Kanebo skin whiteners receive 14 more lawsuits


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Kanebo skin whiteners receive 14 more lawsuits

Related tags Skin whitening products Skin whitening

Several reports claim that 14 women in central Japan filed a lawsuit on Monday with the Nagoya District Court seeking upwards of 100 million yen in damages from Kanebo Cosmetics, saying their skin broke out in white blotches after using the company's skin-whitening products. 

It strikes a new blow for Kanebo having faced similar complaints over its skin whitening products dating back over a year ago.

According to a number of publications, including Japan Today​ and The Bangkok Post, ​the plaintiffs are from the Aichi and Gifu prefectures, in their 30s to 70s, and have developed marks on their faces and necks after using products containing a skin-whitening substance called ‘Rhododenol.’

Japan Today​ quotes a woman in her 70s, one of the plaintiffs, at a press conference on Monday saying, "I wish to recover quickly from the skin condition and I hope Kanebo will work on the issue before it produces any new products."


It is the latest in a long line of complaints over Kanebo’s skin whitening products, which saw a recall last year.

The cosmetics firm last year recalled millions of products from across the globe, because of problems with the whitening substance, Rhododenol , technically called 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanone, an artificial version of a compound normally taken from the bark of the white birch tree.

Earlier this year, Kanebo released new safety guidelines for its products, in a move which suggested it was looking to start distancing itself from the saga of its rhododenol-containing skin whitening products.

The company started its recall in July 2013 of 54 products from the Blanchir Superior, Suisai, Twany, Impress and Aqualeaf brands, which caused vitiligo-like symptoms of blotchy skin discolouration.

All of the withdrawn products were skin whiteners containing the ingredient 4HPB, a compound developed by Kanebo, and around 250,000 Japanese consumers were believed to have used products containing the ingredient.

At the time of writing, there has been no official response from Kanebo regarding the latest lawsuit.

Related topics Regulation & Safety

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