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Skin lightening is popular in many parts of the world, including South Asia and the Middle East. Regarded by critics a result of the toxic legacy of colonialism, Africa is experiencing a massive trend of skin bleaching. The older generations were using creams, but now youngsters are moving towards pills and injectables, which come with high health risks. The ingredients in these products may include hydroquinone, steroids, mercury and lead – in unregulated amounts and doses. Challenging these are also recent black movements trying to encourage celebrating one’s own skin.

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