SINGAPORE: The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Thursday (Jan 31) warned the public not to buy or use four cosmetic creams found to contain mercury, a toxic metal.
One of the products, Deeja Cosmetic Wrinkle cream, was found to contain mercury levels exceeding the permissible limits by more than 40,000 times.
The other three products are: Deeja Cosmetic Sun cream, RDL Babyface Whitening Cream Night Cream 5 in 1 and RDL Face Off Fade-Out Cream Day Cream 5 in 1.
Mercury, a toxic heavy metal, is prohibited for use as an ingredient in cosmetic products.
Regular application of creams containing mercury could lead to rash, skin discolouration and blotching. Long-term exposure to high levels of mercury in cosmetic products can cause serious health consequences including damage to the kidneys, digestive and nervous systems.
The authority also raised an alert over another product, Deeja Cosmetic Dream cream, which was found to contain hydroquinone, a skin lightening agent.
Hydroquinone is a potent ingredient used in prescription medicines for the treatment of skin conditions.
Inappropriate use of hydroquinone, especially in high concentrations, can cause changes in skin colour and hypersensitivity reactions such as rashes, skin redness, tingling and burning of skin.
The three Deeja creams are part of a cosmetic box set sold on local online platforms, said HSA.
"The Deeja cosmetic creams carry false claims such as 'made and specially formulated from 100% natural ingredients' as they contain prohibited substances," said the authority.
The RDL cosmetic creams were imported by Arklife Distributors and sold in retail outlets.
HSA has told the distributors to stop selling the creams and to recall the affected products from retail outlets.
The RDL creams were also sold on online platforms. Platform administrators have been directed to remove the web listings of all the affected products, said HSA.
The authority advised consumers to stop using the affected products immediately and to see a doctor if they experience adverse effects.
It also directed all sellers and suppliers to stop selling the products immediately.
Anyone who supplies illegal health products can be jailed for up to three years and/or fined up to S$100,000.