>> Across Africa, skin bleaching products are a common sight despite the fact that many of them are now illegal. A lot of the products are unregulated and contain powerful toxins and help fuel a wide spread perception that a lighter skin tone is better than dark. Reuter's Donna Amulo says Ghana is one country which has banned the use of hydroquinone that's used in a lot of the lotions and soaps.
>> And this chemical is a toxic chemical that often causes skin irritations. Which causes a complex range of health problems from knuckles turning dark, all to your people getting diabetes and high blood pressure.>> But it's set to be a multi million dollar industry. Analysts partly blame irresponsible marketing, along with the fashion and entertainment industries.
Popular animations like Black Barbie are trying to educate people to love their skin.>> I want the white one, I cried. The short piece is a reflection of Ghanaian filmmaker Comfort Arthur's life growing up with lighter skinned siblings. And eventually see's the character try to bleach her skin.
>> It's taken me awhile to accept that you know dark is beautiful. I mean I grew up wishing I was lighter.>> The film has received various awards and being screened at festivals across the continent. Now more ordinary African celebrities and actors are pushing against the perception, a dark skin tone isn't beautiful.
>> So we're seeing more campaigns coming out of Africa. We're seeing more films roles with people who have a darker skin tone. And all this is meant to get more Africans to appreciate their darker skin instead of thinking that lighter skin tone is what will get you ahead in life.
But, as long as there's a demand for the products, Tridus will continue to find ways to provide them.