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8 Local Cosmetic Products Have Been Banned Because They Contain Poison

These products tested positive for mercury, hydroquinone, and tretinoin.

Cover image via FILLANIE/Lelong

The Ministry of Health has banned eight local cosmetic products because they tested positive for poisonous chemicals

Two of the products that have been disallowed for sale by the health ministry.

Image via Almasyuk/Lelong

In a report by Bernama yesterday, 23 March, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that mercury, hydroquinone, and tretinoin have been detected in the products.

Here's the list of some of the cosmetic products:

- Moleek Day Cream
- Adel Miracle Flawless Serum
- Ah Beauty Night Cream (contains mercury)
- Ndz UV Whitening (contains hydroquinone)
- Snow Cream Normal
- Snow Cream Sensitive
- Dnars Nar Cream – Sensitive
- Ellfie Night Cream (contains hydroquinone and tretinoin)

How dangerous are these chemicals?

Elfie Night Cream contains hydroquinone and tretinoin.

Image via FILLANIE

Hydroquinone is a skin-bleaching agent that is typically used to lighten darkened skin such as chloasma, age spots, acne scars, and freckles. While it prevents melanin production to aid in the skin lightening process, long term use of products containing hydroquinone has the potential to damage pigment cells.

Also, studies have shown that long term use of hydroquinone can cause your skin to turn a bluish and black hue which is caused by exogenous ochronosis. Side effects include severe burning, itching, or crusting.

Tretinoin is usually used to treat acne and some of the common side effects are stinging skin, peeling, redness, and unusual dryness and sensitivity to skin. It can be harmful to the baby if used by pregnant mothers.

Mercury can be commonly found in skin lightening products and also cosmetics like eye makeup cleansing products and mascara. The World Health Organisation said that the main adverse effect of the prolonged use of lightening products that contain mercury is kidney damage. Other known side effects are rashes, skin discolouration, scarring, and a reduction in the skin's resistance to bacterial and fungal infections.

"Notification of the products involved has been revoked by the health ministry’s pharmaceutical services senior director following the detection of scheduled poisons in them."

According to Dr Noor Hisham, cosmetic products that contain hydroquinone and tretinoin must to registered with the Drug Control Authority and can only be used with advice from health professionals.

It was also reported that the sale and distribution of these products are in violation of the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam also warned beauty centers from providing botox injection services as it can only be administered by medical professionals

"The Botox injection breaches regulations because any type of treatment in terms of medicine can only be provided at centres registered with the health ministry," he said, explaining that beauty salons are only allowed to carry out treatments on the outer skin and body.

With the amount of chemicals in most skincare products now, this might be a good time to start using these mostly organic, handmade soaps:

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