Rwanda has officially banned skin-lightening products from being sold in stores across the country.
Aljazeera reported that the ban was officially enforced in November 2018 and the government has for the past two month been removing the offending products from shelves.
President Paul Kagame has condemned skin-lightening products and tweeted in November that they were “unhealthy” and included prohibited chemicals.
Quite unhealthy among other things. Includes use of prohibited chemicals. MoH and RNP need to reign this in very quickly…! https://t.co/zRvJRa8Dcq— Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame) November 25, 2018
According to Al Jazeera, Rwanda follows South Africa, Kenya and Ghana in banning the products.
Celebrity Blac Chyna was highly criticised for signing a deal with Nigerian company Whitenicious to promote their skin-lightening product which sells for more than R3,500.
Although the products may be off the shelves, there is fear that consumers may find other, less legal, routes to purchase the harmful products.
According to The Guardian, some skin lighteners contain chemicals such as mercury and hydroquinone, which may lead to kidney problems, skin and liver damage, and also increase the users’chances of getting skin cancer.