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Stop mixing creams for children, dermatologist warns

A Consultant Physician and Dermatologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Dr. Olufolakemi Cole-Adeife, has warned parents against mixing triple-action creams for children.

Dr Cole-Adeife also said skin products tagged ‘whitening’ or ‘toning’ creams should be avoided, as they may have bleaching agents.

Skin-lightening industry is one of the fastest-growing beauty industries worldwide, but bleaching creams contain hazardous substances harmful to the body.

She said, “Triple action creams should not be mixed into creams or butters, especially for children, as is wrongly practised by some parents, to our utmost horror.

“Soaps, creams, or skin care products with words such as ‘white, whitening, light, tone, fair, glow, bright, half-caste, mulatto,’ or anything to connote lightening of the skin—may have bleaching agents and should be avoided or used with caution.

According to her, a good skin can be achieved through a healthy diet and lifestyle and using good skin products in moderation.

“Eat a nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and nuts. Avoid refined sugars and foods as much as possible. Drink a lot of plain water every day. Reduce exposure to the sun and to pollutants like smoke and fumes. Use gentle soaps, creams, or oils that do not have the words mentioned above or contain mercury or hydroquinone.

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“Do not buy creams from so-called skin care vendors without any ingredient labels. Avoid using triple-action creams. Seek the advice of a dermatologist or a trained aesthetician to recommend a skin care regimen suitable for your particular skin type, as some skin care products may be good for some but inappropriate for others.

“The use of sunscreen creams is also encouraged to reduce the effects of ultraviolet rays from the sun, which cause darkening or tanning of the skin,” she advised.

Data from the World Health Organisation showed that the skin-lightening products industry is projected to be worth $31.2bn in 2024.

“The skin-lightening industry is one of the fastest growing beauty industries worldwide and is estimated to be worth $31.2bn by 2024.

“In India, for example, the skin-lightening industry (including products with and without mercury) represents 50 per cent of the skincare market and is estimated to be worth $450–535 million,” it said.

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