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Rise of antioxidant skin bleaches in Uganda

Beauty 1

Side effects unknown as beauticians resort to using nutritional prescription supplements

After years of hearing warnings against use of certain skin whitening products, some determined individual are increasingly seeking solutions among so-called “natural” skin whiteners writes Nicole Namubiru. But are these products any safer?

Among the so-called natural bleachers are antioxidants. These are products that ordinarily help in ridding the body of dangerous toxins and often occur naturally in the body. However, some of them can be purchased as prescription supplements, especially for people with deficiencies in their compounds. However, after noting that in some users the antioxidants have the glaring side effect of making one’s skin complexion look lighter than normal, some beauticians are increasingly relying on that to sell the nutrient to otherwise normal people.

Steve K. Mukisa who has been in the beauty industry for over ten years says it is very safe to use the antioxidant for skin lightening purposes and confesses to having used it on a number of his clients. He uses an antioxidant which we shall not name for journalistic ethical reasons. Although the antioxidant nutrient is also naturally produced by the body, Mukisa administers by both injection or by swallowing as pills.

Dr. Ben Kiwanuka of Mukwaaya General Hospital says this particular antioxidant is “one of the best nutrients that help to rid the body of toxins.” He says studies that have been done on the nutrient have found out how quite useful it is to have enough of it in the body because the body generates its own.

But he adds: “Having it in excess will cause skin lightening.”

Experts say this particular antioxidant is sometimes used on HIV patients and cancer patients to reduce the effects of chemotherapy and to rebuild cells that are destroyed during the treatments but continuous application of the food supplement will cause the patients’ skin to become lighter. It is this effect that estheticians consider as a catch for their skin lightening business.

Mukisa who works at being a master at the subject, defends it.

“I am an esthetician professionally and I have been in the beauty industry for over 10 years, aiming at self improvement, I get refresher studies at a regular basis, because the beauty industry is very versatile and grows at a very fast pace. Treatments keep changing and we get new treatments almost after every six months.”

He says the antioxidant which he administers in injection or pill form has nutrients found in red apples and grapes and many other foods.

“What makes it special is that it is manufactured by the body. It is also known as the master antioxidant because just like other antioxidants, it helps to rebuild broken down body cells, do their repair and also neutralize free radicals in the body,” he says.

Mukisa says it is these unique features about the antioxidant that have made it popular in the beauty business.

“We use it to enable people look younger, achieve lighter skin complexion and also rid them of dark spots, wrinkles and freckles,” he says.

Doctors, however, are uncertain about likely dangers that could arise from administration of the nutrient, especially in heavy doses, to otherwise healthy people.

Dr. Kiwanuka says although he is still studying the subject, I am not aware of any negative effects that could arise from using the antioxidant. He says, however, that it always safer to have such supplements administered by a certified health practitioner under the right prescription as applies to any other form or sort of medication.

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