Cosmetic products found adulterated

The Ministry of Health (MoH) alerted members of the public on four cosmetic products found to be adulterated with undeclared and potent Western medicine by the Laboratory of Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services at the MoH.

The affected cosmetic products are: Merry Sun-Rejuvenating Facial Toner, adulterated with tretinoin; Blooming Health+Beauty – Skin Renew Cream, adulterated with hydroquinone and tretinoin; Brightest Skin Essentials-Rejuvenating Facial Toner, adulterated with tretinoin; and Brightest Skin Essentials-Rejuvenating Night Cream, adulterated with hydroquinone and tretinoin. All products are manufactured by the Philippines.

The adulterants found in these products can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous to those 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 2007.

Unsupervised use of hydroquinone may cause skin hypersensitivity, skin discolouration resulting in gradual darkening of the affected 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 these products are advised to stop immediately. They should also consult a medical practitioner if they feel unwell or experience any undesirable reactions as a result of using them.

Retail of the product (including online retail) 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 called upon the public for their cooperation to report to the Compliance and Licensing Section if any of these products are still found on the market.

For information, contact the Compliance and Licensing Section at 2393298 ext 208; e-mail to [email protected]; visit 1st Floor, Compliance and Licensing Section, Department of Pharmaceutical Services’ Building in Kampong Madaras, Gadong ‘A’; or call the Darussalam line at 123.

ABOVE & BELOW: The adulterated cosmetic products. PHOTOS: MOH