I don't know if you've noticed but this Lagos sun is not for the faint at heart.
The minute I got off the plane on Wednesday I was hit hard in the face by something so thick, dense and moist, unmistakably Lagos heat. And the minute I stepped outside Arrivals I was not greeted by my Uber as expected, but the fabled Lagos sun. I've lived here all my life and I was only away for a short while, but I swear I cannot remember Lagos ever being this hot.
I make no excuses, but this current temperature is probably what set me off on my journey earlier today. As a matter of fact I'd planned to visit the April by Kunbi store in Lekki phase 1 where Gbemisoke shoes were being sold this afternoon. I'd been seeing the Ads on Instagram and the shoes are really affordable. I'd already decided to get two pairs of flats and two pairs of pumps. I'd even chosen the colours of the flats in my head; black and green. And the pumps; red and nude.
However as the morning turned to noon and the beads of sweat on my chest grew in size and number, I made a swift decision. I'm already blessed with a lot of melanin and while 'black is beautiful', I do not want to be darker than my current complexion, thank you. In fact, it might not hurt to be a bit...er....lighter...
So goodbye Gbemisoke shoes. Hello bleaching cream!
Grabbing my sister's car keys I hit the road with one destination in mind; Ebeano!
Guys, I have never spent so time on one aisle in a supermarket. I exaggerate not when I tell you that I was there for well over an hour. There are way too many skin lightening products in the market. I perused the soap shelves and noticed that most of them boasted to have either Carrot, or Papaya or Gluthathione. The ones that didn't claimed to have come from the deepest part of some ocean and have some magical lightening properties. Even the black herbal soaps now come with "whitening" or "lightening" tags.
I was immensely confused.
You see, I know next to nothing about bleaching or toning or lightening. I made a weak attempt once which I told y'all about, but I used the products for three days or less and then threw them all away.
I eventually settled for Fair & White serum and other Fair & White products. I hear the serum is good for lightening.
When I got to the counter i couldn't help but peek into the other lady's basket. She also spent a lot of time on the skin lightening aisle but unlike me, she's veeeery light skinned and although naturally light skinned, she seems to be very knowledgeable about this business (Even the fair want to get fairer).
She had a curious looking soap and I asked "What's that?"
"Oh, just some soap I use" she said.
"Does it... errr... lighten you" I asked shyly.
"Kinda" came her casual response.
"I saw it, I wanted to buy it but I didn't know if I should. All those products are really confusing" I admitted bashfully. It was then she looked into my basket and saw all the F&W products.
"You want something to lighten your skin?" She asked and I nodded.
"Come with me" she said authoritatively, "First all of return all those things" she looked into my basket as though I was carrying worms.
"What exact cream do you use now?" She asked, I shook my head; anyone.
"What about soap?"
"Hmm, nne I use any soap I see" I said and she looked at me like I just told her I drink my urine for breakfast.
"Ok..." She said patiently, "Do you exfoliate?" She asked. I desperately wanted to redeem myself but I didn't want to lie so I told the truth "No".
Her eyes widened in shock. "You don't? And you don't rub cream?". I knew she wasn't referring to my Jergens or Vaseline so I said "No".
"Haaa, my sister no be so o! That's not the way to go" she said with a mixture of amusement and pity.
Well long story short, she picked out a few things for me and these are the ones I'm using tonight. If I'd use them after tonight is another question entirely.
In any case I know that if I cant keep this up there are people willing to collect them from me (someone has already asked. LOL) so I'll gladly give them out and my money wouldn't entirely be wasted. Just don't tell my mum I bought bleaching products! She's not dark skinned but when I say I want to be like her she'll say "Don't try it, you have a beautiful complexion!" Yet in the same breath she would call me "Blackie shadow!"
So that's it guys.
PS; the fact that I'm willing to post this on the blog shows that I'm not really ready for this bleaching business.
PPS; I'm still going to buy my Gbemisoke shoes. #supportingasistersbusiness #buynigerian #wearnigerian #gbemisokeshoes. (Just in case you haven't already heard about it check out her instagram page @gbemio-o. If you've got big feet like me then you're in luck!)
Be honest ladies (and gentlemen?) have you ever tried to lighten your skin complexion? Care to share secrets with me?