Bleached baby image courtesy: Youtube.
With so many Google searches on how to make baby's skin fairer in Nigeria; What to use to make my baby fair; How do I maintain my baby's fair skin? Can Funbact-A bleach baby skin? Can I mix shea butter and Funbact-A to lighten my baby's skin? What cream can I use in Nigeria to make my baby skin fair and smooth?
So many searches I can't even type everything here. As a mom and Nigerian mom at that, I would say that this recent trend is growing fast among young moms. The blog post on 'baby skin care products' is one of the most read right now because searches land there as a
result of the many body creams suggested by mums and testimonials about what works for other Nigerian moms. 
When moms bleach their new baby's skin, it's not like you do not know the side effects, you do but you are selfish, you don't care about after effects because all you want is that instant gratification of other women's glorious comments about your baby's bright skin. In the long run, does that even matter at all? 

When adults bleach their skin, the side effects may not show immediately until later in life , but not babies. Quick aging, dryness and wrinkling effects start earlier than normal and people are advised to desist from skin bleaching. If skin bleaching warnings are that strong for adults, you can imagine what you are doing to that little baby's skin.

Truthfully speaking, the trend is growing. Mothers are seriously bleaching their babies (both born and unborn) with pills, medicated soaps that even adults shouldn't use. Yes! your baby will look fair and cute but that's not the end. Haven't you seen black, beautiful babies who don't scar after little smacks? Keeping your baby's skin clean, oiled and moist is all that matters. Do you know what happens when you stop bleaching that baby? The dark skin that comes as an after effect is not nice at all. Irritations and bad rash follow and skin begins to itch badly then you start searching for medications to treat heat rash on babies and you start applying strong antibiotics to stop what you started in the first place. That's not heat rash, it's the result of withdrawal from using skin bleaching products on the baby.

One thing you may not know is that the black skin your baby was born with is a free gift of nature to protect her tender skin from the harsh sun we experience in Africa. The melanin that makes your baby skin dark or brown is nature's way of giving skin protection free of charge. If you were to buy melanin to keep your baby protected, can you afford it? Is it because this melanin comes free that people no longer value it and feel it is a curse that must be destroyed.? If your baby is born light-skinned, fine and great, that's what's best for him. If she is born dark, fine and great because that's what's best for her. If it were possible to shop melanin and have it permanently, do you know that those who know what it does will gladly buy in abundance to get permanent protection? to keep their green veins hidden under the skin, and to help them hide emotions when they don't turn red at frustrating moments? 

Melanin on your baby's skin is something you should be grateful for. When destroyed, it's difficult to return it to normal. Imagine your toddler having dark eye circles because of the strong products being applied daily to the skin, or your little baby bruising at every little fall because the products have made the skin very very light and weak. 

Baby skin bleaching should be discouraged, strongly. Let the kids grow up and decide for themselves if they want to skin bleach or not. Let them grow up, know the side effects and take responsibility of their actions when the side effects appear. 

Truth is that you may not know that what you are doing is skin bleaching because some call it skin maintenance. What are you maintaining? If the baby was born very light, he may not remain that light because he has left the womb and is now growing in a different environment with harsh weather. Sometimes, very light skinned babies begin to grow dark and mothers are worried, you shouldn't be, that's ok. Yes, it could be the shea butter (Ori), vaseline, or other baby products turning your baby dark, or just nature trying to help manufacture melanin to protect that tender skin. Before you begin to complain that the baby lotion, body wash or baby cream you use is turning your baby's skin dark, try to first of all understand that the skin needs to adjust to our harsh weather. True that some products make some people's skin dark, like I experienced when I started  using organic shea butter on my own skin. 

So, I tried using shea butter  with vaseline on my boy's skin when he was younger, it so smoothened his skin, he didn't look fairer but smooth and supple and I loved it. Heard from women who mixed shea butter and coconut oil and got great results and I was like... 'why not try shea butter on my own skin too? I tried it o, and come and see how I turned black and rough within a few weeks and I really don't know what happened, maybe it was the Abuja March harsh sun rays. I think it even aged me oh because now that I stopped., I feel younger, lol. That's not to say that I'm against shea butter, No. What I mean is that even though it may not be great on some light skinned people because our bodies are different, it works wonders on some other people especially dark skinned. It didn't react well with my somehow adult light skin but works wonders for my baby and for my hair too, helps with easy combing of my natural hair. When I saw the goodness of this natural organic shea butter, I immediately ordered, four large jars and thankfully Sheamapo gave me such great discounts as he said I contacted him during promo. I'll let my hair and my kids enjoy that natural goodness for now. 
That natural shea butter makes you dark doesn't mean it won't work for your baby. It's great. Debbie and Deji Sheamapo talked about the proportions for mixing it with coconut oil to get great results as it worked for her. You can read the post and see for yourself (Links are below).

So, dear Nigerian mums, please stop bleaching baby's skin with the excuse of maintenance. Allow nature produce melanin on that baby to help her in future. Agbani Darego won Miss World with her dark skin. Oprah Winfrey is there doing great with her dark skin. Michelle Obama as a First Lady of The United States Of America, kept her dark skin. Genevieve Nnaji loved by many is famous with her dark skin, with millions of fans. See Lupito Nyong'O, did she bleach her skin to be great? Proud of her dark skin and still making more waves. A lot of dark skinned men and women are great and will continue to be without applying harsh products to skin bleach. Let that baby be. Let the melanin glow, oil and keep the skin clean. If you force-bleach, when you stop, you won't like the after effect black. 

Never ever think or accept that fair skinned babies are more beautiful. Every child is beautiful in her own way. They are all equal. All babies are beautiful whether fair, dark or brown skinned.Pregnant mums, please do not take any pill to bleach your unborn child. Allow nature to bless that child with melanin free of charge. 
There are good baby products in the market that won't bleach or damage your baby's skin in any way. If you get authentic ones, you'll love them; Johnson baby products, Aveeno baby products, Pears and a host of others. Try them and if you don't like how they react on your baby, talk to a Doctor or try organic products like the shea butter I talked about earlier or even our local palm kernel oil or coconut oil.

ALSO READ: Is sheabuuer good for baby skin? the comments on that post will enlighten you even more.
How to care for baby's skin in Nigeria is another post you need to read. Scroll down there to learn from the comments. Your baby will thank you for not destroying that melanin bestowed by nature.

READ ALSO: How to keep baby skin smooth, healthy and glowing


  1. I so much love this article. God bless you. A word is enough for the wise..... God bless the women.


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