The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), under the health ministry, has banned five cosmetic products found to contain scheduled poisons.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the banned products were Sweet 13 Skincare Treatment Cream, Ninaskincare Skin Puteh Moisturiser and Skin Dessert Cream, each containing mercury; Haemun Cream (miconazole); and Karisma Birds Nest Gel (hydroquinone and tretinoin).
“They are no longer allowed to be sold in Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.
Noor Hisham advised consumers to stop using these products immediately and seek the advice of healthcare professionals if they experienced any discomfort or adverse effects.
He said hydroquinone, when applied to the skin, can cause redness, discomfort, unwanted skin discolouration and hypersensitivity.
It inhibits the pigmentation process, which reduces the skin’s protection against harmful ultraviolet rays, thus increasing the risk of skin cancer.
He also said that using tretinoin without the supervision of health professionals could cause redness to the skin, discomfort, stinging, peeling and sensitivity to sunlight.
In addition, uncontrolled usage of anti-fungal cream (miconazole) can increase the risk of resistance, thus reducing its effectiveness in treating future infections.
“Mercury is banned in cosmetic products as it is harmful to health.
“It can cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system as well as interfere with the brain development of young or unborn children,” he said, adding that it also causes rashes, irritation and other changes to the skin.
Noor Hisham said sellers and distributors should stop selling and distributing these products immediately as it violates the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.
Any individual who commits an offence under these regulations can be fined not more than RM25,000 or imprisoned not more than three years or both for the first offence and fined not more than RM50,000 or jailed not more than five years or both for subsequent offences.
A company found guilty can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offence and up to RM100,000 for subsequent offences.
The public is encouraged to check the notification status of a cosmetic product by visiting NPRA’s official website at www.npra.gov.my or via the “NPRA Product Status” app which can be downloaded from Google Play Store. – FMT