Why People Risk Their Lives To Bleach Their Skin | Shady | Refinery29

  • Published on May 25, 2019
  • On this episode of Shady, our host, Lexy Lebsack travels to the Philippines to uncover the toxic reality of skin bleaching. This cultural trend is practicing world wide even with deadly side effects. Watch this week's Shady to understand the truth about skin bleaching!
    Shady is the side of the beauty world you haven't seen. Hosted by Refinery29 Senior Beauty Editor, Lexy Lebsack, the series swivels between the unexpected and uplifting, dives deep into the dark underbelly of beauty, gives a voice to those trampled by this quickly growing industry, and questions what it’s all worth. From counterfeit makeup to skin trafficking for cosmetic procedures, we go there.
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Comments • 14 340

  • Refinery29
    Refinery29  5 months ago +4626

    Have you ever heard of skin bleaching products before? Share your opinions on what the use of these products really means.

    • Elisabeth Lie
      Elisabeth Lie 2 days ago

      Not just filipino, but asians in general

    • John Smith
      John Smith 8 days ago

      @picky ally *Ever wondering why is white people obsessed of doing this kind of video LMAO*
      *Underlining message: everyone wants to be white HAHA LMAO*

    • hypnotherapy69
      hypnotherapy69 17 days ago

      are you sure that this clip is not about bad botox?

    • Liza Butcher
      Liza Butcher Month ago

      This enrages me. I really really hate hearing that there are people, who feels they need to bleach their skin to be beautiful or succeed.
      Society has definitely failed and socially constructed norms are to blame! We need to stop judging others based on their skin colour and stop thinking whiteness is more desirable. We are all beautiful humans no matter what our skin colour.

    • Liza Butcher
      Liza Butcher Month ago


  • sad reee
    sad reee 4 hours ago

    They just showed a product I use from china....... oh god oh no

  • sad reee
    sad reee 4 hours ago

    Does butthole bleaching count

  • Ryce Nguyen
    Ryce Nguyen 7 hours ago

    Lol. I'm tan and have soft skin so yeah. I don't even use lotion

  • GiaNina Matthews
    GiaNina Matthews 8 hours ago +1

    Nicki Minaj has left the chat.

  • Mee Yuh
    Mee Yuh 8 hours ago

    Bruh, what is up with that dermatologist?😂

  • I purple u tea
    I purple u tea 10 hours ago

    Thony my dude thank you

  • Blackheart Bev
    Blackheart Bev 13 hours ago

    Glutathione isnt bad for you... body naturally produces that. 🙄

  • xxTerryn Tranxx
    xxTerryn Tranxx 19 hours ago

    I actually got scared

  • Megan Playz Games
    Megan Playz Games 20 hours ago

    Some white people wanna be black and some black people wanna be white. What the....? 😓

  • CiciTV
    CiciTV 23 hours ago +1

    They used murcury in mideval times. Crazy how it's STILL being used despite it being know to KILL people

  • Fernanda Enos
    Fernanda Enos Day ago

    The grass is always greener on the other side ! Pale looking people are going to the solarium to be darker !

  • XiXi Gonzales
    XiXi Gonzales Day ago

    Thank you to the people speaking out, thank you Tony and his group✊🏽!!!!

  • Micaela Butron
    Micaela Butron Day ago

    1:08 no one looks like this. lol. this is black face.

  • Rods Start
    Rods Start Day ago

    This how human live if the person born with dark skin he wants white skin if born with white they want dark , american white people love white skin if they dark ,we re human

  • Quiltpals
    Quiltpals Day ago

    Tony is a hero.

  • Jenn Ferley
    Jenn Ferley Day ago

    7:10 bruh they act like she went to buy good cocaine when it just was a small local shop around the corner

  • sara milena
    sara milena Day ago

    They couldn't send a whiter woman reporter 😒😒😒😒😒, yet a difficult topic that "the lighter the prettier" so stupid......

  • Li Jenny
    Li Jenny Day ago

    Not to be mean, but they're having an ivory-skinned investigator for this video? Her complexion is the very object of their aspirations. That's like when a skinny girl critizes a fat girl for trying to lose weight and and she should 'love herself for who she is'. Like, girl, you don't understand the struggle, you shouldn't be the one to critize that struggle.

  • Li Jenny
    Li Jenny 2 days ago

    Barbie Hsu(the mc from Meteor Garden to y'all 90s Asians out there 😃) has talked about that whitening drip. She used it and so did many other celebs. I always wondered how her skin got so light and fair around the 2010s.

  • Demef
    Demef 2 days ago

    "She's a celebrity dermatologist who has built a skin-lightening empire." All you need to do is look at her mangled face to know that. These celebrities these days all look alike with their puffy lips and weird eyes. By the time they hit their 50s, they'll look like Michael Jackson with their sculpted noses falling off.

  • Mel C
    Mel C 2 days ago

    Just be contented on your own skin because God gave it to us to be beautiful in our own ways.

  • Scarlett Greenhawk
    Scarlett Greenhawk 2 days ago

    *If they really really really want to be whiter, slap some light foundation on. But personally I think they are beautiful! 💕Or they could never go outside.*

  • Linh Gia Nguyen
    Linh Gia Nguyen 3 days ago

    I’m Vietnamese and it’s a very judgmental place…(so judgmental that my old friends think calling each other ugly or fat is OK).
    I have this friend and her skin is pretty tan and she’s a beauty!
    She can dance and I think she’ll be a talented dancer in the future!

  • pokemon 1272
    pokemon 1272 3 days ago

    For me depending on the season my skin is lighter or clearer

  • custom specs
    custom specs 3 days ago +1

    those cream all Chinese, ship to asia countries, china will do anything. japan and korean is good. not the china product. they not care much about a person all they care is making money.

  • svys
    svys 3 days ago


  • xxisa reixx
    xxisa reixx 3 days ago

    me with a white face but a tan body: am i a joke to u

  • Marciano Dequito
    Marciano Dequito 3 days ago +1

    Im a filipino girl just 12 yr old,many people say why do want to have a white fair skin ,why?because filipino being bullied by a society people that they saying your so ugly,your so black yuck, so many of filipino’s spend there money to buy,use,and risk there lives just to be beautiful

  • Shiina
    Shiina 3 days ago

    I'm southeast Asian (Vietnamese) but my skin is lighter compared to most Vietnamese people... it's not tan but not really pale white either... I think it's perfect lol

  • JeremyGarciaO_O
    JeremyGarciaO_O 4 days ago

    But you can say the N word

  • xGARIDx
    xGARIDx 4 days ago +1

    Good skin lightener is horse milk with lemon juice and little bit flour added! works100% tested on my self and its natural. By the way another good method is live in cold place where you need to cover your body all the way to be warm. Couple months and viola white skin guaranteed

    BENAISHA KATRAK 4 days ago +3

    “Treat it from the inside and outside”
    TREAT WHAT EXACTLY??! This is frightening!!

  • Simply Karina
    Simply Karina 4 days ago +5

    Okay but did anyone see the lady in 0:59? 🤣

  • Miao Miao
    Miao Miao 5 days ago

    I think you could use DIY recipe to lighten the skin that is all natural

    • King Pins
      King Pins 3 days ago

      Yes you can, tooth paste can lighten some dark spots so can lemon juice. You don’t get drastic lightening results from that tho.

  • Smruthi Pradeep
    Smruthi Pradeep 5 days ago

    It's very depressing that a woman based her entire career off of people's insecurities... And she isn't even using approved ingredients... Just mind blowing 😒

  • K M
    K M 5 days ago

    it makes me sad to see this as a filipino

  • Sleepin thegarden
    Sleepin thegarden 6 days ago

    The same in the west. People get skin cancer to be tanned and in Asia they risk skin damage to be pale

  • AtinyNctzen Stay
    AtinyNctzen Stay 6 days ago

    Just like queen Elizabeth The first. She used lead and mercury to become more whiter.

  • A MM
    A MM 6 days ago +1

    I don't think withening your skin is a bad thing as long as you don't identify yourself entirely with your appearance. Although there are better things to invest on than beauty products in this world that can improve you truly as a person....
    Filipino inevitably use whitening stuff because they are everywhere, it's very hard actually to find a cream that doesn't say "whitening".... but we shouldn't use them to the point we become obsessed with bleaching our skin? C'mon! Love yourself and give more time to appreciate the world out there instead, rather than focusing on irrilevant things about yourself!

  • wissem brikci
    wissem brikci 6 days ago

    Ohhh human!! Whyyy ???

  • Ent is gay
    Ent is gay 6 days ago

    I'm tan lol

  • Abby Hilde
    Abby Hilde 6 days ago

    I feel like this is a little bit similar (but a lot more serious) how many people in the US want to be tan, and influencers like Kim kardashian, movie stars, set a standard to be tan, but luckily I feel like that’s faded for sure, there’s a lot more acceptance, and it was never too dangerous, other than tanning beds which aren’t super safe. But this seems a lot more of a problem, it’s crazy, and even scary how dangerous that stuff is

  • Andy
    Andy 6 days ago +4

    This isn’t just the Philippines-Mostly all Asian countries are craving to have white skin because having white skin gives you rights, power, money, jobs, etc. it’s not racist, it’s just how Asia works. I was born in Asia and I went to another country to have a new life but when my mum took my brother and I to Asia again, people liked me more than my brother because I was pale and my brother was brown or “blackish”.

  • araceli Gutierrez
    araceli Gutierrez 6 days ago

    Queen elizabeth the first who?

  • House of Army
    House of Army 6 days ago +1

    That papaya soap that insta girl uses is the soap my mom uses and I And we’re Filipino I’m kinda scared

  • Read-to-hell
    Read-to-hell 7 days ago

    Same in India. I am considered fair by everyone, yet it doesn't stop there. When I get tanned during vacations or during summers, my relatives jump on me wanting to know why I couldn't take better care of skin, in other words, why did you get so dark!!! And then there's also when they keep on pointing at my acne and acne scars, like society will always be at your back, even if you are fair, have good skin, have bad skin, have no skin and just a ghost! Still!!

  • Irem Ersan
    Irem Ersan 7 days ago +2

    “My job is to make the Philippines the most beautiful country in the world.” Meanwhile, her face is botched af and she certainly does not look “beautiful.” Personally, I would never take advice or go to a dermatologist to enhance my “beauty” who doesn’t even look good themselves...I mean it’s her job to make people “look good” so why doesn’t she? Because nothing she stands for is correct. Li this is so pathetic. Meanwhile in the USA, being tan is popular, everyone be going to tanning beds. No one skin color is better than another, when will people accept this truth? This is so pathetic and sad):

  • Mallory White
    Mallory White 7 days ago

    Thanks Toney your a true hero man❤ And sadly being a chocolate girl I have heard of skin bleaching. You can get them here in the states too. I'm sure you can get them most places.

  • Lisa Vance
    Lisa Vance 7 days ago

    Filipina lol

  • John Smith
    John Smith 8 days ago

    *Ever wondering why is white people obsessed of doing this kind of video LMAO*
    *Underlining message: everyone wants to be white HAHA LMAO*

  • John Smith
    John Smith 8 days ago

    *This video is sponsored by -- you guessed it: WHITE PEOPLE!*

  • Kim Andrey Nicole Trillo

    This is so trueeee😔

  • universe Jjang
    universe Jjang 8 days ago +1

    In my country, Cambodia is a very hot country so it is almost impossible for you to stay fair yet people look down or make fun of you for having dark or tan skin but If you have fair skin most people would say "you're beautiful but it's chemical."

  • Al A-Las H
    Al A-Las H 8 days ago

    Mercury poisoning aside, if they’re lightening their skin by slowing melanin production... well, I predict a rise in Filipino skin cancer...

  • Chris Le
    Chris Le 8 days ago +5

    0:59 anyone else notice that woman in the background scratching her butt? 🤭😂😂

  • Zenyedia Jackson
    Zenyedia Jackson 9 days ago +1

    This just makes me sick to my stomach. Please people stop bleaching!!!!!

  • E B
    E B 9 days ago +2

    Wow stupid. Pale skin beauty standard came before Spain and US rule and it wasn’t because of them. China, Japan, Korea already had Pale skin as a beauty standard centuries ago for example Geishas in Japan. Fuckin stupid saying western society influenced pale skin in the Philippines.

  • E B
    E B 9 days ago

    Some of this translation isn’t correct.

  • Vera Fang
    Vera Fang 9 days ago +1

    People in places have loads of sunshine please try to appreciate your relatively darker skin tone, it helps prevent sunburn and skin cancer.

    • Archnid 001
      Archnid 001 5 days ago

      They love White Skin and They Hate Black and Brown Skin..