Ivory Coast bans skin whitening creams

Ivory Coast has banned skin whitening creams, which are widely used in west Africa, because of fears they cause lasting damage to health, the health ministry said Wednesday. “Cosmetic lightening and hygiene creams … that de-pigment the skin … are now forbidden,” the ministry said in a statement. The ban affects whitening creams and lotions…

Thailand racism row reignited by Unilever ad for skin-whitening cream

An advert for a skin-whitening cream which appeared to offer university scholarships to students with fairer skin has stoked a debate over racism in Thailand, where Unilever – the company behind the ad – has been forced to apologise for any “misunderstandings”. The “Citra search for clear, soft and glowing skin” asked female students to…

Brazilian funk star Anitta sparks new debate about skin whitening and race

Brazil’s latest funk sensation, Anitta, has won millions of fans by taking the favela sound into the mainstream, but she is now front and centre in a resurgent debate about skin colour. Anti-discrimination campaigners and social commentators say the music industry’s fastest rising star has had to sacrifice her blackness to make it into the…