Political Cosmetics: KOREAN Skin Bleaching
by Luigina Webb
99% of Korean moisturisers appear to contain some kind of whitening agent. Without even noticing (much) my skin color has CHANGED (slightly) FREAKISHLY.
Clearly, the skin pigment has changed SOMEHOW due to skin bleaching chemicals in the face-wash or moisturisers that are being sold in Korea. I almost look TRANSPARENT. AND YES, I do in fact check the labels on products I buy (mostly).
There are really not that many varying shades if you want to buy cosmetics in Korea, and most brands only stock two colors (if that); WHITE, and WHITER (not kidding).
I can’t really be sure if changing your skin color is absolutely a NEGATIVE practice in Korea, but we should acknowledge that it is happening, and that it has some kind of underlying political message…
A Whiter Shade Of Pale?
by Tony Wadsworth at BBC Leicester
In Japan all skin creams contain a lightening agent.
why do you want to be white? 2007/9/10 14:35
Are there any beauty products in Japan that actually DON’T make you pasty and pale!! I already look like a ghost after living here for 3 years! I want to be able to buy a quality moisturiser without smearing bleach-like chemicals all over my face..
Re: 2 weeks in Japan. Advice Please 2011/10/3 19:36
I can’t use many products in Japan for lotion since they use a lot of bleaching or things similar in their formula.
In the Minimata epidemic in Japan, there were 42 brain-damaged children in 400 live births. Only one of the mothers had no sign of having mercury poisoning. Majority of the mothers had used mercury-based bleaching creams during her childbearing years.
Siblings of mercury-based cream users are also found to have mercury in their urine. These goes to show that second hand poisoning is possible.
Insights about other harmful effects of skin bleaching:
Skin bleaching destroys the black pigment found in the epidermis (top layer of the skin). Exposure of the dermis layer, underneath the epidermis layer, to the harsh weather will increase the incidence of skin cancer. The dermis cannot compensate for the absence of the epidermis and coupled with the hot sun… one will get a higher risk of cancer.
Thus we can see that despite having fairer skin as desired, skin bleaching is also damaging to our skin.