Be Black - Be Beautiful
Women, and men, who want to have good health and a beautiful skin, can benefit from Natural Medicine!
For example, Aloe vera, is a plant that grows abundantly in many parts of Africa: Aloe vera strengthens the immune system and improves the quality of the skin, sometimes dramatically. Aloe vera can be taken internally and also used externally.
Alternatively, the flesh of the avocado nourishes the skin - just mash the avocado, add a few drops of lemon juice, mix well and apply to the skin for some hours.
Further, there are excellent recipes with which individuals, communities, hospitals and small businesses can produce their own soaps and cosmetics. These soaps use natural, tropical products that nurture the skin. At the same time their production helps to create jobs and thereby stimulate the local economies.
Soaps and cosmetics that contain mercury or other synthetic chemicals intended to lighten the skin weaken the immune system and, in the worst cases, do irreversible damage to the skin, liver and even the brain.
Still today soaps and cosmetics that contain mercury or hydroquinone are being manufactured. Whether by European companies is not known, nor for certain are the places of manufacture known. If not manufactured locally, they are imported illegally into countries in Africa and other continents, where they are used mainly by women to lighten the skin. They are also sold, also illegally, in large European cities, usually “under the counter”.
Mercury is known to be extremely toxic. It causes irreversible damage to the skin. It penetrates the skin and can cause permanent damage to the brain and kidneys, and to the foetus carried by pregnant women. Hydroquinone also causes irreversible skin damage, and may cause cataracts, plastic anaemia and bladder cancer. Both mercury and hydroquinone may lead to the skin becoming blotchy, with even darker patches than before.
For an excellent summary of the extent of the problem of mercury soap and of their effects on the skin, please read the brief report “Mercury in soap in sub-Saharan Africa” produced by GEUS in Denmark.
Because of these drastic results upon health, the sale of soaps and cosmetics that contain mercury has been prohibited for many years within the European Union. In January 2003 their export to non European countries was also forbidden. Anamed welcomes this decision. Since their sale is prohibited in the home market, and their export is forbidden, their manufacture in Europe is therefore rendered illegal.
What you can do
- Order copies of the posters described above from anamed international and distribute them as widely as possible. Use them for teaching and training. Show them to your local health officials, to doctors and to nurses. You may also print them locally.
- Run seminars for your neighbours, church or organisation in which you
- teach the benefits of Aloe vera, and make body oils and soaps with natural products, and
- educate about the dangers of skin-lightening products.
- Refuse to buy anything from shops that sell toxic skin-lightening products. Tell the shopkeeper why, and persuade your friends to do the same
- Write to your Government, the WHO and the WTO. Give them evidence from your own experience both of the availability of mercury soaps in your locality and the damage they are causing.