When DIY teeth whitening kit bought online leads to pain

Cosmetic products , General safety

Teeth whitening products sold directly to consumers should only contain a maximum of 0.1% of hydrogen peroxide.

Dental products containing more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide are only allowed to be used by or supplied through registered dentists. These should not be sold directly to consumers.

Restricted ingredient present

Products such as the “Beautiful – Cold Light Teeth Whitening Kit”, which contains 4% of hydrogen peroxide, should be labelled with the relevant warning statements, such as “Not for direct sale to the public”, or ”For supply only through a qualified dental practitioner”. However, this product did not contain the appropriate warning statements and was sold directly to consumers.

The high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can be potentially corrosive and may exacerbate pre-existing teeth and gum problems such as gingivitis, periodontal disease and gingival lesions.

If you have been using teeth whitening products and experiencing adverse effects, stop using the products immediately and consult your dentist.

Always exercise caution when purchasing dental whitening products from unfamiliar or unknown online sources, even if they are recommended by well-meaning friends or relatives.

Due to the channels through which they are sold, what the products contain and where or how they were made cannot be guaranteed. Potent ingredients or low quality products can be dangerous to users.

For more information on dental whitening products, please refer to the Singapore Dental Association.

The company supplying the whitening kit has been advised by HSA to only supply the product to registered dentists. HSA has also worked with vendors to remove the listings of the product sold online.

Regulations for cosmetic products

Cosmetic products, including dental whitening products, in Singapore must comply with the requirements under the Health Products (Cosmetic Products – ASEAN Cosmetic Directive) Regulations.

The Regulations are in line with the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD), which adopts regulatory principles and requirements similar to the European Union (EU) regulations on cosmetic products.

Under the Regulations, cosmetic products do not have to undergo any evaluation or obtain HSA's approval prior to sale. Dealers are only required to notify HSA about cosmetic products they are supplying before they are placed on the market so as to facilitate regulatory follow-up if safety concerns arise.

Legal responsibility lies on the dealers to ensure the safety of cosmetic products, compliance with the legal requirements for product labelling, and the prohibition and restriction of the use of certain ingredients.

To safeguard consumers, HSA has a post-market surveillance system to monitor the safety of cosmetic products. This includes adverse reaction monitoring and testing products for potentially harmful ingredients based on their risks.

Products found to be unsafe will be removed from the market.

You can help us combat illegal, counterfeit and substandard health products, including cosmetic products. Report any suspicious sale or advertising of health products to HSA through e-mail or phone at 6866 3485.