Some of us enter the realm of cosmetics and skincare with humble expectations: to get rid of acne and pimples. Others do so for the desire of fair and radiant skin. Skin toning/whitening has become the trend for some Nigerians; no thanks to the belief that to be light-skinned means to be beautiful.
Celebrities and non-celebrities alike; most people want to change their skin colour in order to feel beautiful and be fulfilled. Manufactures saw the opportunity to grow financially and made products that will meet the needs of this majority, but they hide the dangers that come with the use of these products.
Cases of skin disease and kidney problems were registered in some general hospitals in Nigeria and that was why in 2017, NAFDAC State Coordinator, Mr. Natim Mullah-Dadi gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna, where he said that certain creams contains “mercury” and “hydroquinone” and has adverse effects on health.
Mullah-Dadi added that the creams do not only destroy the skin, but also destroy some organs. In his words:
“These chemicals damage respiratory, kidney and reproductive systems.”
He urged the public to stay away from chemicals that have been banned by the agency, because: “banned chemicals have serious health implications. They cause cancer, affect the nervous system, deform unborn babies among others.”
He urged stakeholders to assist NAFDAC in its fight against the importation, sale, and use of banned food items, drugs, and cosmetics in the country.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has cautioned the public against the use of skin lightening creams containing ‘mercury’, ‘hydroquinone and ‘corticosteroids above two percent’, making them dangerous to health.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, spoke along these lines against the backdrop of the recent seizure of a large number of skin whitening chemicals by NAFDAC in Lagos.
She said. “People should stop bleaching their skin; we should be black and proud. NAFDAC is on the spot to ensure that these dangerous products, which come in illegally are seized and destroyed,”
Recall that we had written an article on how Tura soap is still being sold by some people in Nigeria, in spite of the ban placed on the medicated soap, because it contains Mercury.
The ban on many of these products took effect since 2017 but presently, some of the prohibited products are still found in the market and shops across Nigeria. Many people believe that these products have been licensed for sale in Nigeria but information reaching us confirm that these products are still banned and people are advised to desist from using them.
The NAFDAC boss, however, advised Nigerians dealing with genuine foods and chemical products to ensure that their products get tested and registered with the agency to ensure they are safe for public consumption.
Below is a list of prohibited skincare, skin lightening, cosmetic products containing hydroquinone and mercury.