Friday, May 20, 2005

Fair & Lovely

Sandmonkey from Egypt brought up this topic among the things that he hated , he reminded me that I need to write about " Fair & Lovely" ( Thanks Sandmonkey).

I am so angry at that, it is still being marketed in the Middle-East, African countries and some parts in the Far east , while it is strictly forbidden in the west and Europe. I will ignore the racial thingy and just concentrate on chemistry. Do you know why it is not marketed in Europe even though the package says Made in UK ( that is the most expensive version, the UAE and Lebanese ones are cheaper). Because it was pulled from the market as the main component hydroquinone which is to de-pigment the skin is carcinogenic and harmful to the skin. Usually hydroquinone is given in extreme cases by a prescription from your dermatologist and not over the counter! Look at all the derivatives sold in Africa alone, we have a lot of them in Libya as our African guest workers love to buy this cream and unfortunately some of the Libyan girls do so as well as they are being told it is a sunblock !.

First time users will experience a lightened skin tone which they will appreciate and so continue but in a few months their skin becomes greyish/blueish and crinkly and more prone to burning in the sun anf they will need to keep using this product (a vicious cycle).

Over the counter products containing this chemical in Europe and US, ex: Fade Out (Fade Out Original Skin Lightening Cream 2oz - that was the one which began to be sold in Europe in 1992 and is still around repackaged for the 21st century) have considerably reduced the % content and clearly tell you to ask your doctor, make a test patch , preferrably to use it on scar tissue not your face etc...aahhhh I'm so angry..everytime I tell one of my friends, they ignore my advice , thinking I'm just jealous of their even toned fairer skin, 6 months later they start crying !This is a tragedy.


Anonymous said...


FYI, "Fade Out" was selling in Europe as early as the mid 80s... if not earlier. I was so surprised to discover recently that a lot of young peeps in Libya still think being fair is the ultimate in beauty!

The Anonymous

khadijateri said...

thanks for posting this - I'll warn everybody - all these girls want to be white - my sister in law even buys armpit whitening cream, isn't that silly? who cares whether your armpits look white or not?

Highlander said...

The Anonymous, well I was too young in the early 80s to know about Fade out ;) in Europe, but I did notice it in the early 90s, I must say that 'ignorance' is bliss as then you can buy anything and believe in it and it will actually work, but when I'm too fussy ..I get ALL the possibile side effects :))

Khadijateri, yes do warn them , coz the pharmacist won't , not good for business here or in Europe. As for white armpits ...the only way to keep them white in my experience is not to use spray deodorant as it oxidises and stains the skin ..actually all the deodorants/anti-perspirants do stain. Again the only 'healthy' stuff I found is the popular 'shab' as they call it in Libya - sorry don't know the translation ( maybe The Anonymous could help), another alternative is cream deodorant -Dove do a good one .

Louise said...

Somebody should be talking to the media about this or better yet, initiating a class action suit of some sort. Get some good lawyers involved. Where is the Lybian and other African government on this? If the stuff is carcinogenic and the manufacturer is still producing it, somebody should nail them.

Anonymous said...

Louise, several hundred Libyan children were infected by the HIV virus AT the children hospital! They are dying one by one as we speak... er type. Do you think the government would give a damn if women use a product that MAY cause cancer... duh!

HL, I know shab, but don't know the Arabic word for it. Thanks for bringing the memory back... I used it for a long time. My mom used to make it for me, mixed with misk (musk) powder... so sweet!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that was meant to be "the English word for it." I don't even know what my mother tongue is anymore.

highlander said...

Thanks 'The Anonymous' I think , Louise you got an answer here don't you? Still the ingredients in this stuff are sold under other trade names in Europe and the US as 'skin bleaching' creams it's just that there the quantity was revised and the sronger concentration is strictly medical, however these creams are sold in the cosmetic centres mostly just like the anti-cellulite stuff. I don't see that they have been recalled either.The promise of a mirage will always keep people buying. I try to warn as much as possible but as you are aware many 'things' are potentially carcinogenic and we still have them in this world. On the other had many African countries have taken steps to ban the sale/marketing of these products here in their respective countries (pls check one of the links in the post) but what about smugglers ?

The Anomymous again : yes musk is correct I just have to find the word for 'shab', don't worry I mix up my languages as well ;)