Despite rigorous “Black is Beauty” campaigns, a majority of people still prefer fair or light skin tones over darker ones. In particular, the media has perpetuated the notion that beauty equals a light skin and thus put a lot of undue pressure on celebrities.

In a bid to keep up, some celebrities have spent fortunes trying to achieve a lighter skin tone. The methods of skin lightening vary. Some go under the knife while others opt to use whitening creams, chemical peels or chemical serums. The health-conscious ones have opted for less risky methods such as Vitamin C, Retinol or Arbutin.

Without further ado, here is a list of the celebs that have taken this route.


Beyonce Knowles before and after skin whitening
Beyonce before and after skin whitening

Beyonce Knowles, the music queen herself, is the first on our list of celebrities who bleached their skin. However, hers is not so much bleaching as it is brightening.

Many speculations have pointed to chemical peels or microdermabrasion as the technique used to achieve a slightly brighter skin tone. In fact, if you are not keen enough, her before and after pictures may appear the same. Maybe her hair color transformation could be responsible for this confusion?

Nevertheless, gone are the days when this company would get public scrutiny for apparently digitally altering Queen B’s looks in a TV ad.

Nicki Minaj

Nicky Minaj before and after skin whitening

When the news of Nicki Minaj’s skin enlightening broke, no one was taken by surprise. The rap star has gone from a dark-skinned teenager to a very fair woman over the years.

What actually surprised the world is Nicki’s denial of skin whitening claims directed at her. Usually, she is not one to sit behind the curtains and hide over something she strongly believes in. Well, she has her own reasons for this but really, Nicki?


We vividly remember the Pon De Replay video like it was shot yesterday. Obviously, we recall the killer dance moves first but importantly, the skin color of the girl in the video.

RiRi has definitely been through rather rigorous treatments to achieve her present skin color. She has been rumoured to be using Glutathione whitening pills in the past.

Like Nicki Minaj, the sensational music star hasn’t confirmed this but the evidence is clear.

Lil Kim

Lil Kim before and after skin whitening

Legally known as Kimberly Denise Jones, Lil Kim’s skin lightening rumors populated the internet for the longest time. For many people, it is not clear whether her progressive change in her skin color is indeed a result of bleaching or use of heavy make-up.

The old-time rapper’s present skin tone gives the impression that she is Asian, a complete shift from her initial dark skin. Hopefully, the music icon will soon put all the rumors to rest.

Keri Hilson

Keri Hilson before and after skin whitening

Keri Hilson, the Turning Me On, and Knock You Down star is also among the rumored celebs who bleached their skin. The rumor started when Miss Hilson made a public appearance featuring a fairer skin tone.

As usual, many alluded to make up and lighting as the reasons for the difference but they couldn’t be further from the truth. Granted, the color change is not dramatic and bold but the likelihood of bleaching is definitely high.

Sammy Sosa

We couldn’t possibly forget the king of lightening himself, Sammy Sosa. According to the phenomenal ex-baseball player with a Dominican Republic origin, people criticized him too much when he had a darker skin tone.

The color change made headlines and unlike the aforementioned stars, Sammy took the bull by its horns and addressed them. He pointed to the fact that he had indeed been using a whitening cream for some time to change his skin color.

Sammy Sosa before and after skin whitening

Does bleaching really make one beautiful? Is fair, lighter skin more appealing? We are certainly not skin experts, so we will not attempt to give an answer. Remember what they say though; “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. As long as you are comfortable in your own skin, be the judge of your own body.