I am a retail pharmacist and I have been for four years. That means that I get to see tens of clients everyday who want to receive medication for simple and sometimes not so simple ailments.
I attend daily to the traffic induced headaches, children with runny noses and the never ending cough, men with requests for instant libido enhancers. I enjoy my job. My clients serve as pleasant diversions to an otherwise tedious profession. Which is why I am tired of entertaining requests for creams that help maintain ‘my colour’.
What exactly is your colour? I once worked with a colleague who blurted out the not too discerning question to an elite client once. On being asked by this Remy hair wearing, bejewelled, Jimmy Choo bag carrying lady of fourty something years for a cream to help maintain her colour, my colleague did a quick once over of the lady and spotting the greenish yellow patch on her feet, the charcoal black spots on her knuckles and the Miranda orange peeking out from the mask of very fair MAC powder on her face and just had to ask, “Which one, Ma?” Thankfully, the boss was not in earshot and the client had the grace to grin; batting her eyelids coquettishly.
What is it that you want? A total transformation from a Jonathan Goodluck shade to a Pat Utomi hue? I shudder to think! Although I’ve seen a few people who have embarked on that journey and are now spending the remainder of their lives trying to avoid being found out through suspicious looking potions that are surreptitiously transferred from Jimmy Choo bag to Blvgari bag and stern instructions to “carry am go fridge sharp sharp!”
We were born into this world with different melanin quotas; God held back with the dose for some but was overly generous for the others. Now, why do you think that the fair colour is a better option for you? I‘ve heard a few answers to that question. The first being that men find fair ladies more attractive and that among a sea of suspects, detectives are more likely to believe a fair person. Now, now, let’s look at this critically. So you think your skin colour is your most marketable asset (not that I think we should market anything) that it has to be completely changed. That you have nothing else to bring to the table that the guy is just supposed to look at your splash of colours and think that this is the woman for me? In the case of being a suspect; now that’s a laugh, are you planning to be bomb anywhere? If you aren’t , why should it matter if you’re fair or dark?
We’ve heard it countless times; hydroquinone and all such mercury containing compounds increase the risk of skin cancer. Ok, something must kill someone, but isn’t it a bit unfair for people to lose you to skin cancer brought on by the use of unsafe products? You haven’t heard that before? You want to be first?
Ok, ok, I’m being a bit too hard, but the thing pains me. Beautiful ladies with skin the colour that God gave them reducing themselves to objects of ridicule; their lives spent pursuing after the latest potions someone has cooked up, and I even heard those things are not cheap. There is a way out though, assuming you think like me that is. I am dark skinned, as in I use MAC NW50. Now that is dark I hear you say. Wetin person fit do?
When I am stressed out, I do feel sometimes that my colour is a bit dull and looks very ashy and pale. But I don’t try to become yellow; I simply use exfoliating scrubs and face creams with alpha and beta hydroxyl acids which are anti oxidants that keep your skin healthy. Vitamin C, lemon, oatmeal, granulated sugar are all homemade remedies that could be used to brighten the face. I also use sunscreens with an SPF of over 30 containing soy complex and natural light diffusers. What this does is brighten and cause light to reflect off my face, giving me a healthy, luminous glow. But when I tell clients that you don’t need any cream, that all you need is to slough off those dead skin cells to reveal your brightened hue, they just look at me like I’m crazy and go, eh, “let me first get my colour back!”
To talk more about the health hazards of these potions may be overly dramatic, but I know what I have seen in the way of a cream job gone bad; it’s a sorry sight and more often than not there’s no going back. You are beautiful just as you are, abeg! You no see Naomi Campbell?
This article was published on 234Next on the 29th of January in their Elan section. Photo credits : 234Next