In an article published online by CNN, we learn that Southeast Asia’s obsession with having paler skin is deeply rooted in the colonial era of the 18th and 19th century. The light skin of the colonizers (Europeans) became the superior color, and the darker skin of the locals became the inferior one.
Thanks to this mentality, whitening products have a huge market in the region, and the evidence is everywhere.
Different brands of whitening lotion line up the beauty section of supermakets. Injectable glutathione shots are more affordable than ever. Peeling creams and skin-lightening bars of soap can be bought in bulk for cheap online.
These products promise to brighten one’s complexion. Being light-skinned is considered prettier, and being fair-skinned is less prone to hurtful remarks.
Despite these risks, men and women are still buying and using these products.
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Apparently, this obsession won’t go away anytime soon.
In Thailand, Forbes.com reports that whitening creams account for half of the $320 million market for facial creams.
According to a Global Skin Lightening Cream Market report, the market is projected to grow on a massive scale by 2025, which means that despite efforts to embrace one’s skin color, millions of people still prefer paler, whiter skin.