Mercury alert: Five cosmetic creams found to contain vast quantities of undeclared ingredients in Singapore

By Gary Scattergood contact

- Last updated on GMT

The five products were sold in Singapore. ©GettyImages
The five products were sold in Singapore. ©GettyImages
Five cosmetics creams in Singapore have been found to contain potent undeclared ingredients – with one possessing mercury levels which exceeded the permissible limits by more than 40,000 times.

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

- ‘Deeja Cosmetic Sun cream’

- ‘Deeja Cosmetic Wrinkle cream’

- ‘Deeja Cosmetic Dream cream’

- ‘RDL Babyface Whitening Cream Night Cream 5 in 1’

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

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

“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,” ​said HSA.

“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.”

Regular application of creams containing mercury could lead to a rash, skin discolouration and blotching while long-term exposure to high levels of mercury in cosmetic products can also cause serious health consequences, including damage to the kidneys, digestive and nervous systems.

Meanwhile, 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.

Online sales

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.

‘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 the firm 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 the sites have been directed to remove web listings of all the affected products.

HAS warned retailers that snyone who supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to $100,000.

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