THE Ministry of Health alerted members of the public to seven types of cosmetic products tested by the Laboratory of Pharmacy Section, Scientific Laboratory Services, Ministry of Health (MoH) and found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicine.
The cosmetic products are Karisma Cosmetic – Night Cream, Karisma Cosmetic – Day Cream and Deeja Cosmetic Keayuan Semula Jadi – Krim Nano (Night) found to contain Mercury.
Deeja Cosmetic Keayuan Semula Jadi – Krim Malam (Night), Karisma Cosmetic – Treatment Cream, and Fairy Skin Derma Facial Set – Brightening Cream were all found to contain Hydroquinone, while Fairy Skin Derma Facial Set – Derma Facial Toner was found to contain Hydroquinone and Tretinoin.
The adulterant found in these products can cause adverse effects potentially hazardous to the people using them, the ministry said in a statement.
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. The 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. Inappropriate use of tretinoin could lead to redness, peeling and scarring of the skin.
The MoH has not issued any approval for the importation for the sale of these products and/or Cosmetic Notification Acknowledgement Letter for the sale of the rest of these affected 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 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 such as through Facebook, etc) 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, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
The MoH also called upon the public to report to the Pharmacy Enforcement Section if any of these products are still found on the market in this country. – Ministry of Health