The Ministry of Health (MoH) alerted members of the public to one type of cosmetic product which has been tested by the Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services, Ministry of Health and found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent Western medicines.
Affected cosmetic product Prestige – Rejuvenating plus toner, manufactured by the Philippines, is adulterated with hydroquinone and tretinoin.
The adulterant found in the product 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.
Tretinoin is used in Western prescription medicines to treat skin conditions and is prohibited in skincare cosmetic products under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, 2007.
Inappropriate use of tretinoin could lead to redness, peeling and scarring of the skin.
Members of the public who have purchased or used the cosmetic product 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 it.
Retail of the product (including online retail such as through Facebook) is an offence under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, 2007.
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 MoH also called upon public cooperation to report to the Compliance and Licensing Section if any of these products are still found in the market.
For information, the public can contact the Compliance and Licensing Section to 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 at 123.