SINGAPORE: The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) warned consumers on Tuesday (Mar 13) not to buy or use two cosmetic sets after beauty products in them were found to contain mercury and other undeclared, prohibited ingredients.
HSA said in its news release that the products from the Tati Skin Care 5-in-1 cosmetic set contained mercury exceeding permissible limits by 50,000 times, as well as hydroquinone and tretinoin.
The authority also found that some Wonderglow products contain an amount of mercury that exceeds permissible limits by 7,000 times.
The Tati Skin Care 5-in-1 cosmetic set consists of a day cream, night cream, treatment cream, sunblock and cleanser, while the Wonderglow Whitening Specialist Super Ultra Glowing Cream cosmetic set comprises a day cream, night cream and soap bar.
Long-term exposure to cosmetic products with high levels of mercury can cause serious health consequences, including damage to the kidneys, and digestive and nervous systems.
HSA added that inappropriate use of hydroquinone, a skin whitening agent, and tretinoin could cause redness, burning and peeling of the skin.
CONSUMERS URGED TO BE CAUTIOUS
HSA said a woman in her 20s was detained at the Causeway on Dec 2 last yearfor bringing in both cosmetic sets from Malaysia into Singapore, intending to sell them online. The products were seized and sent for testing.
The authority also found other sellers hawking the product online.
The Wonderglow set is marketed as an anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing product. It also claims to brighten the skin in “as early as three days” and is falsely labelled as “100 per cent no mercury guaranteed”, said HSA.
HSA said recent tests showed that Therapy Cream 1 in the set contained mercury exceeding the permissible limits by close to 50,000 times. Therapy Cream 2 in the set was tested to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin.
"Both are potent western ingredients that should only be used under medical supervision,” said HSA.
HSA added that it had alerted the public to stop buying and using the Tati Skin Care 5-in-1 cosmetic set in June and September 2017. However, the product has since resurfaced online.
Sellers and suppliers have been warned to "immediately" stop selling both cosmetic sets. Those who continue to do so face up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to S$100,000.
The authority also urged consumers to seek medical attention if they experience any adverse effects from using the products.
Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these illegal products may contact HSA’s Enforcement Branch.
HSA also warned against a "herbal" pain reliever which contains potent steroids on Tuesday.