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Why Do People Bleach/Tone Their Skin? | FCT Residents Share their Opinion




Nigerian “Gospel Singer” Maheeda, who recently publicly revealed that she bleached her skin

Some residents of FCT on Monday attributed bleaching and toning of skin to the quest for beauty and a sign of inferiority complex.

They blamed the action on indiscipline, and said it is only an undisciplined mind that will seek to change what is natural.

Ifeyinwa Micheal, a medical student at the University of Jos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that bleaching the skin had some negative health effects on the skin.

“The human skin is delicate and requires a level of care and maintenance to function well and heal quickly in case of any injury.

“In a situation where the skin has been badly weakened or damaged by bleaching cream, it becomes difficult for it to recover quickly from  any injury,’’ she said.

She advised young people against bleaching, saying those already involved it should desist from the act.

Prudence Otu, a trader, said she toned her complexion to look attractive, adding that she derives some emotional pleasure from the look of her skin.

According to her, there is a difference between toning and bleaching.

“Bleaching is dangerous to the skin, while toning brings out the beauty of the skin.’’

Onyebuchi Okoye, a cosmetics seller at Utako market, explained that virtually every cream has some bleaching ingredients in it.

“Most people, both men and women who patronise this shop, always ask for products that will either bring out their colour or lighten their skin.

“Some go to the extent of instructing me to mix creams for them because they feel it works better and faster.

“For some women, their husbands accompany them to this place to buy the creams while some men specifically ask them for their own use,” Okoye said.

A cleric, Matthew Gode, attributed bleaching to lack of fear of God, complex crisis and acts of irresponsibility.

“Everyone is wonderfully and beautifully made by God. So, we do not require anything extra to be beautiful.’’


Bellanaijarians! What’s your take on the topic? Why do you think people bleach/tone their skin? Let’s talk about it!

Photo Credit: Instagram

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. Yayi Boni

    November 18, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Na ouna sabi…oooo

    • jay

      November 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Well, I have considered bleaching my skin several times not because I don’t want to be black but because black doesn’t want to be me. What would u do if u wuz in my shoes?? Acne infested face with dark scars evrywhere..i need tons of make up to conceal that. The only thing that can be done is to bleach the spots and while at it, ur face getd obviously lighter than the rest of ur skin and u’re tempted to bleach the rest as well to make it uniform. That’s my present predicament. I haven’t started bleaching the rest of my body yet and I don’t want to but i’m very much tempted to. It’s not easy for people like me. Would any1 blame me if I go ahead and bleach?? I just want to have smooth and beautiful skin 🙁

    • Diuto

      November 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Try seeing a dermatologist instead of lightening your spots.

    • MC

      November 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Bleaching is not how you get rid of acne scars!!! there are tons of products on the market for your problem!
      and if that fails, nothing works better than natural products.
      From potatoes, tomatoes, lemon, honey and particular oils (depending on your skin type)
      for somebody who is evidently worried about their face, I’m shocked that you didn’t do more research before concluding that you could bleach each spot at a time.
      So now you are left wanting to bleach your body because of acne scars. surely that doesn’t sound right to you, does it?
      Besides, bleaching does not sort out your acne problem. this is a recipe for disaster.

      If I were you;
      I’d watch what it is I’m eating (some foods could be the cause of your breakouts).
      Drink plenty of water.
      wash my face twice a day (being sure to close pores with cold water)
      (African Black soap does wonders!)
      and research (Google is great) on what natural products are good for my skin type.

      If I could afford a dermatologist I would visit one.

    • cee

      September 28, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      Hi Jay i wouldn’t advise you to bleach because of your acne, bleaching will make you lighter but your acne won’t go anywhere. If you are over 20 and you haven’t out grown your acne it means you need to see a doctor as your acne is due to a hormonal imbalance which no topical cream or face wash can solve. I had horrible acne in high school an nothig i did worked, even some of the topical creams and washes burnt my skin. When I left school and my parents finally allowed me to wear makeup it made it worse. After going to a doctor my acne no longer determines my life the medication took care of my acne and the scaring

  2. Repentant Bleacher

    November 18, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I highly regret bleaching my skin! I miss my black shiny skin. If I could turn back the hands of time….

    • benny

      November 18, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Aunty/Uncle mi. All you have to do is stop. STOP! Slap on that shea butter, melanin fights back. It is our gift; it doesn’t die; itl come back in a month or two. No biggie.
      This kumbaya u r doing here wont do anything for you. Unless you are just trying to add some additional conversation to the topic

    • Repentant Bleacher

      November 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Comprehension is a big problem for u @ Benny! If I am still bleaching my skin I wont be regretting. The regret I mentioned is as a result of the damage and aftereffect. And from my name I think u should know………

    • pemmy

      November 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      I hear that using or I does help take your skin back to its natural color. Although, It takes almost a year for one to see drastic changes.

  3. Mystique

    November 18, 2014 at 10:22 am

    This skiin bleaching issue is becoming over flogged BN……….why do people get nose jobs, boob jobs, butt augmentation, facelifts, botox, liposuction, penis enlargement…etc. singing *If you as me, na who i go ask………the matter wey you see so, e tey wey e start*

  4. cleo

    November 18, 2014 at 10:25 am

    One dangerous trend that is taken likely. Toning, bleaching are all dangerous to the health. And endocrinologist once told me that toning is even more dangerous than bleaching. Everywhere i turn people now transitioning in the name of toning/bleaching. SO bad.
    The resons are multi facet ranging from ignorance , peer influence to lack of self esteem

  5. deejay kimono

    November 18, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Morning BN readers, to me Bleaching and toning isnt cool…Lets not be religious, some people look good with their natural skin, everything has as a side eefect, to ladies doing it my advice is for to just stop, God created you in his image why try to look beta than God…

  6. debby

    November 18, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I used to feel. This way abt ppl who bleach their. Skin until i started toning my skin too,so i dnt really want to cast a stone but i think bleaching of the skin is very bad

  7. Personal Assistant

    November 18, 2014 at 10:49 am

    No other topic??????????

  8. @edDREAMZ

    November 18, 2014 at 10:53 am

    To each to his own abeg…

  9. missy

    November 18, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Since when did this become an issue of national concern? I’m dark skinned and wld not tamper with my skin for whatever reason. If anybody feels the need to bleach or tone, then good luck. I’m sick and tired of this pettiness.

  10. Ibinabo

    November 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    what options are left to the young girls who don’t get ushering/modeling jobs due to their beautiful dark skin??? …The society has encouraged this trend.

  11. name

    November 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    and you had to use sheyi shay’s picture?

  12. buttercup

    November 18, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Hmmmm!!!!! i and my friends actually got turned down from an ushering job due to our skin colour,the organisers bluntly told us dat they needed light skinned ladies nothing more. this bleaching issue in the FCT is taking a new dimension,n inferiority complex is the other of the day.

    • Sonya

      November 18, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      Just like Dana Air that hires mostly fair skinned girls as air hostesses or flight attendants.

  13. christy

    November 18, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    That’s not seyi shay ,that’s maheeda

  14. confusion

    November 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    So what’s the diff btw toning and bleaching *just asking(harmless question)* please someone shed more light! #ok bye.

  15. Okaro

    November 18, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Letus blame it on Inferiority complex,naivety and society’s idea of what beautiful should be.
    One thing we should know is that being YELLOW in complexion doesnt automatically make you beautiful.

  16. ayida

    November 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    This issue has been over flogged you are just looking for more traffic on your blog it’s ok let’s move on

  17. Idomagirl

    November 18, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Are we still flogging this dead and decayed horse?

  18. evangel

    November 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I don’t support bleaching in any way, black is beautiful

  19. dorothy

    November 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    This is interesting. I don’t agree with bleaching also, but if someone feels the need to do so, well…as long as they know the risk behind it. Africans are not the only ones bleaching, Indians arabs and Chinese ladies too. I guess they prefer to be fairer…maybe it’s societal pressure.
    Because it’s like, as in most cases. .. The fairer or lighter you are, it is assumed that you will have more access to opportunities as you will then look more appealing to any sort of recruiter… eg: jobs like cabin crew, flight attendant, usher, hostess. ..well, more of the customer service jobs in the hospitality industry.
    It’s sad, but it happens.. lol# even some men would prefer a light skinned girl next to them as their girlfriend or main lady… as opposed to having a dark skinned girl, intelligent, beautiful etc etc… its societal pressure ..people’s expectations, inner unhappiness, comparison…

    Though I have some lady friends that do bleach, I must say they look good…They feel confident but would never disclose their secret lotion… But it’s their own story, whatever will make them happy.

    There is nothing wrong with travelling to a cold country and spending a few months there, I believe ones skin tone would change to become a bit lighter ..well, abit lighter…

    Oh well, that’s my little opinion

  20. jenny

    November 19, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    The thing is that bleaching makes people appear more beautiful

    • blip

      January 1, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      I agree, more beautiful just as weaves in the hair do.

    • m

      December 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Thats not makes them look different thats all..unless you are suggest that the european look is more derisable? slowly the west has won if not taking peoples lands and resources . its by poisoning their hearts and minds..white is right ….weaves ,makeup,surgery,skin bleaching gross its all gross

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