Skin bleaching is a huge $10 billion dollar industry. It is estimated that a whopping 75% of Nigerian women regularly use skin lightening products.
Teniola Aisha Kashaam used to be one of these women. Teniola began bleaching her skin at age 19 and has admitted that it soon became an obsession.
The young woman from Nigeria, added that peer pressure was part of what fuelled her desire to be lighter skinned.
She started to realize that what she was doing was dangerous after seeing friends who had bleached with severely damaged skin.
But Teniola says she was too naïve to stop, and only found the courage to throw her products away at age 25.
She has advised young women to refrain from bleaching their skin and believe that they are beautiful the way God made them.
Read her testimony below:
“My road to melanin started at the age of 19. By the time I was 20, I had become a heavy skin bleacher. At the time it felt almost normal, I felt like I looked more attractive. It became an addiction, I just couldn’t stop.”
“I craved so much to be lighter. I felt being black wasn’t beautiful enough. What a stupid way to have thought. I guess the society we live in played a little role in my decision to bleach my skin, coupled with being very naive at that age.”
“It’s widely perceived that the lighter you are, the more beautiful you look. To be honest I always knew it was a bad thing. I mean, I had seen loads of people with ridiculously damaged skin courtesy of the effects of bleaching. But I was just so deep into it, like I said it’s actually an addiction.”
“As my 25th birthday started approaching, I started to do a lot of soul searching. A lot of self evaluation concerning every area of my life. I finally started to see the light, to see how crazy I had been all these years. How crazy it was for me to have believed that my black skin wasn’t beautiful.’
“To have allowed myself to feel inadequate or to try and tell God ‘ how you created me isn’t good enough’ what a silly, crazy way to have lived. Today I’m more than grateful that I finally saw the light. Black is beautiful! So beautiful! Never have I ever felt as beautiful and as at peace with my skin tone as I do now.”
“Please Love your skin/Yourself the way God has made you…. you are beautiful, you are enough. Time will always tell… imagine how I would look 10-15 years from now if I had continued to bleach my skin.”
“Please don’t do it… I did it and I Had/ have so much regret… it’s not worth it. You are beautiful just as you are. I get a lot of messages asking me, how I was able to transition my skin back… I will be sharing all the tips soon enough. Thank you to everyone who helped me get through this…… the amount of support I have received is enormous… Thank you.”