Many cases of dermatologic complication were reported with the use of skin lightening products. This study assessed the skin lightening practice and health symptoms among female students. Self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 104 female students (56 undergraduates and 48 postgraduates) aged 24 ± 2 years in Universiti Putra Malaysia. A total of 60.6% (N = 63) of the female students used skin lightening products (61.9% of undergraduates and 38.1% of postgraduates). Reasonable price (N = 35, 55.6%) and ingredients (N = 29, 46%) were considered the most important factors in the product selection. Most respondents purchased the product from drugstores (N = 39, 61.9%). Twenty-two respondents (34.9%) in this study experienced skin problem from the products they used. Skin peeling (N = 13, 12.5%) and acne (N = 9, 8.7%) were the most frequent symptoms experienced. Most of the respondents have the perception that lighter skin provides high self-esteem (N = 56, 53.8%) and looks beautiful and healthier (N = 54, 51.9%). The use of skin lightening products is common among female students in this study and some of these products can cause skin problems such as skin peeling, acne, and itching.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.