Dencia isn’t the only person who’s using skin whitening creams. Apparently it’s now all the rage among wealthy people in Kenya. According to Vice, beauticians are now injecting clients with bleaching cream and claims that the injections not only make their clients look younger, but also whitens the skin.
Vice sat down with one woman, named Rose, who offered her back-alley bleaching solutions.
Rose is different to the other women I meet. Self-assured, but less aggressive. She is proud of her business and willing to show me around without extorting me for money. Under her heavy makeup her skin is thin and pale after five years of continuous whitening treatment. Her previous skin color is only hinted at by areas of darker skin around her knuckles and elbows.
At first she denies that she provides the skin bleaching injections, but after an hour of talking she tells me that she does offer the injection treatments and agrees to show me how they work.
“The injection lightens you from inside. It makes women clean,” she tells me. “If you want an even color and fast results, injecting is much better than a cream.”
The injection is expensive at $70 per shot, nearly a month’s salary for many Kenyans. “Most of my clients are wealthy and some are national celebrities,” she says. “Many are Somali or Indian. But, those ones never come to my shop. They send a driver with a photo of their skin color and I supply what they need.”
Dr. Pranav Pancholi, a Harvard-educated dermatologist, at Shah Hospital in Nairobi says the injections are have increased and so has his clientele who needs help recovering from them.
He told Vice,
The products used on the streets are not used by certified professionals. The trade in black market creams and injections is completely unregulated. There is no way of knowing just how dangerous they are.
One woman who came to the shop to receive a treatment from Rose, stated why she was taking such drastic measures. “My husband prefers half-caste women to darker girls, and he is proud to be mine when we go to the club,” she says. “I get far more male attention now I am lighter.”