Skin whiteners are still in demand, despite health concerns

Japan accounts for about 21% of skin-lightening product sales in Asia.

Story highlights

  • Globally, the demand for whiteners continues to climb, especially in Asia, the Middle East and Africa
  • The Asia-Pacific market is the most lucrative region, making up more than half of the global market

(CNN)The ridicule started at age 6.

Classmates would bully Fatima Lodhi, taunting her and other darker students with derogatory names.
It got worse as she got older. In high school, she was nominated for the "Makeover Required" category in her high school in Islamabad, Pakistan. And in graduate school, fellow students would yell "let's paint her white" whenever she crossed their paths.