In Zambia, make-up and bleaching creams are increasingly becoming popular among men.

Black is beautiful, so goes the saying. But not for some people, so it seems. A colleague told me how one day, while he was in a beauty supply shop, he saw the shelf stockpiled with Deproson, Betazole, Demo Gel, Amira C, Top Lemon, Lemonvet, Extra Claire, Bio Claire, Carolite, Maxlight, Bu-tone et cetera.

He was having a conversation with the owner of the shop, a dark-skinned woman, when a man, thought to be in his late 20s, came in and picked an assortment of skin bleaching products from the shelf.

The guy did not look embarrassed at all, but he could notice a little of discomfort from the shop owner as the man downloaded the bleaching stuff on the counter ready to purchase.

After he had left, she explained to my friend that make-up and bleaching creams are increasingly becoming popular among men.

And she can’t be mistaken; it is easy nowadays to come across Zambian men with make-up as well as those using bleaching skins in the name of keeping with trendy world of fashion.

This is unlike in the past when men were associated with moderate, comfortable and conservative outlooks.  In fact, in the past, and please no offence intended, anyone with a bleached skins was thought to be from Congo, specifically, a Kasai. The easiest way to identify a Kasai was through their skin appearance.

Admittedly, for many people skin bleaching is a way to achieve brighter, clearer skin, and to remove dark patches on many areas of the body. Often used during this process are chemical peels, whitening creams and even lasers to lighten and even your skin tone. Creams, which can be purchased at many shops without a prescription, are the most commonly used.

Most of these products can provide long-lasting results when used correctly, according to the marketers of these products. But we also know that there are many risks and complications associated with use bleaching products.

For a start, there is the issue of toxic ingredients. A doctor friend says some topical skin bleachers may use ingredients that can be harmful to both one’s skin and indeed the overall health.

Extracts from a article by Daimone Siulapwa (original *dead link*). Published 31 October 2010.