Cosmetics crackdown: Malaysian authorities bans 12 skin care products over safety concerns

Malaysian authorities bans 12 skin care products over safety concerns. ©GettyImages

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Department (NPRA) has banned 12 skin care items as they were found to contain scheduled poisons.

The authorities have alerted retailers and consumers to refrain from selling and buying 12 skin care products including: 3rd Series Yanko Whitening Cream Night Cream, Clair De Lune – P.Tuberose Day Cream, Dnars Nien Cream, Glow Glowing N Glow, VSL Beauty Care and Dolly Glow Miracle Treatment Cream.

According to a press statement sent from the desk of director-general of health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Bin Abdullah, notifications of the 12 items were promptly cancelled following the detection of the potentially harmful ingredients.

Notifications were held by six companies: Rohban Trade Sdn Bhd, Qalbu Ocean Enterprise, Qemrich Sdn Bhd, Nh Biz Resources, Lurveya Sdn Bhd and Laurustinus Sdn Bhd.

Schedule poisons detected

The 12 products were found to contain substances including tretinoin, chloramphenicol, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, ketoconazole, chlorpheniramine, griseofulvin, metronidazole, hydroquinone and mercury.

Some, such as hydroquinone and tretinoin, were classified as drugs and required registration with Drug Control Authority (DCA) and can only be used under the advice of healthcare professionals.

Half of the products identified contained tretinoin, which can cause redness, stinging, peeling and sensitivity to sunlight.

Among the 12 items, five products distributed by Rohban Trade Sdn Bhd, Qalbu Ocean Enterprise, Qemrich Sdn Bhd, and Nh Biz Resources contained hydroquinone.

The unsupervised usage of hydroquinone could cause skin redness, discomfort and can inhibit the pigmentation process.

“[This] reduces the skin’s ability to be protected from harmful UV rays and increasing the risk of skin cancer,”​ stated Datuk Noor Hisham.

Datuk Noor Hisham also reiterated the dangers of mercury, a highly toxic heavy metal used as a skin lightening agent and preservative.

“Mercury is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its hazardous effects on human health. It is readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tends to accumulate in the body,” ​said Datuk Noor Hisham.

Exposure to high levels of mercury can result in damages to the brain and kidneys and can be extremely toxic to unborn children.

Sellers warned to stop distribution immediately

Retailers and distributors were warned to stop the sales and distribution of the 12 products immediately.

“All sellers are reminded that selling or distributing these cosmetic products is an offence under the Control Of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984,”​ said Datuk Noor Hisham.

Under this act, first time individual offenders can face fines of not more than RM25,000 ($6,000), a conviction of not more than three years, or both.

Subsequent offenders could be slapped with up to RM50,000 ($12,000) worth in fines, face no more than five years in prison, or both.

A company found guilty of violating this law can be fined up to RM50,000 ($12,000)  for the first offence and a maximum of RM100,000 ($24,000) for subsequent offences.

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