Published March 23, 2013
The World Health Organization says that a quarter of Senegalese women use skin-lightening products regularly. The products, even those claiming to have so-called "natural" components, can contain mercury, hydroquinone or caustic agents like sodium hydroxide. These are dangerous ingredients that can cause cancer and are potentially disfiguring. VOA's Anne Look has more from Dakar, where women say the risks are simply the price of beauty.