Zambian women opt to lightening creams, sukuluza

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The skin lightening creams especially those sold through social media, better known by its local names as sukuluza or kojic has taken a grip on many Zambian women.

The creams, soaps and other products which cause skin bleach are sold and distributed on social media with an assurance of having natural herbal products to enhance beauty and skin health of the women.

Despite not having any certification from Zambia Bureau of Standards, which has been of major concern. The lightening creams are displayed in videos and posts which are shared on public pages explaining its good reactions to this skin.

“Hey ladies have a glowing spotless knuckle free skin this winter use Keisha’s sukuluza products lightening lotion k180, brightening lotion k180, lightening and brightening soap k180 , lightening serum k125, face cream k120 and stretch marks remover k130 call or Whatsapp,” reads a promotional post on a facebook page.

This has greatly been attributed to the rise of online influencer marketing; whereby teenagers are looking up to online personalities to guide.

According to a research carried out by Zambian Eye, Africa is well known for its wide usage of skin lightening products, Zambia inclusive.

Some countries have however put measures in place to shield their populations from dangers that are associated with some ingredients in skin lightening products. These measures include either banning or putting restrictions on the ingredients.

Sukuluza and kojic are usually bought online and always go with different types of herbal products as marketed by the online personalities which makes some one develops a sharp light complexion in the shortest period of time.

In Kenya, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) banned the use of cosmetic products containing ingredients considered harmful.

Among the list of ingredients is hydroquinone, mercury and hydrogen peroxide. The products were banned due to their association with harmful effects on the skin and body in general. The ban was gazetted in1998 and many Kenyan women are dark in complexion.

In Tanzania there is widespread use of skin care products which contain mercury and hydroquinone. These products are however banned for import but they still find their way into the country through smuggling.

Research carried out by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs found out that most of the antiseptic soaps sold in the country contained mercury.

Although these soaps are marketed as antiseptics, the main reason behind the huge sales is their ability to make the skin paler.

The countries of origin for these soaps which also contain hydroquinone were identified as mostly UK and Italy


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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31