The Ministry of Health alerted members of the public to five types of cosmetic products which have been tested by the Laboratory of the Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services, Ministry of Health and found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicine.
The cosmetic products are SSII Day Cream adulterated with mercury; SSII Herbal Cream adulterated with mercury; SSII Treatment Cream adulterated with tretinoin; Skin Magical Kadenang Ginto Rejuvenating Facial Toner No 1, manufactured in the Philippines, adulterated with tretinoin and hydroquinone; and Skin Magical Kadenang Ginto Rejuvenating Cream No 1, manufactured in the Philippines, adulterated with hydroquinone.
The adulterants 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.
Mercury is a potent ingredient that is prohibited in cosmetic products as stipulated in the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, 2007.
Mercury is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its hazardous effects on human health. It is readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tends to accumulate in the body. Exposure to mercury can cause skin rashes, memory loss and muscle weakness while high exposures may result in damage to the brain and kidneys. It is also extremely toxic to unborn children.
Tretinoin are potent ingredients used in western prescription medicines to treat skin conditions and is prohibited in skincare cosmetic products under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations. Inappropriate use of tretinoin could lead to redness, peeling and scarring of the skin.
The ministry has not issued any approval for the importation of sale and/or Cosmetic Notification Acknowledgement Letter for the products.
Members of the public who have purchased or used these 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 them.
Members of the public involved in the retail of these products, including online retail, are 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 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 the country.
The public can contact the Compliance and Licensing Section for information at 2393298 extension 208; send an e-mail to [email protected]; go directly to first floor, Compliance and Licensing Section, Department of Pharmaceutical Services’ Building, Kampong Madaras, Mukim Gadong ‘A’; or call Darussalam hotline 123.