Ghanian officials are on a mission to end the dangerous practice of skin bleaching. The country’s FDA have announced their intentions of to ban all products that contain hydroquinone, an ingredient commonly found in skin lightening products, by August.
“From 2016, the acceptance for skin-lightening products is going to be zero,” FDA spokesman James Lartey said to Ghana Star.
According to a 2013 study, 70% of Nigerian women have admitted to using the creams to create a more yellow or red based complexion. The dangerous side effects of excessive, prolonged use of hydroquinone include blistering and discoloration. It has also been linked to skin cancer.
In Japan and Australia, hydroquinone is only available as a prescription. Here in the US, the active ingredient is available over the counter in concentrations up to 2%. Higher concentrations require a prescription.