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Warning Out on Mercury-Laced Beauty Cream with Money Back Guarantee

Faiza Beauty Cream

Quezon City. A facial cream that claims to cure an array of skin woes ironically contains mercury, a highly toxic chemical that can damage the skin and other organs of the human body.

The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition revealed that it has detected 7,110 parts per million (ppm) of mercury on Faiza Beauty Cream that it bought from an online dealer for P349. The group used an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer to screen the product for mercury.

The product was produced by Poonia Brothers (Pvt.) Ltd. and marked “quality control approved” and “with money back guarantee.” It was manufactured on 06/04/23 or two years past the 2020 phase-out deadline for the manufacture and trade of mercury-added cosmetics under the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Under the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive, mercury as a heavy metal contaminant in cosmetics cannot exceed the maximum limit of one part per million (ppm).

As written on the product insert, “Faiza Beauty Cream removes pimples, wrinkles, freckles, spots and acne problems and will make your face very attractive and brighter.” It also claims that it can “remove dark circles around the eyes after a few days of use.”

On the contrary, the use of skin products contaminated with mercury can harm not only the skin, but other body organs, too. As explained by the World Health Organization (WHO), the adverse effects of exposure to mercury in cosmetics include skin rashes, discoloration and scarring, weakened skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, and kidney and nervous system damage.

“Women, who are the main target market of cosmetics that claim to lighten the skin, fight ageing and treat acne, pimples and other dermal problems, are highly vulnerable to the toxic effects of mercury exposure, especially if they are of child bearing age,” the EcoWaste Coalition emphasized.

Faiza Beauty Cream

In 2022, the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) banned 17 skin whitening creams containing mercury and hydroquinone, 14 of which were made in Pakistan. Among the cosmetics banned was Faiza Beauty Cream.

Faiza Beauty Cream is also on the list of 13 Pakistan-made skin lightening creams and medicated soaps with high levels of mercury issued by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health).

In the health warning published by the NYC Health, the public were told not to use the listed products “as these beauty creams were found to contain mercury,” stressing “mercury is a poison and can harm your health.” It added “see your doctor if you use these products.”

To avoid being exposed to mercury in some skin lightening products, the EcoWaste Coalition again reminded consumers to heed the following health and safety tips:

  • Refrain from using skin bleaching, lightening or whitening products, and accept your natural skin color;
  • Shun products with improper labels and those with labeling information that you do not understand;
  • Reject products without proper market authorization;
  • Stop using banned or warned cosmetics; and
  • Discontinue use of mercury-added cosmetics and see a doctor for medical evaluation and advice.

The toxics watchdog group also appealed to online shopping giants Lazada and Shopee to stop the use of their platforms by third-party merchants for advertising, promoting and selling mercury cosmetics. The group also urged online sellers not to sell cosmetics that have no market authorization in the form of a valid Certificate of Product Notification issued by the FDA.


References:

https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-CED-PHE-EPE-19.13
https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/bangladesh-bans-17-pakistani-face-creams-dangerous-levels-mercury-457510
https://www.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/lead/skin-cream-warningsign.pdf

EcoWaste Coalition
Let's make an eco-friendly, zero waste, and toxic-free Philippines a reality.
https://www.ecowastecoalition.org/