PUTRAJAYA: Four cosmetic products found to contain scheduled poisons are no longer allowed to be sold in Malaysia, says the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA) of the health ministry.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said one of the four products was BL Skincare Day Cream 1, which was found to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin.
The other three are Biela Beauty Glowing Night Cream, BL Skincare Day Cream 2 and BL Skincare Night Cream, found to contain mercury.
Noor Hisham said members of the public using these products were advised to immediately stop using them and seek advice from health professionals if they experience any discomfort or adverse effects.
According to him, hydroquinone can cause redness on the part of the skin where it is applied. It also causes discomfort and unwanted skin discoloration. The skin can become hypersensitive and inhibit the process of pigmentation (depigmentation), which reduces skin protection from harmful UV rays and can increase the risk of skin cancer.
The use of tretinoin without the supervision of a health professional can cause the skin to become red, uncomfortable, sore, flaky and hypersensitive to sunlight, Noor Hisham said.
“Mercury is banned in cosmetic products because it can be harmful to health. It can be absorbed into the body and can damage the kidneys and nervous system. It can interfere with the brain development of young or unborn children.”
Noor Hisham said mercury can also cause rashes, irritation and other changes to the skin.
He said the sellers and distributors of these cosmetic products should stop their sale and distribution immediately or they would be violating the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.
Anyone who commits an offence under the regulation is liable to a fine not exceeding RM25,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both for the first offence, and to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both for subsequent offences.
Companies that commit such offences can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first time and fined up to RM100,000 for subsequent offences.
The public is encouraged to check the notification status of any cosmetic product by browsing NPRA’s official website at www.npra.gov.my or through the “NPRA Product Status” application, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.