Many South Sudanese women are using creams with dangerous chemicals.
Dr. Peter Adwok, Director of Drugs and Food Control Authority (DFCA), told media Saturday that the ban outlawed the sale of skin whitening products because of the negative health effects associated with them.
However, it remains unclear whether the ban will be effective.
Dr. Adwok explained that the government banned dangerous skin lightening products, most of which contain harmful chemicals such as mercury.
“We have not banned all skin lightening products in the market. We only banned the dangerous ones,” he said.
The government official called on cosmetic dealers in the country to avoid selling dangerous skin whitening creams, adding that the regulatory body has given an order to cosmetic dealers to acquire new import licences.
“We have visited several shops in Juba to look for hazardous skin lightening products,” he said.
Dr. Adwok added that his department was working with cosmetic dealers to remove the products from their shelves within one month.
The practice is not only present in South Sudan, but widespread elsewhere in the world.
Skin lightening products contain chemicals such as mercury and hydroquinone, which can cause liver damage, reduce resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, and increase anxiety, depression and psychosis, according to the WHO.