Note: we are republishing this story which originally made the news in November 2023.

Recent photos of mega-star Beyoncé have ignited speculation on social media, with fans suggesting that her skin appears lighter than usual. The 42-year-old artist made a striking appearance on the red carpet for the US premiere of “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” last weekend, sporting platinum-blond locks and a silver gown.

Social media users were quick to comment on Beyoncé’s skin tone, questioning whether she has undergone skin-lightening treatments. Tweets such as “Did she bleach her skin? She is not this light,” and “Who is this white woman?” surfaced on Twitter, indicating the online debate surrounding the artist’s appearance.

The cause of Beyoncé’s seemingly lighter skin remains unclear, with possibilities ranging from photo editing to the use of lightening products. However, health experts have voiced serious concerns about the potential influence of celebrities on such treatments.

A dermatologist in New Mexico highlighted the risks associated with skin lightening, emphasizing that meddling with natural skin pigmentation can lead to health consequences, including skin inflammation, discoloration, and even organ failure.

Skin bleaching, a process involving the use of creams and lotions to reduce melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, aims to minimize dark spots, acne scars, and achieve an even skin tone. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deemed over-the-counter skin-bleaching products unsafe in 2006 due to ingredients like hydroquinone, linked to skin discoloration and facial swelling.

Health experts also warned against mercury-laced lightening products, citing potential risks such as organ damage, infections, coma, and even death. The lack of regulation in over-the-counter treatments raises concerns about consumers unknowingly using harmful ingredients.

A Minnesota mom’s case from last year, where she went partially blind due to mercury-containing skin-lightening creams, underscored the dangers associated with such products. The levels of mercury in certain creams were found to be 18,000 times higher than the safe amount.

Mercury poisoning symptoms include poor peripheral vision, pins and needles sensations, lack of coordination, poor speech or hearing, and muscle weakness. Skin bleaching has also been linked to dermatitis, causing skin redness, blisters, ulcers, hives, dryness, swelling, itching, and burning.

This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has faced claims of ‘white-washing.’ In 2021, an ad campaign featuring Beyoncé and Jay-Z was accused of lightening her skin tone, raising concerns among fans. Similar controversies emerged in 2008 and 2012, suggesting a recurring debate over the artist’s skin tone.

Health experts advise seeking safe treatments from healthcare professionals for skin-related concerns, distinguishing them from potentially harmful practices like lightening treatments. A representative for Beyoncé has been approached for comment, adding further intrigue to the ongoing discussion.

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