KUALA LUMPUR: The public has been urged to stop using and buying three cosmetic products that have been found to contain scheduled poison, said health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said the products are Sifu Kunyit Day Cream, Sifu Kunyit Night Cream and JJ Skincare Glowhite Night Cream.
They were found to contain hydroquinone, tretinoin, betamethasone valerate and mercury.
He said the products’ notifications had been cancelled and they were no longer allowed to be sold in Malaysia.
“Products containing hydroquinone, tretinoin and betamethasone valerate are drugs that need to be registered with the Drug Control Authority and can only be used with the advice of a health professional.
“The use of products containing these substances without the supervision of health professionals can cause unwanted side effects,” he said in a statement today.
Noor Hisham said the sale and distribution of these cosmetic products violate the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984 and should be stopped immediately.
“Those who violate the regulation can be fined not more than RM25,000 or a maximum of three years’ imprisonment, or both, for the first offence.
“For subsequent offences, the offender can be fined not more than RM50,000 or a maximum of five years’ imprisonment, or both.
“Companies can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offence and RM100,000 for subsequent offences,” he added.
Noor Hisham advised those who are using the products to immediately stop and seek advice from health professionals if they experience any discomfort.
He said betamethasone valerate can cause the skin to be thinner and prone to irritation, acne, changes in skin pigmentation and increase the risk of being absorbed into the blood circulation system. All these can have harmful effects.
“Hydroquinone also causes redness of the skin, discomfort, unwanted skin changes, the skin becoming hypersensitive, prevent pigmentation (depigmentation) and thereby reduce skin protection against harmful UV rays, and may increase the risk of skin cancer.
“The use of tretinoin without the supervision of health professionals can cause the skin to be reddish, uncomfortable, painful, prone to peeling and hypersensitive to sunlight.”
As for mercury, he said, it is prohibited in cosmetic products because it can be harmful to health and can be absorbed into the body, causing damage to the kidneys and nervous system, as well as disrupt the brain development of young or unborn children.
“Mercury can also cause rashes, irritation and other changes to the skin, ”he added.
Consumers can check the status of cosmetic products at www.npra.gov.my or through the “NPRA Product Status” phone app that can be downloaded from Google Play Store.
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