SINGAPORE - Two creams from the Glow Glowing Skincare 4-in-1 cosmetic set has been found to contain high levels of mercury, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said today.
The two affected creams are the Night Glowing cream and Night Glow cream.
According to HSA, the creams contain levels of mercury that exceed the permissible limits by more than 25,000 times. This amount of mercury can pose a serious health hazard to consumers.
Mercury is a toxic substance and is prohibited for use as an ingredient in cosmetic products. Regular application of creams containing mercury could lead to rash, skin discolouration and blotching.
Chronic exposure to very high levels of mercury in cosmetic products may also cause toxic effects to the kidneys, digestive and nervous system, as it can be absorbed through the skin. This could lead to organ damage.
The Night Glow cream was also found to contain tretinoin and hydroquinone, both prohibited and potent ingredients. The amount of hydroquinone detected in Night Glow was three times higher than the concentrations found in products used for skin treatments.
Hydroquinone and tretinoin are potent ingredients that are used in western prescription medicines for the treatment of skin conditions. These ingredients are prohibited in skincare cosmetic products and should only be used under medical supervision, as they may cause harmful effects if not used properly.
The inappropriate use of hydroquinone could result in changes in skin colour and hypersensitivity reactions such as rashes, redness, tingling and burning of skin. Inappropriate use of tretinoin could lead to redness and peeling of the skin.
HSA said the finding was a result of investigations after receiving feedback from a user who got suspicious when the whitening effect was too immediate after using these products.
Both products were sold on various online platforms and were marketed for skin brightening and whitening, and to help reduce pimples.
Although only two products from the Glow Glowing Skincare 4-in-1 cosmetic set were found to contain very high mercury levels and other prohibited ingredents, HSA advises consumers who purchased the set to stop using the other items too as a precautionary measure.
HSA also advises consumers to see a doctor if they are experiencing adverse effects following the use of affected products.
Also, when purchasing cosmetic products, including those from online sources, HSA warns the public to exercise discretion and to purchase from reliable and reputable sources.
HSA said it is working with online platforms to remove the products from their websites. Sellers are to stop selling the Night Glowing and Night Glow creams immediately.
HSA will take action against anyone found selling the affected creams. Anyone found guilty of selling illegal health products may be imprisoned for up to three years and also fined up to $100,000.