Do Women Whiten More Than Men?

One of the questions that is often asked is whether women whiten more than men, and while most people believe that the answer must be women, in fact evidence has shown that men are rapidly catching up.

Why Whiten The Skin?

The belief among many people that lighter skin is more attractive has fueled a drive towards skin whitening. Cosmetic companies are now making products which are designed to lighten the skin, and it’s not surprising that the industry is now worth over $3 billion per year. Whitening happens everywhere around the globe, but is an especially prevalent practice in areas where most people have darker skin tones. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) whitening is especially common in Africa, with Nigeria being one country where whitening is practiced by 77% of women.

59% of women in Togo whiten while 37% of the female population in Senegal whiten their skin. In all three of these countries, men currently account for under 10% of people who whiten, however they are beginning to embrace the practice even though they are not yet as open about it as women. Whitening doesn’t just take place in African countries. In Western countries too black women like rapper Lil Kim have whitened their skin, and Azaelia Banks is even a spokesperson for Whitenicious, a skin lightening product.

Men And Skin Whitening

While men don’t whiten their skin as often as women do, the amount of men who admit to using skin-lightening treatments is increasing. Michael Jackson remains the best known face of male skin whitening and while he faced criticism at the time, these days it is becoming acceptable. Vybz Kartel, the Jamaican dance hall artist and song writer has talked openly about going through skin lightening procedures, while retired baseball player Sammy Sosa has also admitted to whitening his skin. Men in The Congo openly buy skin whitening products and they are seen as socially acceptable for men.

Why Do Men Whiten Their Skin?

The reasons why men whiten their skin is the same as the reasons why women do it – they want to look more attractive and sexy to appeal to potential partners. Other men have said that they chose to do it for career reasons since they believe that lighter skin is viewed as being better than dark skin. People in the entertainment, modeling and movie industries are especially keen to whiten their skin as appearance is extremely important in these industries.

Problems With Skin Whitening In Both Men And Women

Whether skin whitening is carried out by men or women, the potential problems are the same. Some skin lightening creams have now been banned by the governments of several countries including those in Asia, Europe, the USA and some African nations because of the dangerous ingredients they contain like mercury and hydroquinone. This is especially an issue with more women using it to "bleach" intimate areas like their vagina.  However, there are many all-natural skin whitening products which are also popular and which are safe to use by both men and women who seek to lighten their skin tone.