Former Model Irene Major Says She Talks Bleaching Skin
Via Daily Mail UK reports:
Former model Irene Major is a wealthy woman who knows all about looking after her skin. The wife of Canadian oil tycoon Sam Malin, she has tried everything from super-expensive Creme de la Mer moisturisers to the services of the most exclusive Harley Street dermatologists.
But Irene, who’s originally from Cameroon, West Africa, has a shocking admission; she also regularly uses skin-lightening creams to alter the color of her complexion. ‘When my skin is lighter, I just feel prettier,’ she admits with startling candor. ‘It’s a taboo subject, and people get judgmental about it, but that’s how I feel.’
Last month, High Street health store Holland & Barrett came under fire for selling a legal skin-whitening product called Dr Organic Royal Jelly Skin Body Whitening Cream, which retails for £9.99.
A skin-lightening regime has been part of my life practically since birth,’ she claims. ‘There are many different types of African skin — from dark charcoal to a lighter version — and you grow up knowing that the lighter ladies are the prettier ones. It’s just a fact.’
Her younger sister, Elsa, 27, agrees, explaining how disturbing hierarchies of skin color are still influencing African girls. ‘Being lighter shows you belong to a different place on the social ladder. All the rich, successful black African men marry either a white or a very light-skinned girl because they too grew up thinking that the lighter is the most pretty. It doesn’t matter how dark a man is, of course — the pressure is all on women.’
Skin lightening is a multi-billion-pound global industry. Pharmacy shelves groan under the dozens of perfectly legal skin lightening products, from high-end Elizabeth Arden and Clinique to household brands such as Garnier and Vaseline.
Holland & Barrett, meanwhile, insist their cream is specifically for use on skin blemishes such as ‘age spots, liver spots, freckles, sun damaged skin and scars’, and contains a brown algae called Ascophyllum nodosum, which has ‘proven skin whitening attributes’, according to a spokesman.
But it’s not just the ethics of skin lightening that concern campaigners. Beyond these legal products, there’s a booming market in illegal creams, soaps and pills, many containing highly damaging ingredients such as mercury, bleach and acid.
The worst of these, a chemical called hydroquinone, is officially banned in the EU, but can still be prescribed by dermatologists for cosmetic reasons — and isn’t hard to find in the UK.
Angela stresses that she uses creams to tackle discoloration rather than to change the colour of her skin overall.
‘Anybody can use it, and everybody does,’ says Irene. ‘Just look at all the pop stars whose skin has got so much lighter over the years. Many celebrities do it. We’re just turning a blind eye to it.’
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