Health ministry warns against three mercury-filled beauty products

Woman applying cream to her face. Photo: ammentorp
Woman applying cream to her face. Photo: ammentorp

Malaysia’s Health Ministry cautioned the public against using three cosmetic products found to contain mercury.

The products were Glow Skin White-Brightening Cream, Glow Skin White-Sun Care, and Rzac Beauty Creme 2, Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said yesterday.

(From left) Glow Skin White-Brightening Cream, Glow Skin White-Sun Care, and Rzac Beauty Creme 2. Images: Glow Skin White MY/Instagram, rzac.com.my
(From left) Glow Skin White-Brightening Cream, Glow Skin White-Sun Care, and Rzac Beauty Creme 2. Images: Glow Skin White MY/Instagram, rzac.com.my

The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency has revoked the licenses for all three products and they are no longer allowed to be sold in Malaysia. 

Mercury was once a common ingredient found in skin-lightening products as it prevents melanin formation. Unfortunately, it can also damage the user’s health by affecting organs like the kidneys.

“Mercury is forbidden in cosmetics because it can be harmful to health. It can be absorbed into the body and cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system,” the Health DG said. 

He added that mercury can also disrupt the brain development of young or unborn children, and cause rashes and skin irritation.

Glow Skin White-Brightening Cream, Glow Skin White-Sun Care, and Rzac Beauty Creme 2 were listed hundreds of times across e-commerce sites Lazada, Shopee, iPrice, and Mybeauty.asia. They can also be found on Instagram. 

As their notifications have been revoked, sellers are required to immediately stop sales and distribution of these products or face a fine up to RM25,000 (US$5,800) and three years’ jail on the first offense. 

Buyers who have bought the products are advised to stop using them or seek help from medical professionals if they experience discomfort. 

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