Aaliyah Kouman brags about her daily skin care regimen, one the 29-year-old has followed since she was a teenager.
“Every night I use a bedtime oil called Body White,” she explained, proud of her pallid skin tone. “And in the mornings I mix cocoa butter with a whitening lotion.
“If the products ever begin to bother my skin, then I’ll stop,” she added. “If not, then I’ll continue to use them every day.”
Ms. Kouman isn’t alone. In fact, she’s part of a large and growing population of “tchatchos,” an untranslatable Ivory Coast term for people who bleach their skin using products with names like Fair and White, Glow and Nature White despite a ban on them passed by the Ivorian government earlier this year.