HSA Alert: Five Cosmetic Creams Found to Contain Potent Undeclared Ingredients & Very High Levels of Mercury

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is alerting members of the public not to purchase or use the following cosmetic creams:

a)      ‘Deeja Cosmetic Sun cream’

b)      ‘Deeja Cosmetic Wrinkle cream’

c)      ‘Deeja Cosmetic Dream cream’

d)      ‘RDL Babyface Whitening Cream Night Cream 5 in 1’

e)      ‘RDL Face Off Fade-Out Cream Day Cream 5 in 1’

HSA had tested these five creams and found them to contain undeclared potent ingredients such as hydroquinone, a skin lightening agent, and mercury, a toxic metal:

Name of product

Undeclared ingredients


Product claims

Sources available

‘Deeja Cosmetic Sun cream’




Gives white, fluffy, glowing skin as early as 5 days, suitable for acne, pigmentation, oily skin, dull skin, dark and scarred skin (anti-ageing). Made and specially formulated from 100% natural ingredients.

Online platforms

‘Deeja Cosmetic

Wrinkle cream’

‘Deeja Cosmetic Dream cream’



‘RDL Babyface Whitening Cream Night Cream 5 in 1’





Reduce black spots, pimples, freckles, wrinkles and pigmentation. To help with whitening, cleansing and lightening of the face and can be used as foundation for smoother, brighter and younger look.

Retail outlets and online platforms

‘RDL Face Off Fade-Out Cream Day Cream 5 in 1’

2    One of the products, ‘Deeja Cosmetic Wrinkle cream’, was found to contain very high levels of mercury, which exceeded the permissible limits by more than 40,000 times. Long-term exposure to such high amounts of mercury can cause serious health risks, including damage to the kidneys, digestive and nervous systems. Another product, ‘Deeja Cosmetic Dream cream’ was found to contain hydroquinone, a potent ingredient prohibited in over the counter skincare cosmetic products. Hydroquinone is a prescription only medicine and should only be used under medical supervision.

3    The three Deeja cosmetic creams are part of the ‘Deeja Cosmetic’ box set and were sold on local online platforms. The Deeja cosmetic creams carry false claims such as “made and specially formulated from 100% natural ingredients” as they contain prohibited substances.

4    ‘RDL Babyface Whitening Cream Night Cream 5 in 1’ and ‘RDL Face Off Fade-Out Cream Day Cream 5 in 1’ were imported by Arklife Distributors Pte Ltd and were sold in retail outlets. HSA has directed Arklife Distributors Pte Ltd to stop the sale of the RDL creams and to recall the affected products from retail outlets. The RDL creams were also found to be sold on online platforms by various other sellers. Administrators of online platforms have been directed to remove web listings of all the affected products. Please refer to Annex A of the pdf version for photos of the products.  

Adverse effects of ingredients found in these products

5    Mercury is a toxic heavy metal 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 while long-term exposure to high levels of mercury in cosmetic products can cause serious health consequences, including damage to the kidneys, digestive and nervous systems.

6    Hydroquinone is a potent ingredient that is used in prescription medicines for the treatment of skin conditions. It is prohibited in over-the-counter skincare cosmetic products and should only be used under medical supervision. The inappropriate use of hydroquinone especially in high concentrations could result in unwanted effects such as changes in skin colour and hypersensitivity reactions such as rashes, skin redness, tingling and burning of skin.

Advisory to consumers

7    Consumers are advised to:

  • Stop using the five affected products immediately and consult a doctor if you experience adverse effects.   
  • Be wary of health products that promise or deliver quick and miraculous effects, or carry exaggerated claims. Such products may contain prescription medicines which should only be used under medical supervision, or other potent prohibited ingredients that can harm you.
  • Exercise caution when purchasing health products online, especially from unfamiliar websites. Anyone can be a seller on these e-commerce platforms. You cannot be certain where and how these products were made. They could potentially be counterfeits or adulterated with undeclared potent or prohibited ingredients.

8    HSA has produced a short video on the risks associated with buying health products online. This video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/dmjl_bSqJgA.

Advisory to sellers and suppliers

9    All sellers and suppliers must stop selling these products immediately.

  • These are illegal products which contain medicinal or prohibited substances.
  • Anyone who supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 3 years and/or fined up to $100,000.

10    Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these 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.

31 JANUARY 2019

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