Four types of cosmetic products have been found to be adulterated with undeclared, banned ingredient scheduled poisons listed in the Poisons Act 1956, said the Ministry of Health (MoH) in a press statement yesterday.
According to the MoH, the Laboratory of Pharmacy Section at the Department of Scientific Services found mercury in Pinkkiss Beauty Skincare 3 in 1 – Mixberry Night Cream 1 and Pinkkiss Beauty Care Muda Remaja Sepanjang Usia – Herbal Cream, hydroquinone and tretinoin in Pinkkis Beauty Skincare 3 in 1 – Therapy Treatment Night Cream 2 and Pinkkiss Beauty Care Muda Remaja Sepanjang Usia – Treatment Cream.
The adulterants 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 discoloration resulting in gradual darkening of the affected skin area and an increased risk of skin cancer.
Tretinoin is a potent ingredient used in western prescription medicines to treat skin conditions and is prohibited in skincare cosmetic products under Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations. Inappropriate use of tretinoin could lead to redness, peeling and scarring of the skin.
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 exposure may result in damage to the brain and kidneys. It is also extremely toxic to unborn children.
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 the affected products.
Following these findings, the products are not allowed to be imported and sold in the Sultanate, the MoH said.
The public who have purchased or used these products are adviced 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.
Retail of these products (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 called upon the public to report to the Compliance and Licensing Section if any of the products are found in the market in the country.
For information, contact the Compliance and Licensing Section at 2393301 (ext 208); e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; visit 1st Floor, Compliance and Licensing Section, Department of Pharmaceutical Services’ Building, Kampong Madaras, Mukim Gadong ‘A’; or call Darussalam Line 123.