Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Palmolive Naturals White Radiance Soap

My friend came back from the Phillipines recently and all he brought back to me was a bar of skin whitening soap. Sigh, the year before he brought back a "Rolux" for me.

Skin whitening is apparently all the rage out in that neck of the woods. The ladies of the Phillipines desire lightened skin, so my friend tells me. I never gave it much thought, to be quite honest. All I know is that I loathe the look of over tanned North American white women. I
used to work at a few day spas/salons with tanning beds - I think I am allowed to pass judgement on women who don that healthy shade of orangey-brown. Anyway, my friend was making a nice and honest gesture when presenting me with this bar of soap. He figured, since I avoid the sun/tanning to the point where people mislabel me as "goth" and wear a lighter share of makeup, that I really want to be whiter than white.

I'm pretty white. If I got any whiter, I'd look like Powder. I want to look healthy, not dead. Like I said before, he did his best at making a sweet and honest gesture.

I was a little afraid of using this product. I realise that it's directly from Asia so I'm assuming the standards of packaging products (especially health and beauty related) may not be as important as it is in North America or Europe. The major cause of concern was the lack of listed ingredients. For someone with sensitive skin and acne, I was a little curious about what I would be applying on my face. Other than papaya and "cream" (cream of what, I don't know), I am clueless about what exactly is in this bar of beauty soap. I searched around online and could not find anything about this product - which led me to feel even more suspicious about test trying this out on myself. I went on the Palmolive UK site and there was no listing for this particular kind of soap (does it mean it contains bad ingredients or that the British just don't need skin whitening soap as they look pasty already?).

So I gave in and tried it. How white could I get from using it one or two times anyway? I have to admit, it has a very pretty smell of fresh papaya and cream - just like it says on the box. It lathers up fantastically (I'm very keen on lather!). Applies nice and smooth. At this point, the only issue I had with this is the feeling of my skin when I was in the process of washing it off. It felt as though I was running wet hands over a balloon, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Once that part was over and innerly complained about, my skin actually took to the soap. My face felt very smooth and soft. I was impressed with that, even though I knew there had to be something bad within this bar o'soap.

With a little more patience, I successfully found more information about whitening bars and creams. I have NOT used that bar of soap since, even though it smells lovely!

To have white skin is heavily marketed in Asia, apparently. According to
this article half the women in the Phillipines are currently using such a product. A while back I came across another website which said that many product ingredients manufactured in Asia are banned in North America and Europe. I'm only assuming that this product would never be sold here.

What I found out is that many whitening soaps and creams contain hydroquinone. I do not know if this Palmolive product contains this or not, I'm only being cautious. Hydroquinone is a chemical used in photograph processing materials. It has shown to cause leukemia in mice and other animals. Europe has put a ban on beauty products containing hydroquinone, as well as many African countries have banned the use of skin whitenings with harmful chemicals. Though I do not know if this Palmolive Naturals soap contains hydroquinone or not, I would rather not take my chances.

I realise that there are a million products, especially for beauty, that most likely contain very harmful and damaging products. I know I am guilty of using them - the hair dye, certain eye shadows, hair spray, anti-perspirant, etc. One day when some brilliant beauty expert/scientist invents a healthy way to dye my hair black, I will switch over to that.

As far as this particular product goes, there is no list of ingredients on the package therefore I do not feel very confident using this product. I don't feel positive about the concept of people with darker skin wishing to be white and "radiant" either, by means of harmful chemicals with permanent results. Be comfortable in your skin! Be sassy!

Obviously, I do not recommend this product. Unless someone can find me a list of ingredients in this brand of soap, I rest my case.

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Blogger ericanova said...

Hi Make-up Mistress:
Finally someone who agrees that fair skin is the way to go! I am italian- cursed with the healthy glow forever. Maybe that is why i appreciate my boyfriend's freckles and fair skin. Is there contact info that i can reach you at? I work for a skin care company, and would love to send you some products to test out and see what you think! Thanks again!

7:40 AM  
Blogger Elle said...

Hey Erica!
Aw, thanks for the comment! I think you are the first person who has left me one! :) It makes my day, makes my words feel a little noticed!

Hmmm...I am not sure if you get notified when replying to your reply? I know i get notices of replies in my email - and I can see email addresses of the bloggers on there(in my other blog). I don't want to be posting my address randomly on the internet, haha.

I'll figure out a way though! It would be fun to test out new products! :)

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

First off, I'm always happy to hear someone else that is happier not looking like a pumpkin.

If you're happy with your skin tone now, of course there's no need to be using products to lighten or darken it, but I think you're unfairly scaring people off hydroquinone. I mean, glycerin is a key component in nytroglycerin and dynamite, so you wouldn't want that on your skin, right? Glycerin is just plain soap. Hydroquinone has worked great for me, and is perfectly legal for sale in the US.

2:07 PM  

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