Today while walking past one of the many black hair and beauty stores scattered around the South East London area, a particular brand of hair oil displayed in the store’s front window caught my attention.

Several weeks ago I visited the hair salon and my hairdresser/owner of the salon suggested that I use the same brand, and as luck would have it, she had some in stock.

I was all set to purchase a small tub of it, but upon hearing her price promptly changed my mind.

As far as I am concerned, charging £8.00 for a small tub of hair oil is extortion! So I flung my purse back in to my bag, bid her farewell and headed straight for the door.

Any way when I spotted the same brand staring back at me in the store front window today, I was curious to see how much they were charging for it.

However whilst in the midst of investigating something else caught my attention, and I promptly abandoned my price investigation.

Sitting on the shelves below were various brands of skin lightening products. (See pics of stock below from the store ‘All 2 One’, Lee High Road, Lewisham, South East London).

This product promises to achieve lighter skin within 15 days…….

It saddens me to think that in 2008 having a dark skin complexion in some quarters ( particularly within the Black and Asian Communities) still isn’t seen as a thing of beauty, but seen as a hindrance and something to be ashamed of.

It saddens me to think that there are still self hating women of colour out there, who put their health at risk on a daily basis because they insist on using these products (Substances used in products have been linked to cancer).

It saddens me when I see the freak shows (particularly in Brixton), waddling around with bleached out, blotchy, destroyed skin, desperate to achieve Beyonce’s complexion, or better yet Paris Hilton’s.

And it saddens me to see that store owners are still selling this poison and bringing in record profits, all thanks to the gullible and self loathing.

15 replies »

  1. Hey, its been a while since I stopped by.

    But they have bleaching creams in NY and I find it to be disturbing also. I always thought that if you had blemishes that it was used for fading out the dark spots. But now that you mentioned it, it’s a shame that its even on the market.

  2. Many creams work under the guise that they just help to get rid of blemishes/dark spot and thats it, but they are really skin lightening creams. Its the first time though that I’ve seen the products above, and on sale, blatantly encouraging skin lightening.

    These products are dangerous and should be banned.

  3. I always find this really disturbing!

    There’s always a section for these products in your typical hair shop. I was actually flicking through a black hair magazine in the hairdressers yesterday, and every other advert is for a ‘lightening’…sorry bleaching cream.

  4. Up until yesterday I’d never seen them in the stores. This was my first time seeing the products blatantly on show, advocating light/white skin, promoting the idea that being black/dark is some sort of disease, so here, this will cure you.

    “Whitenizer”, “Fair & White”…. WTF?

    And the substances used in these products are linked to cancer, so why are they still being made and why are they still available on the market?

  5. Exactly!

    A shop in Peckham was closed down last year for selling it, I think…but that’s not good enough.

    And the people that use the creams are just sad – they just end up looking like Moomins.

  6. “A shop in Peckham was closed down last year for selling it, I think…but that’s not good enough.”

    Yes Yinka’s in Peckham. But I reckon that she’s still selling that s**t to dumb women.

    Moomins – LOL! yep!

  7. Janice, this is so scary I cannot believe you have posted this. It was only on Friday that I was looking through one of these hair/beauty shop windows and I was shaking my head at these products.

    It’s not that I’ve not noticed them before, it was more the ‘aggresive blatant’ title of the products that just really stood out. They are definitely laying more emphasis on FAIR & WHITE etc .

    Most of the ingredients in these products are banned. I have a friend who works for the Dept. of trading standards who constantly fine these shops for selling these products, but they re appear on the shelves because the demand is so gr8 and the rewards are way bigger than the petty fines.

    Why can’t these women see that they look like over ripe bananas with their scary unnatural artificial looking yellow skin and there so obviously black hands and feet. I remember growing up as a child and watching one of my aunties drown herself from head to toe in these creams. She practically used to use a bottle a bath time. The smell is awful and that memory has stayed with me until today. Really disgusting

    Nice one for posting this !!! These women are lost.
    Like FELA KUTI said – Yellow Fever !!!

  8. When I saw the aggressive blatant titles of the products I saw red. I was livid. I couldn’t believe it! There they were just lined up…. disgusting. I had to take pics of the products and post them on here.

    Oh no.. what does your aunt’s skin look like now?

  9. My auntie is in Nigeria now and has been for many years. I witnessed the nonsense she was up to when she used to come over to London for shopping trips. I was far too young to realise the extent of what she was really doing..

    She is very fair skinned due to the the excessive bleaching, but it is quite an even tone as she used to use the creams daily, all over her body and for so many years.

    I didn’t realise how dark skinned she was until I saw a picture of her when she was quite young. Nevertheless no matter how much bleaching you do, you can never hide what god gave you. ie; your arse, finger/toe/ear tips and feet will always STAY black lol !!!

  10. I was offerd a soap called Neko at the tender age of 14 by a family member to ‘brighten my complexion’. I was livid, given that this member had a fanta face and body with cola hands and feet! many ‘antiseptic’ soaps are used for this purpose. We have a great soap in Ghana called ‘Alata Semina’ which is a really good soap when used to simply wash…..HOWEVER, when left on your sking for a looooooong time as with all antiseptics before washing it can bleach. You see many sad women AND men buying this produict for that sole purpose.

  11. “I was offerd a soap called Neko at the tender age of 14 by a family member to ‘brighten my complexion’. I was livid, given that this member had a fanta face and body with cola hands and feet! ”


    Lord have mercy… SMH

    It’s all so sad…….

  12. These things are still being made because black women are seen as the lowest common demoninator( NOT TRUE! ) and having low self esteem benefits the world, so we will be the drudges.
    can you imagine if white womens tanning lotions were found to carcinogenic people would go to jail forget closing down shops!

    we all need to be better to ourselves than let people sell that stuff in our communities.

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