Lighten Up!

July 18, 2011

Torah Kachur


Torah on Location in Jimbaran, Indonesia.


Scores of lazy Aussies line the beaches in Bali, all attempting to get that perfect, lineless tan that they can't seem to figure out how to get in their own country that lacks an ozone layer.  At the same time, locals buzz around on their motorbikes wearing sweaters to protect themselves from the relentless sun.  Indonesian woman don't avoid sun because of the threat of skin cancer, they stay away from the sun because in Indonesia - and basically the rest of the non-white world - white is the new bronze.


Millions of dollars a year are spent in India, Asia and Africa as women douse themselves in chemical creams to make them lighter.  While the whiteys of the world douse themselves in lotions and potions to make themselves look bronzer.  Are there any women (and Michael Jackson) out there that are happy with their skin tone?  We know the dangers of too much UV exposure including the obvious melanomas as well as (gasp) age spots.  But the quest for lighter skin may actually be more dangerous.


Skin bleach whitening creams Torah Kachur Science in Seconds


Yes, you are reading that right, it is called 'Placenta'.....don't get me started on that.


Lightening creams, skin bleachs and very ugly hats flood the markets in most of the world with potions that contain toxic chemicals that leach into the skin.  The FDA in the US has started an banning certain over-the-counter bleaching creams because their known toxicity.  Mercury, as in the same stuff that is so much fun to play with when a thermometer breaks, is toxic and causes typical symptoms of tremors, mental disturbances and gingivitis in chronic exposure to air levels of 0.1mg/m3.  Amounts of mercury in skin creams can exceed 8% concentration.  Mercury is easily and rapidly absorbed by the skin so the women that slather these skin creams all over their bodies are distributing a highly toxic chemical into their body by the fastest route possible.


Another toxic ingredient in some bleaching products is hydroquinone, a chemical that blocks melanin (or skin pigment) production which means it is an effective whitening substance.  This is now the main ingredient in legitimate bleaching creams instead of mercury, however, this chemical is not without dangerous side effects as well which include causing increased rates of leukemia in mice or can cause deposits of black or even blue pigments in skin.  This begs the question if the blue is Smurf-blue or not but I couldn't find the description of the hue anywhere...much to my dismay.


Tanning causes skin cancer, whitening causes leukemia or mental 'disturbances'.  Maybe it's time that we listen to fashion designers like Kenneth Cole and Marc Jacobs while staring at a really hot body.

          Marc Jacobs Protect the Skin You're In



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