Hold the bleach.

It turns out that my naive Coloradan belief that the closer you get to water, the more humid the air, is incorrect. Long story short, Beijing is actually dry and so is my skin. I went to the grocery store to try to find some lotion and it turned out to actually be a mini ordeal. Let me explain – apparently wearing long sleeves and pants to the beach on an 80° day is not the only way Chinese women keep their skin white. I encountered this a little at Qingdao when we went to a pearl store and they tried to sell me pearl powder I could rub on myself to make my skin lighter. Probably safe, but as I tried to explain to them, for my pale Caucasian self, unnecessary. Well, it turns out that they go one step further than pearl powder and fear of the sun. I found out that some lotions, I kid you not, have skin whitening bleach in them. The problem here is that I do not know the characters/words for “lotion”, “skin”, or “bleach”. Therefore, I had to avoid all lotions that had the word white anywhere on them. Sounds safe, no? Problem two: “white” is a very common character on beauty products, as to be white/pale is to be beautiful. It was impossible for us to distinguish if the lotions were safe or not, as I only found a couple that didn’t say white (not that that meant they were bleach free, but as I had no other way to guess, that’s what I was hoping) and those were of course the most expensive. I still have no idea if there were any with bleach or if they all just said white because it sounds good, but I didn’t really want to take that chance. To me, bleach is for serious cleaning, not for skin care. I, being my creative problem solving self, instead journeyed to the baby isle and found some baby lotion there instead. Because they wouldn’t bleach their babies… right?

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2 Responses to “Hold the bleach.”

  1. I had read about that, it will be interesting to hear the long term effects/ Does not sound safe, good job thinking to go to the baby isle!

  2. I never would have thought of that Jen, good job! I hope they don’t bleach their babies!!!! OMG!

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