”. I get more male attention now that I am lighter she finishes.
The liquid is described as one “which peels off rough/tough layers of skin” and you’ll see visible results in two weeks.