Rwanda officially bans skin-lightening products

Rwanda officially bans skin-lightening products

The Rwandan government has announced a ban that prohibits the sale of skin whitening products in stores across the country alongside the message, ‘Love the skin you’re in’, according to the Times Live.

Coming into affect late last year, the government has been removing products from the market for eight weeks, with President Paul Kagame having condemned the products via Twitter as being unhealthy due to the chemicals found within the formulations.

He tweeted, “Quite unhealthy among other things. Includes use of prohibited chemicals. MoH and RNP need to reign this in very quickly..!” (sic).

Francois Uwinkindi, Cancer Unit Ministry of Health, said, “We are now putting much effort, like educating people, going around and seizing those illegal products, so we are also joining those countries who are also in this fight of the use of those illegal skin-lightening cosmetics.”

Skin lightening products have previously been banned in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana due to the potentially hazardous ingredients, however, there are some concerns it will drive consumers to acquire the products via the black market.