Kulture Wave Beauty by Cardi B has partnered with UNESCO to fight against a common practice in many African countries – skin bleaching.
Also known as skin lightening or whitening, skin bleaching is a dangerous trend that is often associated with beauty and social status in Africa.
According to a recent report by the World Health Organisation, an estimated 80% of women in South Africa use skin-lightening products. This number is even higher in other countries like Togo (88%). Seventy-seven-percent of women in Nigeria use skin-lightening products, with 59% in Senegal.
Grammy Award-winning rapper Cardi B recently announced the projected launch of her own line of skincare products that are designed to celebrate melanin-rich skin and discourage people from using dangerous chemicals on their bodies.
The brand's decision to act against skin bleaching in Africa is part of its larger mission to empower women and promote positive body image. By joining forces with UNESCO alongside Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame, the country has enforced a ban on skin-lightening products. Other administrations such as Ghana have followed suit.
"I'm proud to be part of a brand that stands for inclusivity and celebrates diversity,” says Cardi B. “Skin bleaching is a harmful practice that perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards and can have severe health consequences. We want to help women embrace their natural beauty and feel confident in their own skin."
Bleaching agents may contain toxic chemicals that can damage the skin and lead to serious health issues such as liver damage, kidney failure, cancer and even death. In addition, bleaching the skin makes it more susceptible to sun damage and can cause premature ageing.