The Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday cautioned the public against adulterated cosmetics, following the discovery of two products tainted with undeclared substances.
SWL Toner Lotion A, distributed by SWL based in Kuala Lumpur, and a non-branded treatment cream were revealed to be adulterated with hydroquinone and tretinoin when tested at the laboratory of the Drug Quality Control Section, Department of Pharmaceutical Services.
The products were found through post-marketing surveillance activities conducted by the Pharmacy Enforcement Section at retail outlets.
In its statement, MoH said the adulterants can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous. The unsupervised use of hydroquinone may cause hypersensitivity, skin discolouration resulting in gradual darkening of the affected area and increased risk of skin cancer.
Meanwhile, the inappropriate use of tretinoin can result in redness, peeling and scarring of the skin.
Tretinoin is a potent ingredient used in Western prescription medicine to treat skin conditions. However, it is prohibited in skincare cosmetics under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations in Brunei.
Following these findings, both products are not allowed to be imported and sold in the country. MoH reiterated it has not issued any letter for sales and approval for imports.
People who have purchased or used SWL Toner Lotion A and the unnamed treatment cream are advised to stop using them immediately. They should also consult a medical practitioner if they feel unwell or experience any undesirable reactions as a result of using either product.
The public were reminded it is an offence to import and market cosmetics in the local market without a Cosmetic Product Notification Acknowledgement Letter issued by the authorities.
Under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, anyone found guilty of contravening these regulations can be punished upon conviction with a maximum fine of BND$5,000 (S$5009.02) and imprisonment for up to two years.
MoH also called on the public to co-operate by reporting to the Pharmacy Enforcement Section if they come across any banned products in Brunei.
The public may contact the Pharmacy Enforcement Section at 2393298 extension 208, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit First Floor, Department of Pharmaceutical Services Building, Kg Madaras, Mukim Gadong A. - Rabiatul Kamit