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Health Sciences Authority

HSA Alert:"Tati Skin Care 5 in 1" Cosmetic Set Sold Online Found to Contain Very High Mercury Levels & Other Potent Prohibited Ingredients

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is alerting members of the public not to purchase or use ‘Tati Skin Care 5 in 1’ cosmetic set. The set consists of a ‘Day Cream’, a ‘Night Cream’, a ‘Treatment Cream’, a ‘Sun Block’ and a ‘Beauty Soap (Cleanser)’. The ‘Night Cream’ was tested by HSA to contain very high levels of mercury while the ‘Treatment Cream’ was found to contain prohibited and potent ingredients, tretinoin and hydroquinone. The amount of mercury present in the ‘Night Cream’ exceeded the permissible limits by more than 20,000 times, posing a serious health hazard to consumers.

2    The product was sold on various online platforms for skin rejuvenation, skin whitening and anti-wrinkle effects , touted to be ‘100% free of harmful chemicals’ and with claims of ‘100% No Mercury Guaranteed’ on the packaging. Consumers who have purchased or are using this product are advised to stop using and discard them immediately as their use can lead to serious health consequences. Please refer to Annex A of the pdf version for pictures of the product.

Safety concerns

3    Mercury is a toxic substance and is prohibited for use as an ingredient in cosmetic products. Regular application of creams containing mercury could lead to rash, skin discolouration and blotching. Chronic exposure to very high levels of mercury in cosmetic products may also cause toxic effects to the kidneys, digestive and nervous system leading to organ damage as it can be absorbed through the skin.

4    Hydroquinone and tretinoin are potent ingredients that are used in western prescription medicines for the treatment of skin conditions. These ingredients are prohibited in skincare cosmetic products and should only be used under medical supervision as they may cause harmful effects if not used properly. The inappropriate use of hydroquinone could result in changes in skin colour and hypersensitivity reactions such as rashes, redness, tingling and burning of skin. Inappropriate use of tretinoin could lead to redness and peeling of the skin.

5    “HSA’s  surveillance of the online sales platform for cosmetic products have uncovered more than 200 online sellers involved in the illegal sale of adulterated cosmetic products in the recent two months. This shows the widespread circulation of these products. Many of these sellers hide under the anonymity of the Internet.  Consumers need to be wary about purchasing cosmetic products with exaggerated claims and which promise fast results, as they may contain ingredients harmful to health.” advised Assoc Professor Chan Cheng Leng, Group Director of the Health Products Regulation Group, HSA.  

Consumer advisory

6    Members of the public are advised to:

  • Stop using the product immediately and see a doctor if they are experiencing adverse effects following its use.
  • Exercise discretion in the purchase of cosmetic products, including those purchased from online sources. They should purchase cosmetic products from reliable and reputable sources. Unlike other consumables, the use of poor quality and falsely labelled health products including cosmetics can cause serious health effects as they may contain undeclared ingredients harmful to health.
  • Visit www.healthdangers.sg to learn more about the dangers of buying illegal health products from questionable sources.

Advisory to sellers of cosmetic products

7    Sellers must stop selling ‘Tati Skin Care 5 in 1’ immediately. It is their responsibility to ensure that the cosmetic products they are selling are safe for use and comply with Singapore’s regulatory requirements for the sale and supply of cosmetic products, including the absence of prohibited substances.

8    HSA will take action against anyone found selling ‘Tati Skin Care 5 in 1’. Anyone who supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to $100,000.

9    Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of ‘Tati Skin Care 5 in 1’ or other illegal products may contact HSA's Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg.

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE
7 JUNE 2017

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