PUTRAJAYA - The Health Ministry has ordered an immediate halt to the sale of two cosmetic products manufactured in Ireland that have been found to contain scheduled poisons.
The Dermaceutic Spot Cream and Dermaceutic Spot Peel Cream are no longer allowed for sale in Malaysia after tests found them to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin, which are prohibited in cosmetic products.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said unsupervised use of preparations containing hydroquinone and/or tretinoin may cause unwanted side effects.
"Products containing hydroquinone and/or tretinoin are classified as pharmaceutical products that require registration with the Drug Control Authority and can only be used under the advice of a healthcare professional.
"Anyone in possession of this product is advised to immediately cease selling, distributing and using it," Dr Noor Hisham said.
He said companies responsible for placing the products in the market had been instructed to remove all physical stocks from the shelves within 72 hours.
Cosmetic products containing hydroquinone are typically promoted as skin tone lighteners and to treat blemishes and uneven skin tones.
Hydroquinone can cause redness, discomfort, skin discolouration, hypersensitivity and a gradual blue-black darkening of the skin, said Dr Noor Hisham.
Products containing tretinoin are commonly promoted to remove acne and reduce wrinkles but unsupervised usage can cause redness to the skin, discomfort, stinging, peeling and sensitivity to sunlight, he added.
"Sellers are reminded that possession of these products is an offence under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984."
Consumers are advised to contact the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau at 03-7883 5532/ 5533/ 5537 if they experience any allergic reaction or adverse effects from use of these cosmetic products.