Report on “Skin Lightening” in Nigeria


The World Health Organisation released a report in June, 2012 on the danger of mercury in skin lightening soaps and creams which revealed that Nigerians are the highest users of such products.77 per cent of Nigerians use such products on a regular basis, followed by Togo with 59 per cent; South Africa, 35 per cent; and Mali, 25 per cent.

The report raised awareness on the side effects of skin bleaching which range from skin irritations to cancer, skin rashes, swelling of the skin, seizures, numbness, pain tremors and memory loss. In more severe cases, the adverse effects of inorganic mercury — a common ingredient found in skin lightening soaps and creams include kidney damage, reduction in the skin resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, anxiety, depression, psychosis and peripheral neuropathy. has released a video titled Report on “Skin Lightening” in Nigeria. In this video, the camera was taken to stores to see some popular bleaching creams which are being used by Nigerian women. Some Nigerian men spoke about their preferred skin color and most of them said they like “chocolate” skinned ladies.