Stay cautious, stay safe - 'whitening' and 'anti-aging' products found to contain mercury and prohibited ingredients

Cosmetic products, Cosmetic products , General safety

Be cautious when buying cosmetic products from overseas, or unfamiliar sources such as online shops. Even recommendations by friends or relatives cannot guarantee that the ingredients list and country of manufacture are accurate. Products that promise quick, miraculous results or make exaggerated claims such as skin whitening within a short period of time may contain potent ingredients that may harm you.

Beware of irreparable harm caused by unreliable products

In 2017, a woman in her 20s was detained at the Causeway for attempting to bring the ‘Wonderglow’ and ‘Tati Skin Care 5 in 1’ cosmetic sets into Singapore. She had intended to sell these products online before they were seized.

HSA found other online sources of 'Wonderglow' as well. It was marketed as an anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing product, with claims to brighten the skin in “as early as 3 days”.

'Wonderglow' was falsely labelled to be “100% no mercury guaranteed”, when in actual fact, the ‘Night Cream’ in the set contained very high levels of mercury, exceeding the permissible limit by 7,000 times.

The other cosmetic set, ‘Tati Skin Care 5 in 1’, resurfaced online after the public was alerted to it in June and September 2017.

Laboratory tests showed that the ‘Therapy Cream 1’ in the ‘Tati Skin Care 5 in 1’ set contained mercury exceeding the permissible limit by close to 50,000 times. ‘Therapy Cream 2’ in the set was tested to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin, both potent western medicinal ingredients that should only be used under medical supervision.

Suppliers of illegal health products including cosmetics are liable to prosecution. If convicted, they may be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to $100,000.

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