Excessive heavy metal content found in cosmetics from Etude House and Aritaum in Korea

PHOTO: Amorepacific

[Update, March 22]: A spokesperson for Etude House Singapore told AsiaOne that the affected products are no longer being sold in stores here.

Said the spokesperson: "Only a portion of the product for (the affected batch of) AC Clean UP Mild Concealer were distributed to Singapore, and had been immediately recalled upon notice."

The other product - Drawing Eyebrow Duo No.3 under GLG/2020.12.17 - was not imported for sale here.

In an official statement released on its website on Wednesday evening (March 21), it said customers who have purchased the product included in the recall list "can return them for a full refund or an exchange for another product at the official Etude House store in Singapore".

Official statement on the recall posted on Etude House Singapore's website.Photo: Screengrab from etudehouse.com/sg

According to a statement from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), cosmetic products supplied locally in Singapore are not allowed to contain antimony. It has also not received any reports of adverse reactions associated with the use of the affected product.

Said the HSA: "Antimony is an element present naturally in the environment. It does not accumulate in the body and exerts its toxic effects only after large doses are consumed. As these products are applied on the skin, in general, there should be no significant adverse effects. To-date, HSA has not received any adverse reaction reports associated with the use of this product. "

South Korean cosmetics company Amorepacific apologized Tuesday after several of its cosmetics products were found to contain metal traces above the permissible level. 

According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, six products, including skin concealers and eyebrow pencils from Aritaum and Etude House, cosmetics brands under Amorepacific, contained antimony exceeding the permissible level of 10 micrograms per gram.

“We apologize for the incident, we should have put all our focus on quality assurance. We will do our best to prevent similar cases from happening again,” said Amorepacific in a statement.

On Monday, the ministry banned sales of 13 cosmetics products sold at eight companies including Amorepacific, and ordered a recall. 

The company said customers who have products on the recall list can visit Aritaum or Etude House stores to get the products exchanged or refunded.

According to posts on Imgur and Reddit, the recalled Etude House products are its AC Clean Up Mild Concealer (production number/expiration date): AAH/2021.01.08, and Drawing Eyebrow Duo Color 3: Gray Brown (production number/expiration date): GLG/2020.12.17.