"We're brown and should be proud," says Binay, bashes companies selling whiteners

Reprimanding cosmetic firms for "subliminally promoting distaste for our natural brown complexion," Makati mayor Jejomar Binay said Filipinos should be proud of their brown complexion, reports the Philippine Star. The United Opposition (UNO) vice president bet issued a statement yesterday, February 26, slamming cosmetic firms for the alleged toxic substances found in some of their whitening products.

The Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) recently banned China-made whitening products which supposedly contain high levels of mercury and steroids. According to GMA News, mercury is easily absorbed through the skin and could potentially lead to mercury poisoning or organ damage.

""Love your color. Don't use whitening products...We are brown and we should be proud," Binay told the Inquirer, "I call [dark-skinned Filipinos] Kasins, short for Kasin-itim," He also blamed manufacturers and advertisers for equating beauty with being fair-skinned. "Unfortunately, those who cannot afford the cost of high-end products contented themselves with inferior substitutes, which contain toxic substances," he said.

"It is not color that divides us but poverty and hunger," Binay continued, "I respect those who aspire for lighter skin. But again, they should be careful about the products they use."

The EcoWaste Coalition, a group which previously suggested a strict labeling policy for cosmetic products, told GMA News that consumers need to be more cautious if they choose to keep using such products.

"When we consider mercury along with steroids, glutathione, salicylic acid and hydroquinone - ingredients in skin cosmetics under fire in the media as of late, then we will begin to see the real price of superficial beauty. I hope we don't sacrifice health in the name of vanity, as some deceitful manufacturers would want us to," warned Aileen Lucero of Ecowaste Coalition.


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