Five billion videos are watched on YouTube every day, making it more popular than any television network in existence. So, naturally, when Fraink White, real name Damone Williams, wanted to tell the world about his “natural remedies” for skin lightening, he took to the video sharing website to promote his products.
White, from Las Vegas, became obsessed with skin lightening as a child. As an adult, desperate to cure his hyper-pigmentation, he began to heavily research skin lightening processes. However, when he began to experiment with products, he learned that the practice was heavily stigmatised.
Unashamed about his desire to become paler, White promoted his dramatic transformation via social media, where he was met with mixed reviews…
White, the owner of the self-established Fraink White Skincare, wants to promote skin lightening, the safe way. He is concerned that many people are using dangerous, unregulated products to make their skin paler, due to fear of the taboo which surrounds the practice.
Instead, White wants to encourage those who are determined to lighten their skin to ensure they use products that won’t have any adverse effects, such as skin peeling and burns. Which is why he established his skincare brand and makes YouTube videos.
White has bleached his own skin with hydrogen peroxide. The 28-year-old shares his results online, to influence his followers to make sensible and safe choices with regard to their skincare regime.
Along with hydrogen peroxide, White also recommends kojic acid and papaya soap in his various videos, which have amassed millions of views.
White’s own skincare range includes ingredients such as papaya, licorice root, carrot and tumeric, with products ranging in price from $19.99 to $99.
But, are they safe?
“Vitamin C, kojic acid and malic acid all help with pigmentation and can lighten the skin with minimal side-effects,” dermatologist, Dr Anil Budh-Raja tells The Independent. “All of them are essentially harmless. Some can cause mild sensitivity and dryness of the skin but no other significant side-effects. The only consequences in the long run would be possible blotchy and uneven skin tone if used in too large doses or incorrect treatment treatment time frames. Other than that, the ingredients are safe”
Whilst White is happy with the results, many who view his videos are alarmed by what they see, with one concerned viewer saying: “Frank! You are a very handsome man! Stop damaging your skin! It makes me sad that you are giving into the “what is beauty”? You are a black man and you cannot rewind your DNA. Would you do this if you lived in a all black world?”
Others echo this view, with another viewer writing: “why are you trying to lighten your skin???? your skin is beautiful.”
Meanwhile, others applaud the 28-year-old for his continued efforts to de-stigmatise skin bleaching, with one happy customer writing: “I’m using your products one week now and I’m loving the results.”
However, White doesn’t take any prisoners when it comes to defending his choices. In one explosive Instagram post, he writes:
“I don’t wanna look or be like any other race than black because we come in so many varieties its enough to pick from for the rest of my life without having to sell out and go the route of looking another race to feel beautiful. IM A PROUD BLACK MAN having lighter skin don’t automatically make you attractive… as you can see i Looked good either way”
In another post, he writes: “Treat yourself don’t cheat yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you how to dress or look your appearance is all on you.”
Interested to learn more? This video explains just how he did it: