by Dr. Hanan Taha, M.D.
Clean and Dry Intimate Wash by Midas Care
I had come across this advertisement several weeks ago. I tried to let it go but it really riled me up. As a result, this post is part rant, part science, so bear with me!
Sometime in April an ad came out in India promoting a (Midas Care) product called (Clean and Dry Intimate Wash). You can watch the ad here:
click on the picture to watch the ad
Well now! It really shouldn’t surprise me that to this day such an ad can be thought of and executed, but it does, and it angers me! From India to Egypt to the USA, no matter how much women have achieved, and we’ve achieved a lot: we’ve become doctors, writers, actresses, we’ve gone to space, we’ve won Nobel prizes
, thank you very much!
Gina Gaynor had it right!
But STILL, to this day, you will find people that have the kind of mentality that will execute such an advertisement. It is one thing for a women to feel bothered by a certain skin condition and want to have it fixed, but it’s a completely different thing when that skin condition is used as an excuse to make her feel any less beautiful, or treat her as if all her life achievements are moot because of that skin condition! You don’t see similar products for men do you?! No, you don’t. Well, if they get to be OK with their skin, then so do we! And if a woman DOES decide she wants to change anything about her appearance, it should be because she feels like it, not because her relationship depends on it as this ad suggests! I say, tell him to walk out that door cuz he’s not welcome anymore! And you will most certainly, without an ounce of doubt, survive!
We might as well be in 1875, when this ad first came out
According to many articles that were written in response to this ad, and I tend to agree, this is just another in a long line of campaigns geared towards skin lightening. When will this obsession with whiter and fairer end? There is a long history behind it, of course, but isn’t it time we advance our minds in that regard? It amazes me that with all the knowledge and science we have today, we still find people thinking in terms of color. The ad even used a very "light" colored couple. Not really representing the wider demographic in India. This is not a campaign meant for women to relate to, it is a campaign meant to make women feel less desirable because of their skin color and reinforce that "whiter is cleaner".
Now, I was hoping after letting off steam to look up the list of ingredients in (Clean and Dry Intimate Wash) to see if it even lives up to its promise, but that list is impossible to find online, which makes me quite wary of this product. If anyone is able to get their hands on it, we’d love a list of ingredients or simply a picture of the back of the package where the list is! That way we can always add an update to this post with a breakdown of the ingredients later on. However, at this point, I think it would be safe to say that in terms of achieving any kind of fairness, this product will most likely not deliver.
Now, the interesting part is, Midas care did contact media
to state that the product is intended to clean rather than lighten. Of course, saying that in one or two articles that will be read by a very limited number of people, after securing the market for fairness seekers with an ad that was aired in prime time TV for millions to view, is very clever of Midas Care.
In any case, I would advice caution when using ANY product that promises fairness in the genital area. The skin in this area is sensitive, and added to that, the friction and closeness of thighs to each other causes more absorption of products which makes these products more likely to be irritating. Dark skin can be a result of friction, infection or insulin resistance seen in obesity. It is best to visit your dermatologist for proper diagnosis and management.
Update Oct 14, 2012: Thank you Suhan, one of our readers, for providing a list of ingredients:
Aqua, sodium lauryl ether sulphate, coco amidopropyl betaine, glycerin, fragrance, triethanolamine, aloe vera gel, carbopol, niacinamide,menthol,EDTA,methylchloroisothiazolinone, methyl isothiozolinone.
From the looks of things, these ingredients are commonly found in many intimate washes, though I would be wary of a few that might not be a good idea to use in sensitive areas, especially the last 2 ingredients, as well as cocoamidopropyl betaine, which was named Allergen of the Year in 2004. As for the whitening claims, niacinamide seems to be the only ingredient that would work towards that goal, but as its position in the list suggests its concentration might not be high enough, I have my doubts that any whitening can be achieved. The menthol and fragrance might provide that "freshness" feel.
I would love to hear the thoughts of those who have tried this product out.
Thanks for reading! Remember, stop by my blog (elbashra.com) or tell your friends if interested in reading about skin care in Arabic!
Sources (they make for a good read too!)
YA. Blay. Skin Bleaching and Global White Supremacy: By Way of Introduction. The Journal of Pan African Studies
2011; 4 (4): 4-46.
R. Parameswaran, K. Cardoza. Melanin on the Margins: Advertising and the Cultural Politics of Fair/Light/White Beauty in India. Journalism and Communication Monographs
2009; 11: 213-74.
About The Author: FutureDerm is pleased to welcome dermatologist Dr. Hanan Taha, M.D. to our staff as a Contributing Writer. For a complete bio please visit our About page.