Talk:Skin whitening

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Why no Glutathione[edit]

Why is there no reference to glutathione in this article on skin whitening. Glutathione is very commonly used for this purpose, and pretty effective. Suggest those interested in maintaining this do their research on glutathione. For the moment, I have included a one-line entry in this article to address this deficit. I have not provided reference for appropriate dosage and to scholarly articles. Check this link or some general info:

Suggest someone improves my glutathione entry.

Hope this helps make the overall article better. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Drgao (talkcontribs) 22:23, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Wikified, NPOV, copyedit, etc etc[edit]

I've done a major re-edit of this page for all these factors. I still think it's probably too biased but don't really know enough about the technical research to prove it. More information on over-the-counter whitening treatments and the history and controversy of skin whitening would be very useful, I think. -- TinaSparkle 19:16, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Removed irrelevent info[edit]

I removed the section on Bobby Brown because the opinions of one fashion designer is not really relevant to a scientific article. This is an encyclopedia, not a women's magazine. Just.James 11:25, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

{{mergefrom|Latin AMerica}}[edit]

I change "Latin America" to "parts of Latin America", because there are many places such as Argentina or uruguay where there are no dark-skinned populations and hence these products are not used. There are not blacks like in the US or Dominican Republic or natives like in Mexico. I've studied dermatology in Argentina and in fact, it's very difficult to find these kind of products there.

User:Trelew Girl

I changed it for "parts of the AmericaS" so it includes the United states where this is quite common is dark skinned people. And at the same time exclude countries and zones where this is not common at all.

{{mergefrom|Colonial mentality}}[edit]

I'm moving this tag here. I can't see any benefit in such a merge. Whitening has be done since well before the colonial period.

You're right. But because, as you say, it's been done since well before the colonial period, perhaps the 3 or 4 paragraphs in that article that talk exclusively about skin whitening should be removed? As another example, Thai people are crazy about white-skin and, as they love to point out, they've never been colonized! Isn't it just a desire not to look "poor" e.g. like all the farmers and laborers and others who spend all day in the sun. Once those folks get factory jobs and their skin lightens up, it's my guess that everyone will want to be black! Although the Japanese mostly still love white skin (not accounting for Gangurro) -- why is this? Ewlyahoocom 18:00, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

-- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 11 September 2007 (UTC) well you just answered your own question

I don't want to start a debate here but Argentina does have a large mixed indian and white population as well as many dark people, as well as blacks. I don't think it is only blacks who use skin lightners, my experience has been it is meztitos who use it the most as to try to get their skin white —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:53, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

See also: Michael Jackson?[edit]

Michael is mentioned in no other place in this article.

I agree, we must remove him from this article. Λua∫Wise (talk) 20:11, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

In later years of his life, Michael Jackson claimed to been struck by a skin pigmentation disorder known as vitiligo universalis to made him very light in skin tone. It is not entirely clear the skin whitening effect was done by artificial methods to make himself "White" or he had a very rare disorder to (finally) been diagnosed on a celebrity person. His racial and gender appearance issues made media headlines, but that strays from the topic (which is on skin whitening). Mike D 26 (talk) 09:31, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Body Parts[edit]

I think this article should point skin whitening effects on parts other than the skin. I've read about that people get blind by using skin whitening products to (try to) get lighter eye colors. I think this should be pointed out. What do you think? --SangeYasha 07:01, 9 September 2007 (UTC)


Glutathione is an effective skin whitener if taken in sufficient dosage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Drgao (talkcontribs) 22:21, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Genetic defects mercury based whitener[edit]

I read that some villages in china where mercury based whiteners are used, the genetic defects can be severe. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Why is the controversiality of Skin Whitening products needing citation[edit]

Skin whitening is certainly tied to white supremacy and colonialism. But just so we can move on and get rid of the "citation needed" ill cite it and give the statement even more strength to new readers than it otherwise would have had. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:42, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

There was an episode on the Oprah Winfrey Show (or Oprah) on her take on skin whitening continues to be practiced, in one surprising segment of the U.S. population: African-American actors, athletes and others in the public eye, and Oprah suggests the "shameful" trend of skin whitening is to "hide ones' self, esp. ourselves" of African-Americans in public social circles in the name of cultural conformity to declare "black is unsightedly". Oprah endorsed a movie For Colored Girls takes place in the mid 1960s, a story about African-American teen girls striving for both feminine beauty, women's rights issues (feminism) and they fought strong racism at the time. Whoopi Goldberg and Janet Jackson starred in the movie and discussed the impact of racism and beauty pressure leads to dangerous results of the image of African-Americans and women in the public eye. Mike D 26 (talk) 09:24, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Original IP user, your remark is nonsense and makes you class-A racist. How is it "white supremacy" and "colonialism"? Only because you were either brought up in a racist family or peer-hood doesn't make your view of the world so. A lot of people consider light skin beautiful, just like a lot of people consider tanned skin beautiful or naturally brown skin or dark skin beautiful. So all the people who go out and damage their skin in the sun to be "beautiful" are OK, but people who damage their skin to lighten it to be "beautiful" are closet racists? wow! You are what is wrong with society. (talk) 06:10, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

"Certainly tied to white supremacy?" LOL it must suck to have such an inferiority complex! Anyways, lighter skin in Asians is tied to North East Asian supremacy not white supremacy! In NE Asia they desire lighter skin as a class thing, to seperate themselves from the darker Asians that are associated with minial work and who are looked down on. This was the same in Europe for a long time (the elites wanted to separate themselves from the lower class that worked outdoors) however, as of recently because of all the aristocrats and billionares spending their time on their yachts in Southern Europe and the plebians working inside in factories and cubicles a tan is becoming culturally accepted as a thing of the privileged.

But even if Asians were trying to lighten thier skin to look white, that would be considered an attractive phenotype variation. That's called "Averageness" and that slight variation is something unique - i.e. with White people Slavic and Eastern European women with slight Asian features are considered the most beautiful white women. See: Olga Kurylenko


The section on topical treatments sounds almost word-for-word like works written by Paula Begoun. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:59, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Moved Comment[edit]

Moved this comment from the article. Perhaps the author could explain what they mean on the talk page rather than in the article.

" this section is partially wrong.. Check the facts and make some corrections. I've been doing research on these ingredients for 3 years and your paragraph is a little off.

Yeah a bit wrong " (talk) 18:08, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Countries where there are strict regulations governing the cosmetics industry[edit]

The article reads "countries where there are strict regulations governing the cosmetics industry, as in the UK, Europe and USA". Now, every third grader knows that Europe is actually a continent and not a country, and then again if the European Union is what the article means, the UK is part of it. So shouldn't it be edited? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:28, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Article is rubbish[edit]

This whole article needs major fixing as it is not NPOV and heavily biased and seems to be governed or written by those suffering from some sort of issue with their own climatic heritage. There is no information relating to people wanting to even out their complexion etc, or even that it is done for beauty reasons similar to suntanning. In contrast the suntanning article is completely broad and neutral in its information. This article is rubbish, and so are the peoples minds who wrote it. (talk) 06:20, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Looking over this article for the first time now, I see the lead as the article's main problem. Some editor(s) have politicized it with their opposition to skin whitening to the point that the lead doesn't even reflect the body of the article. Added Template:POV-lead – RVJ (talk) 21:39, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

New section[edit]

I moved the "controversial" part in the opening paragraph to a new "Controversy" section and removed the NPOV tag. Hopefully it is more appropriate now. Cecikierk 14:11, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

hydroquinone - risks of change of skin color for african women[edit]

the section tried to make the case that the quality of hydroquinone was poor in africa as a whole, and there is no risk of permanent skin discoloration. The references used were 1. an article from a single center in africa about the risk of hydroquinone skin discoloration in dark skinned sub-saharan african women, and 2. another article of the risks of exposure to hydroquinone in the manufacturing process (where no determining mention of africa is actually made). One is lead to make the jump that because there is exposure risk and contamination, and because skin discoloration problems do occur in africa, that the accidents causing impurities occur in creams that are sold in africa, and the problem is local to africa. I am aware of skin discoloration cases that are hydroquinone-related (though perhaps not definitively) in the USA, and no comparative survey was cited to demonstrate any of:

  • that prescription skin creams in africa are more likely to be impure than anywhere else
  • that non-prescription skin creams in africa are more likely to be impure than anywhere else
  • that impurities from the manufacturing process or otherwise are responsible for the discoloration
  • that hydroquinone itself does not cause skin discoloration when applied in exceeding quantities

Until such a reference can be made available, I suggest the change I applied be maintained (that skin discoloration concerns may primarily be for african women, as this was the thrust of the first reference given). --— robbie page talk 13:08, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

The curious history of the section “Glutathione”[edit]

I noticed that the section “Glutathione” has several references to unrelated scientific articles. I thought that it was because of vandalism that initially escaped detection so I searched through the history (using a manually rough form of binary search) to try to recover the correct references, then I realized what is the source of those erroneous references: This section was added in the only edit of an user (Special:Diff/611200995) who included some valid references but also several erroneous references; apparently he entered the year of some articles where he was supposed to enter the PMID. Later a bot expanded the references (Special:Diff/678177730) including several references to unrelated scientific articles. Finally another user moved a big part of the section to the article glutathione (Special:Diff/680825948).

I am going to delete the erroneous references because they contribute nothing to the article; they can only cause confusion. Asfawa7: If you return to Wikipedia and recall what those references are supposed to be please add them. Thanks.

Mario Castelán Castro (talk) 19:52, 2 July 2016 (UTC).

Why no clobetasol propionate?[edit]

I was editing clobetasol propionate and found that there was no mention of it in this entry. Here's a WP:MEDMOS article:

Mercury, hydroquinone andlobetasol propionate are "amongst the most toxic and most used agents in lightening products." Many products sold illegally have higher concentrations of clobetasol propionate than is permitted for prescription drugs. [1]

There are many others on PubMed.

The New York Times has had many stories on skin whitening in the US and Africa, they usually give all sides of the controversy, and it's a good WP:RS. Here's one:

Creams Offering Lighter Skin May Bring Risks By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS, New York Times, JAN. 15, 2010

Here's another:

--Nbauman (talk) 18:29, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Gbetoh MH, Amyot M. (2016 Jul 1). "Mercury, hydroquinone and clobetasol propionate in skin lightening products in West Africa and Canada". Environ Res. 150: 403–10. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2016.06.030. PMID 27372064.  Check date values in: |date= (help)