Shed a shade healthier

In India, a skin-lightening brand has turned to social media to capture the male market ("Transform Your Face On Facebook With Vaseline Men" via their Facebook page Vaseline Men BE PREPARED). Should you decide to shed a shade after virtually lightening up, here are some healthy tips.


The Environmental Working Goup's (EWG) cosmetic safety database Skin Deep has vetted a number of skin fading/lightener products and has ranked them based on health risks (cancer, allergies, immunotoxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and other) including a risk assessment for each ingredient and notes on "data gaps" or unknowns due to insufficient toxicology reports and/or deficient government and cosmetic companies' assessments.

The products that scored 'best' or with the 'lowest hazard' ranking include:
Miessence Organic Probiotic Skin Brightener 100ml $40/€31.50
Cosmesis Fade Away Serum Skin Lightening 15ml $75/€59

Additionally avoid products that contain arsenic, mercury or hydroquinone (banned in many countries for over-the-counter products) as they may cause skin disfigurement, leukemia and all the health challenges associated with mercury poisoning.

According to the blog PureSkin, many chat online about bleaching their skin and risking serious damage to their skin. "Unfortunately, most are ignoring the warning signs of popular skin lightening products containing ingredients such as mercury and hydroquionone." In the United States some even take their life into their own hands in order to attain an alabaster glow by ingesting low doses of arsenic.

In 2006, market research company Synovate found 40 percent of women in Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan use a whitening skincare beauty cream.

The trend has since gone global and unisex. The skin-lightening products market in India alone is estimated at £100/€120 million while the global skincare market is predicted to be worth $44.8/€35.3 billion according to a report by Global Industry Analysts.

To explore your paler side, here are Skin Deep's skin-lightening products rankings database, plus you can look up your go-to brands, at:

Vaseline Men's new product for skin lightening has not yet been ranked by Skin Deep but Vaseline Men Fast Absorbing Body and Face Lotion received a ‘moderate hazard' (6/10) as it contains ingredients that pose a risk to your health.