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February - March 2007


Sujata Jolly at Al-Jazeera

by Sujata Jolly

Veteran healthcare and skincare specialist, Sujata Jolly, has become the latest personality to be approached by Al-Jazeera to join its panel of experts. Sujata already has strong ties with the media having been approached to appear on numerous programmes to impart her expertise on various issues. In the past she has spoken about healthcare issues on both BBC television and radio as well as ITV, Channel 4 and a number of satellite channels including Zee where she has been a regular contributor on healthcare and skincare issues within the Asian community.

Al-Jazeera International approached Sujata Jolly to appear on their new ‘Every Woman’ magazine programme to pass on her knowledge about healthcare and skin problems. Sujata has been in the healthcare industry for almost 30 years and known to many of you as a regular contributor to India Link’s Health pages. She is a well-known research scientist who specialises in skin problems, wound care and pain management. She has researched and developed many treatments by challenging the conventional theories, which have been of enormous benefit to patients for whom the conventional treatments failed.

Al-Jazeera has come a long way since it was launched in Nov 1996. In July 2004 al-Jazeera International (AJI) announced plans to launch a new English satellite service in an attempt to provide news about the Arab world. In London al-Jazeera International is based in Knightsbridge and has already attracted high profile personnel from the broadcasting world.

Sujata does not hesitate to speak out on various health issues, which may be detrimental to the health and safety of the community. One such topic which she has been involved for many years is the subject of skin bleaching. Sujata has campaigned for over 20 yrs to have harmful ingredients banned. Her campaign finally succeeded in 2001 when use of the most common chemical hydroquinone in the skin bleaching creams was banned from use in the over the counter products with in the EU. Recently FDA have also banned the use of hydroquinone in the over the counter products.

‘Every Woman’ programme will be looking at various issues that affect a woman. Two programmes in which Sujata has participated have already been recorded for international transmission on the issues that matter to women. The discussion took place via satellite link with Sujata in their London Studio while the presenter, Shenaz, was in Doha. This was the first time al-Jazeera used their new studios in London’s Knightsbridge. For the technologically minded of you, the filming took place using High Definition technology.

Speaking about talking through a live satellite link, Sujata says “Although I have participated in many television programmes, it was initially unnerving to try talking to someone with time delay of a few seconds. Fortunately, as with telecommunications of old, this passed and I felt very excited and privileged to be asked to appear on this exciting new channel to put my views forward to women internationally. The first programme examines the reasons women use skin bleaching creams and where I highlight the risks women are taking using such creams. I also argue that it does not make sense that now both the EU and FDA have seen fit to ban use of hydroquinone in over the counter products but have placed no restrictions on doctors prescribing products with percentages as high as 4-6% hydroquinone.”

The other part of the discussion was the influx of the second generation skin bleaching ingredients. Sujata has already been bringing to the notice the use of Kojic Acid, a second-generation bleaching agent.

Sujata explained the new concerns with ingredients such as Kojic Acid. “Hydroquinone in developed countries was recently replaced by a new wonder ingredient Kojic Acid discovered by Japanese scientists. The honeymoon did not last very long. Animal testing has shown that Kojic Acid can cause embryo toxicity, systemic toxicity in the liver and kidneys, and cancer of the liver. As a result Kojic Acid has already been banned as a cosmetic ingredient in Japan in 2003, soon followed by Korea and Switzerland, because of the potential mutagenicity concerns.”

Voicing her concerns to me, Sujata stressed that, “With its ban in Switzerland and Japan, both leaders in the cosmetics industry, in my opinion, it is only a matter of time before the use of Kojic Acid and its derivatives as cosmetic ingredients are scrutinised by the EU. Already many manufacturers have moved to using Kojic Dipalmitate however there is no proof of its efficacy in skin lightening – it is merely a good anti-oxidant.”

I am sure you will agree that Sujata is providing an excellent service in educating the Asian community on health and skincare issues that impact them directly.

If you would like to find out more about what Sujata is doing, log onto

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