The Health Ministry’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Department (NPRA) today released a list of 14 skincare products which contain harmful scheduled poisons.
The products on the health authority’s no-no list are:
* Diamond Gold Skin Care - Diamond Gold Day Cream
* Diamond Gold Skin Care - Diamond Gold Night Cream
* Diamond Gold Skin Care - Diamond Gold Treatment Cream
* Alora Night Glowing Cream
* Karisma Nightcream Kunyit
* Karisma Daycream
* Karisma Treatment Sarang Burung
* Seputih Melati Night Cream Whitening
* Seputih Melati Night Cream Glowing
* Majaja Serum Channtiq
* SYMA MAGICAL SERUM
* SYMA Facial Cleanser
* Khumaera Moistskin Cleanser
* Bao Shu Tang Snow Lotus Cream
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the notifications of these cosmetic products have been cancelled after the ministry detected scheduled poisons in the products.
He said some of the scheduled poisons found in the products included hydroquinone, tretinoin and diphenhyramine, which were poisons that needed to be registered with Drug Control authorities and could only be used on the advice of the health professionals.
Products that are mixed with hydroquinone are usually sold as skin brighteners to treat pigmentation and uneven skin colour.
The use of hydroquinone, Dr Noor Hisham warned, could cause redness on the skin, discomfort, undesirable skin discolouration and may also cause the skin to become hypersensitive.
“The use of hydroquinone can halt the process of pigmentation (depigmentation) which reduces skin protection from UV rays and this can lead to skin cancer.
“Cosmetic products mixed with tretinoin are usually used to treat acne and reduce wrinkles. However, unsupervised use of the product can cause redness on the skin, discomfort, burning, peeling and hypersensitivity to sunlight,” he said in a statement today.
Products mixed with diphenhydramine, he said, are used to provide temporary relief from itchiness and pain due to insect bites, minor sun burns and skin irritation.
Without proper supervision, Dr Noor Hisham said, such products could cause the user’s skin to be more sensitive to the sun, which could result in severe allergic reactions.
“Mercury, when absorbed by the body, can cause damage to the kidney and nervous system. It can also affect the development of a child’s brain or even that of an unborn child,” he said.
He said mercury, when applied on the skin, could cause rashes, irritation and changes on the skin.
Dr Noor Hisham warned sellers and distributors to stop selling and distributing the cosmetic products immediately.
“If they are found to sell these products, they will face punishments under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.
“Offenders can be fined not more than RM25,000 or face imprisonment of not more than three years or both for the first offence. For subsequent offences, offenders can be fined no more than RM50,000 or be jailed up to five years, or both.
“For companies, they can be slapped with fines up to RM50,000 for the first offence and up to RM100,000 for subsequent offences,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham urged those using the said products to stop immediately and seek advice from healthcare professionals if they experienced any discomfort.