Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall!

We all know the question that follows ‘Who is the fairest one of all?’ This question didn’t worry only the evil queen in Snow White story. Going by the commercials of fairness creams it seems there are many consumed by color anxiety.


‘I want to become gora(fair skinned)when I grow up.’ was the answer my dear friend’s four-year-old son gave when asked ‘What would you want to become when you grow up?’ In another incident, I heard an ace Sportsgirl saying ‘I’m thinking of quitting sports for I’m getting tanned.’

Now I realized how deep-rooted is the fairness fixation. Now I know why we see every day on the cover of national dailies, advertisements of creams and potions that promise lighter skin. These commercials connect happiness and success with lighter skin and succeed in making the society all the more complexion obsessed.

How do these magic creams help? I get curious. In the state of irrepressible curiosity, I approach Google and broach the subject. The answers I get are horrifying enough to serve a warning to users. Here I’d throw some light on the dark side of the skin lightening creams:

Some of the fairness creams though seem to work in the beginning, most lead to several skin and health issues if continued for a period of time. The reason is these creams contain powerful steroid Clobetasol Propionate which causes severe side effects like thinning of skin to the extent that capillaries become visible and skin can be bruised even by a light touch. This may even cause stubborn acne. Some creams claim not to use Clobetasol Propionate but then they too contain some undisclosed ingredient to alter the natural skin color. Dermatologists have identified one more culprit in such creams i.e. Hydroquinone. This ingredient causes blue-black darkening of skin.*

Regardless of the claims made by the fairness manufacturing and selling companies the truth is that the long-term use of these can result in hypertension, elevated blood sugar and suppression of body’s natural steroids or may leave permanent stretch marks. So there is no happiness but only disillusion, discoloration, and frustration await at the end of the journey and sure enough, there would be a lot of happiness for fairness selling companies.

Dermatologists observe that there are a greater number of women who visit them with adverse effects of using these beauty creams but lately men too have decided not to be left behind and have jumped on the bandwagon. This means a greater market for the beauty industry.

It’s time we saw the wisdom of the old adage ‘Handsome is that handsome does’ or realized that there is something called inner beauty or the glow of health. And right lifestyle and diet can achieve what these much-hyped color altering creams never can.

*Information source: www.nytimes.com/2010/01/16/health/16skin.html
Image Source: business standard.com