HSA issues warning over high mercury levels and potent chemicals in whitening cream

SINGAPORE - The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has warned members of the public not to use the 'Meiyong Super Whitening Extra Whitening & Face Lift Advanced Super Revitalizer (Cream) Whitening Formula And Face Lift', after it was found to contain high levels of mercury and undeclared western medicinal ingredients considered to be 'potent'.

According to a statement by the HSA, prolonged use of the products, which claims to contain natural ingredients such as seaweed, may lead to serious adverse reactions.

Mercury is prohibited for use as an ingredient in cosmetic products and may cause rashes, skin irritation and blotchiness. Chronic exposure to high levels of mercury may also affect the kidneys.

Undeclared ingredients, such as the chemicals hydroquinone and tretinoin, may cause increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight and cause users to get sunburned more easily. When used inappropriately without medical supervision, hydroquinone can cause changes in skin pigmentation or hypersensitivity reactions. Tretinoin can cause irritation and peeling of the skin.

The creams also have strong steroids which cause thinning of the skin, and can be absorbed into the body. These substances can cause Cushing's syndrome, obesity and high blood pressure when used extensively, according to the HSA.

Members of the public who have purchased or are using these products are advised to stop using the products immediately and discard them.

Those who experience any adverse effects or are concerned about your health after using the affected product are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible. Visit www.healthdangers.sg to learn more about the dangers of buying illegal health products from dubious sources.

HSA warned consumers to be "very cautious" when purchasing and using cosmetics products that promise miraculous effects or make exaggerated claims like "super whitening".

Preliminary investigative findings showed that consumers in Singapore may have bought the product from local retail outlets or from online platforms.

Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these two illegal products or other illegal products may contact HSA's Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg.