Use of skin lightening creams among female University students in Zimbabwe: a preliminary survey

  • James January College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe
  • Yvonne Tafadzwa Mberi College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe
  • Laston Gonah Midlands State University
  • Rutendo Roselyn Muchenje College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe
  • Shepherd Shamu College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe
  • Roy Tapera Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

Abstract

Objective: To explore the prevalence and beliefs around use of skin lighteners among female university students at the University of Zimbabwe.

Methods and Materials: We conducted a descriptive cross sectional survey to ascertain the prevalence and correlates of use of skin lightening creams among a sample of 138 female university students (mean age 22years, SD=1.73) who responded to self-administered questionnaires.

Results: Prevalence of use of skin lightening creams among the respondents was 20%. Most of the women (83.3%) preferred lighter skin tone, and 93.3% perceived light skin as a symbol of beauty, 65% as a sign of wealth and 23.3% as symbolizing power.

Conclusions: Results from this survey provide a preliminary evidential entry point for health promotion interventions in a potentially influential subgroup of society.

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Author Biographies

James January, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe

Department of Community Medicine

Yvonne Tafadzwa Mberi, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe

School of Pharmacy

Laston Gonah, Midlands State University

 Faculty of Medicine

Rutendo Roselyn Muchenje, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe

School of Pharmacy

Shepherd Shamu, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe

Department of Community Medicine

Roy Tapera, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

 Department of Environmental Health

Published
2018-07-11
Section
Articles