Printer Icon

Human Skin Whitening Products - Ethics

By James Cook University - 2015-01-23 - Updated: 2015-01-24

Summary

Concerns over ethics of marketing skin-whitening products, widely available in Australia.

"In one example, the daughter is told by her father that she is too dark-skinned to ever get a good job and be able to support him"

Main Document

Professor Lynne Eagle said demand for the product was growing, with more than 60 percent of Indian women reportedly using one of the more than 240 brands of skin lightener available in that country.

Professor Eagle said the product was also easy to find in Australia. "I brought it from two different shops in Townsville within ten minutes' drive of my office," she said.

She said social scientists and marketers had long-known that every culture seemed to value paler skin over darker, but the reasons why were not clear-cut.

It's not just a hang-over from colonialism.

In India and China lighter skin was always associated with a higher caste.

Even in Europe, until Coco Chanel successfully promoted suntans, having a darker skin was associated with being a manual worker and low status.

But she said ads unequivocally linking social and professional success with lighter skin tone presented a moral problem.

"In one example, the daughter is told by her father that she is too dark-skinned to ever get a good job and be able to support him. So she buys some skin-lightener and gets a dream job."

She said that while manufacturers did not create the prejudices that underpin the demand for the product, critics claim the product's marketing helps to sustain the prejudices.

"That's the main issue, the ethics of perpetuating stereotypes of white skin as beautiful."

Professor Eagle said even health concerns didn't stop people using the products.

She said some contained substances such as mercury that were so harmful their sale was banned in the country where they were manufactured. But they were able to be exported to developing countries, and then simply smuggled from their homelands by immigrant populations.

Editor: Skin Lightening Products and Information:

Skin lightening is the process of fading dark areas on the skin. It is popularly termed as skin bleaching and skin whitening. The skin lightening treatment can help lighten suntans and discoloration as well as fade scars. Skin creams work by slowing down the formation of melanin to create a lightening effect on the skin. Skin lightening products are available in many forms. You will find soaps, lotions, creams, gels and even pills to help lighten your skin.

Various Types of Skin Lightening Creams Include:

A study showed that repeated UV exposure was able to induce a long extensive period of pigment formation. The resulted pigmentation spot was able to maintain at an elevated level till Day 20. Clinical subjective evaluations together with combined objective instrument measurements were still important to assess whitening and spot-removing ability of a material due to the instrument limitation for color differentiations. This kind of pigmentation spot model can be used to assess whitening efficacy for whitening or spot-removing products. In addition, the combinations of subjective and objective methods were able to serve as advisable references to assess the whitening efficacy of products - Reference www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19622131

Comments and Discussions

Do you agree, disagree, or want to add an opinion on this topic? We welcome relevant discussions and your unique insights.

Related Information on This Topic

Cite This Document

2017 Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Index and Awards - Community Business announces launch of 2017 LGBT+ Inclusion Index and Awards at the LGBT+ Networking Reception as part of the regional Community Business Conference


LGBT Conversion Therapy Quacks - Federal consumer fraud complaint against organization using claims that it can change an individuals sexual orientation or gender identity


OutWOMEN Initiative for Senior LGBT Women in Business - Launch of OutWOMEN, an initiative that champions success of senior LGBT women in business


Youth Survey Reveals Troubling Post-Election Spike in LGBTQ Bullying - Results of post-election survey of over 50,000 young people ages 13 to 18 reveals damaging fallout the United States November election has had on youth


The Parcel: Transgender Sex Worker and Trafficked Child Break Hearts - The Parcel is a book about Madhu, a retired transgendered sex worker who is asked to look after a young girl who has been trafficked into the red-light district of Bombay


Shady Grove Fertility Events: Fertility Health Education, Overcoming Infertility, Affording Treatment - Shady Grove Fertility provides latest information on fertility health, treatment options, exclusive financial programs, and how to get started growing your family