Some of our young ladies would argue to the end of the Earth that bleaching and toning is not one and the same thing. For the men among us, potaro, potara, all is POTATO!

As for me, I see absolutely nothing wrong with scrapping off that initial dirty layer of skin sometimes caused by hardship or all those millions of hours spent trekking from one part of the nation to the other.

Yes I know this is the part where I get all the condemnation and backlash available 😛 You all know I give a non-conforming opinion so take your time and hear me out.

First of all, let me just say that I am in no way speaking of our young girls that go from charcoal to transparent in complexion. I am speaking of those girls of nowadays that are so white that their nickname is “Snow White”. That is outright bleaching probably using JIK or any other whitening chemical and I am definitely not in support of that.



I am simply speaking of “Toning” and how it vastly differs from bleaching and also how it has been completely misconstrued to be bleaching when it is in fact totally different.

Let me put it to you this way.

When your finger nails grow, you cut them. When the sole of your feet gets scaly, you get a pedicure. When you feel dirty, you take a bath. Yet you condemn those who have a dirty looking skin layer for scrubbing off that top dirty layer of skin so as to reveal their actual and fresher skin complexion?

Speaking of “skin complexion”, why do we think that the complexion of the torso is always lighter than that of the rest of the body (especially the limbs)? Basically, the limbs are usually the darkest part of one’s skin, followed by the other parts of the body and then the torso is the lightest.

Why do we think that is so?

The obvious answer is the torso is the part of the body that doesn’t come in contact with sunlight whereas the limbs (especially the upper limbs) are darker because they are in more contact with sunlight. That’s when you start noticing Coke and Fanta complexion.

Like I asked earlier, what is wrong with evening out your complexion so you’re no longer multicolored?

For young women today while growing up, most of them did not bother to take care of their skin. They didn’t bother with sunscreen and the lot to protect their skin from damaging sunrays. Or maybe they couldn’t afford it back then.

Now that they are older, they obviously know better. So they start using sun block and it works its magic. As a result, the sun no longer penetrates their skin and they start radiating which is about when our Nigerian brothers and sisters start wagging their tongues about not being contented with the way God created you bla bla bla.

There’s one thing I’ve learned in life which is that you definitely cannot please everyone and no matter what you do, there would always be that one person out there who has a problem or doesn’t agree with whatever it is you are doing. So as long as it makes you comfortable and it’s what you really want to do, go for it and do not look back.

Let me use Beyonce as an example here.

You cannot compare Beyonce ten or fifteen years ago when she started her career and Beyonce now. She definitely didn’t look as fresh as she did now back then. Her skin is smoother now and a lot brighter.

As we all know, she has always been light skinned so we know she didn’t bleach her skin (Bleaching would be Kelly Rowland turning light skinned all of a sudden). Rather, she just took off that darker and dirtier layer caused by the sun or whatever caused it and now her skin is glowing.



Even our very own Mercy Johnson had her own share of toning. We all heard the rumor of how she went to Germany to bleach her skin. FYI: she never bleached, she TONED!

We must all remember Mercy Johnson when she started acting and how dark and particularly dirty she looked in movies. Her complexion was very dark, dull and quite frankly, ugly!

So after she made a few bucks in the movie industry, she did what any smart lady would do. She took off that top layer that made her complexion appear dirty.



Yes her complexion brightened a little but let’s be honest guys, doesn’t she look A LOT better now? Her complexion doesn’t appear dirty anymore and she certainly looks more appealing.

Once again guys, I DO NOT see anything wrong with a girl trying to look more appealing by taking off the top, darker and dirty layer of skin so as to have a more even skin tone as opposed to having two different complexions.

So quit the condemnation of toning and its comparison to bleaching. It is and will never be one and the same thing. Bleaching is out of the question and utterly WRONG. I will never fathom why anyone would feel the need to completely transform their complexion from black to white.

But toning on the other hand is something I feel any young lady with a dirty looking skin layer or multiple complexion needs to do. Some do it in form of Skin Rejuvenation, Moroccan bath but whatever the case may be, as a lady, you ought to take good care of your skin as you do to sensitive parts of your body.

And most importantly, your Sunscreen SPF-30 should be your best friend!

Take it with you everywhere you go and apply evenly on parts of your body exposed to the sun. This would prevent your skin from the vicious rays of the sun and also leave you looking flawless and radiant as you should.

Let the condemnation begin! What’s your take guys?

Feel free to comment and share your opinion and suggestions.

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Categories: POSTS, SOCIETY

12 replies »

  1. Bleaching is completely different from toning. Like d idea of toning too,its a sign dat portrays cleanliness, and shows dat one really makes use of his/her mirror.


    • Thank Ewoma for this comment. Nigerians are very good at generalising. So they confuse toning for bleaching. Micheal Jackson bleached and not toned. You can’t confuse both. I hope they figure out the difference!

      Btw lol @ the mirror comment. I hope they really do make use of their mirror.


  2. Although I agree that bleaching and toning are two separate things, and have no objection with skin ‘toning as opposed to bleaching. Your description of Mercy’s original skin tone as ‘dirty’ and ‘ugly’ are a bit insulting. What is it with Nigerian people and defaming dark skin tones? If she hadn’t toned she wouldn’t be described as ‘more appealing’?


    • Thank you Madam Ye for your comments. Just in case you don’t realise, Mercy Johnson is still”dark skinned”. Although she toned, it didn’t make her light skinned. Only bleaching could have done that.

      The truth is that you can still be dark skinned and look fresh which is how Mercy looks now. Before now, her skin was scaly looking and dull. And now, even though she’s still dark skinned, her complexion radiates.

      That my dear is what I mean by dirty and not filthy like you may have understood.


  3. Thanks for this very educative piece. The myopic thinking of most of our people is the reason we’re backward. Other races take very good care of their skins, look great and are proud of it. Most of our people instead of taking care of themselves prefer to look like horrors and hate those who do. Once a fair person takes care of themselves they cry bleaching and almost lynch the person.


    • Lol Bibi @loooking like horrors. I totally agree with you. We’re so ignorant and worst of all, we reject the truth especially when it doesn’t conform to what might be known as the”norm” here in Nigeria.

      I hope they learn someday.


  4. I don’t think I agree with you associating dark or darker skin to being dirty though. Eating a well balanced diet and drinking loads of water can actually change ones skin from dull looking to radiating. You don’t necessarily have to tone. In Mercy’s case, I have no idea what might have happened but it might have just been a change in diet or photo effects. We really don’t know. These are all media speculations.


    • Agreed that water and good diet can cause good skin but I guess people choose to take the high road with creams and all.

      The point I was making with Mercy is toning is not only for light skinned people neither does it mean you are bleaching.

      Mercy is a good example that dark skinned people can tone and still remain dark. All the toning does is take out the first layer of skin that has been damaged by sun rays thereby revealing a more succulent, radiating and appealing skin tone which I really don’t think is a bad idea unlike bleaching which gives you a different skin colour entirely from dark to light.

      But if you are able to stick to a diet till your skin radiates then more grease to your elbow. Usually, people take the high road which is not really advisable because the natural way is always the best way but then again, to each his own.


  5. Bleaching and toning are the same thing.

    And I’ve learned something important – to stop visiting this blog. It’s a waste of time.


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