Rwanda Puts A Ban on Skin Whitening Creams

RWANDA: The East African country Rwanda has deployed to enforce its ban on the skin whitening creams.

The Government put a ban on skin lightning and bleaching products in November 2018. Since than the authorities have been removing and seizing the substandard products from the market.

President Paul Kagame himself had started a discussion on social media in November.


The ban is being implemented by Ministry of Health and the Rwanda Food and Drug Authority and the Rwanda Standards Board. The crack down on the substandard creams, lotions and soaps is being conducted by technical experts. The police is also made available but just to oversee the safety of the operation.

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The skin whitening and bleaching products are seized by the patrolling police and government officials.


The skin lightning and bleaching products are harmful particularly the ones with the hydroquinone.

According to a Government spokesperson all the ingredients that can help in body and skin bleaching are banned. The Standard Board also warned the public of other alternate ingredients.

 Rwanda police claims to seizing more than 5,000 banned products.


The skin whitening creams and other such products are sold worldwide in many countries especially in Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries. These products may be the cause of skin cancer and many other skin issues. The campaign started in Rwanda should be followed and adopted by all.

World Health Organization has reported these products contain hydroquinone and mercury which can cause psychosis, depression, anxiety, liver damage, reduce resistance to bectirial and fungal infections.

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Global Industry Analysts suggest the global market for skin-lighteners was $17.9 billion in 2017 and it is estimated to reach $31.2 billion by 2024.

Ghana implemented a ban in 2017 on skin whitening creams.

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