Nigerian women have been ranked as the highest consumer of skin-whitening creams in Africa.
The data drawn by CNN ranked Nigeria as the top consumer of the creams which explained that 75 percent of women in Nigeria patronise whitening products.
This is followed closely by Senegal at 60 per cent, Mali at 50 per cent and Ghana at 30 per cent.
Whitening creams are cosmetic products that reduce the melanin or pigment in the skin to make it appear lighter. Melanin is responsible for the pigment in the skin made by cells called melanocytes.
These creams contain ingredients that work to decrease the body’s production of melanin. However, many of these creams have been found to have dangerous side effects and are unapproved for use.
The skin-whitening industry predominantly caters to women worldwide and people of colour in every region.
The global market for skin whitening was put at an estimated $8 billion in 2020 and projected to increase by nearly half of that figure within six years to hit $11.8 billion by 2026.
Also, creams dominate the market for skin-whitening products and are expected to hit $6.6 billion by 2027.
The Asia-Pacific market accounted for over half of the global revenue (54.3%) from skin-whitening products in 2018 and is expected to grow the most.
Whitening products often contain toxic ingredients which, when used cosmetically for long durations without medical guidance, can both damage the skin and cause life-threatening ailments.
The chemicals used to lighten skin vary greatly worldwide and are constantly evolving.