Four cosmetic products found to contain scheduled poison

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has issued a warning to the public to avoid using four cosmetic related items which have been found to contain scheduled poison such as mercury, hydroquinone and tretinoin.

In a statement today, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pix) said the listed products are Nuriz Shoppe-Uv Pearl Cream, Nuriz-D'solve, Aura Gorgeous Night Cream and NV Anti Blemish Toner 1.

"Products containing hydroquinone and tretinoin are pharmaceutical products that need to be registered with the Drug Control Authority and can only be used with the advice of health professionals.

"A combination of cosmetics products with hydroquinone may cause redness on the skin area applied, discomfort, unwanted skin colour changes, and even skin hypersensitivity.

"The effect of using hydroquinone can also prevent the process of pigmentation (depigmentation) which reduces skin protection from harmful UV beam rays and may increase the risk of skin cancer," he said.

Cosmetic products mixed with tretinoin, Noor Hisham said are usually promoted for the purpose of treating acne problems and help reduce wrinkles.

"The use of tretinoin without professional healthcare supervision can cause skin parts that are exposed to it to suffer from redness, discomfort, stinging pain, peeling skin and hypersensitivity to sunlight.

"While cosmetic products mixed with mercury can be harmful to health because the mercury can absorb into the body and cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system.

"It can also interfere with the brain development of a young or unborn child," he said, adding that the use of mercury-containing products may also cause rash, irritation and other changes in the skin.

Noor Hisham urged sellers and distributors of these cosmetic products to stop sales and distribution of these cosmetic products immediately.

"The sellers are reminded that the sale and distribution of these cosmetic products is in violation of the Drug Control and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.

"Individuals who commit offenses under these Regulations shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM25,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both for the first offense and fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or both for subsequent offenses.

"Companies that commit an offense can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offense and fined up to RM100,000 for the subsequent offenses."

He advised the public who are using these cosmetic products to immediately cease their usage and seek advice from health professionals in cases of any adverse effects.

Consumers and the public are advised to check the status of the notification of a cosmetic product by visiting NPRA's official website