The Ministry of Health alerted members of the public to two types of cosmetic products which have been tested by the Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services, Ministry of Health and found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicines.
The affected cosmetic products are Meeracle Facial Serum Gemstone Essence, adulterated with hydroquinone; and Clariderm Astringent AHA + Licorice (For Oily Skin) 3, manufactured by Jirah Mfg Group Philippines and adulterated with hydroquinone.
The adulterant found in these products can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous to the people using them.
Hydroquinone is used in western prescription medicines to treat skin conditions and is prohibited in skincare cosmetic products under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations.
Unsupervised use of hydroquinone may cause skin hypersensitivity, skin discolouration resulting in gradual darkening of the affected skin area and an increased risk of skin cancer.
The Ministry of Health has now withdrawn the Cosmetic Notification Acknowledgement Letter for both cosmetic products. Following these findings, the products are not allowed to be imported and sold in Brunei Darussalam.
Members of the public who have purchased or used these cosmetic products are advised to stop using them immediately. They should also consult a medical practitioner if they feel unwell or experience any undesirable reactions as a result of using these products.
Members of the public involved in the retail of these products (including online retail such as through Facebook, etc.) are hereby reminded that it is an offence under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, 2007 to import and market cosmetic products in the local market without a Cosmetic Product Notification Acknowledgement Letter issued by the Authority, where the penalty for contravening these regulations upon conviction, is a fine not exceeding BND5,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
The Ministry of Health also called upon the public for their cooperation to report to the Compliance and Licensing Section if any of these products are still found in the market in this country.
For more information, the public can contact the Compliance and Licensing Section at 2393298 extension 208; e-mail at [email protected]; visit First Floor, Compliance and Licensing Section, Department of Pharmaceutical Services’ Building, Kampong Madaras, Mukim Gadong ‘A’; or call the Darussalam hotline 123.