The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) have identified eight cosmetic products which contain scheduled poisons, urging the public against buying or using these products as they can lead to hazardous health effects.

According to Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, of the eight named products, Moleek Day Cream, Adel Miracle Flawless Serum and Ah Beauty Night Cream were found to contain mercury, hydroquinone was detected in NDZ UV Whitening and a combination of hydroquinone and tretinoin were found in Snow Cream Normal, Snow Cream Sensitice, Dnars Nar Cream – Sensitive and Ellfie Night Cream.

Scheduled poisons detected include mercury, hydroquinone and tretinoin

Products containing hydroquinone and tretinoin must be registered with the Drug Control Authority and can only be used under the advice and supervision from a qualified health professional said Noor Hisham.

"Cosmetic products adulterated with hydroquinone can cause redness on the skin, discomfort, undesirable skin discolouration and can cause hypersensitive skin,” he said.

"The effects of the use of hydroquinone can reduce skin protection from UV rays, which can increase the risk of skin cancer," Noor Hisham also said, adding that tretinoin is often added in cosmetic products promoted for treatment of acne and wrinkles.

The cosmetic products were found to contain scheduled poisons. Credit:
The cosmetic products were found to contain scheduled poisons. Credit:

However, he cautioned that the use of tretinoin without supervision can lead to adverse effects including skin redness and discomfort, burning, peeling and hypersensitivity to sunlight.

He also warned that products adulterated with mercury can be hazardous as it can lead to damage to the kidneys and nervous system when absorbed into the body.

"The adverse effects caused by the exposure to mercury can be experienced by the people around you, especially children, when the products are applied to skin. The use of products containing mercury can also cause rashes, irritation and other changes on the skin," he also said.

Cosmetic products revoked by Ministry of Health

Noor Hisham has cautioned the public to refrain from purchase of use of these cosmetic products, urging consumers of the product to discontinue use and to consult a doctor should they experience any adverse effects.

"Notification of the products involved had been revoked by the Health Ministry's pharmaceutical services senior director, following the detection of scheduled poisons in them," he said, highlighting that the sale and distribution of these products were in violation of the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation 1984 and offenders could be given a fine or jailed.

Individuals found guilty of committing the offence under the regulation can be fined no more than RM25,000 or sentenced to prison no more than three years or both for the first offence. Subsequent offenders can be fined no more than RM50,000 or face imprisonment up to five years, or both.

Health Minister: Botox injections should not be provided at beauty centres

In addition to the cosmetic products, the Health Ministry has also warned against provision of Botox injection services at beauty centres or salons, stating that the procedure is beyond their jurisdiction.

"The Botox injection premises were breaching regulations because any type of treatment in terms of medicine can only be provided at centres registered with the Health Ministry," said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He also explained that beauty salons are lawfully allowed to provide beauty treatments on the external body, while Botox injections are administered into the skin.

According to Subramaniam, Botox injections are classified by the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau as a medicine that must be handled by trained and registered medical practitioners. MIMS

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