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Ivory Coast: Government forbids skin whitening

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The Ivorian government decided in the council ministers late in April to ban the marketing of cosmetics that depigment the skin. This measure concerns whitening products or cosmetics containing « mercury and its by-products« , « corticoids« , « vitamin A » or « hydroquinone beyond 2 % rate« .

The measure by the Ivorian government is a reply to health concerns. It is medically proved that the use of the skin whitening products provokes cancers and several other diseases.

In Ivory Coast as almost everywhere in Africa, the skin whitening is fashionable. African girls use whitening products to have European type skins, what raises a problem of identity.

If the decision from the Ivorian government is beneficial, what remains is to make sure of its implementation. The prohibited products easily enter the African markets. In South Africa where a similar measure is already effective, the third of the South African women nevertheless whiten their skins.


Original text by:Roger ADZAFO

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