Confessions of a fashionista:The perils of skin bleaching
16:31 GMT, 13 March 2012
16:31 GMT, 13 March 2012
When one of my up-and-coming make up artists pulled out of a high profile designer job this week, I panicked.
Her last minute flakiness was not only unprofessional it was unexpected.
She's an eager ambitious girl who has never let me, or a client, down. Until now.
Beauty trend: Skin bleaching has become increasingly popular across the globe as people try to achieve a pale complexion
'Are you all right' I asked.
'I'm fine thank you,' her voice sounded normal over the phone.
'Is there something going on in your personal life Can I help with anything'
'No, it's all fine,' she replied.
'No boyfriend trouble'
'Death in the family'
'God forbid, no.'
'I don't have any pets.'
Beyonce has been accused of retouching her skin to appear lighter on the promo advert for her '4' album
'Right, so why are you pulling out of this super important job at the last minute'
There must be a reason. Have aliens swapped her body for that of an unreliable stranger
'I can't leave the house.'
'Please don't tell me you're waiting in for a new washing machine' This was infuriating.
SKIN BLEACHING:THE RISKS
A study found 16 per cent of
dermatologists believe skin lightening creams are ‘completely unsafe’
and 80 per cent feel they are only safe when prescribed by a
skin-lightening creams contain illegal compounds,' said Indy Rihal of
the British Skin Foundation which commissioned the survey. 'The most
common compounds are high-dose steroids.'
Some creams also contain hydroquinone, a bleaching agent that is banned from use in cosmetics.
'Unmonitored use of high-dose
steroids can lead to many problems,' says Rihal. 'Patients are often
very distressed by the results.'
In some cases skin lightening creams
have been known to cause permanent skin bleaching, thinning of skin,
uneven colour loss, leading to a blotchy appearance, redness and
'No. I can't leave the house because I've had a skin whitening treatment and it's gone wrong.'
A skin whitening treatment I must have misheard her. She must have said teeth whitening.
'It's burnt my skin,' she continued. 'There are black, crusty lumps all over my cheeks and forehead.'
skin whitening treatment. It sounds archaic, barbaric. Is it even
legal It ought not to be. She's so young and pretty. 'Why did you have
it done' I stuttered.
'Because I wanted to have lighter skin,' she sighed.
2010 Elle magazine was accused of lightening Aishwaya Rai's skin for
its cover. Recently Beyonce has been accused of retouching her skin to
appear lighter on the promo advert for her '4' album.
In both cases it was claimed to be an accidental side effect of the photographic lighting.
a make up artist this girl is skilled and knowledgeable about the
illusions the fashion industry conjure; the cleverly applied make up,
the lighting, the photography, the air brushing and retouching.
could give a considered opinion on whether a person's skin had been
retouched in a photograph. It's reprehensible to think images of black
and Asian women are digitally altered to make them look white.
And it's tragic to think a young make up artist, who is acquainted with
the visual trickery of the industry, still felt the need to try and
retouch her real skin.