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Warning Out on Product that Promises “Unparalleled White” Skin

Hua Shu Li Miracle Whitening & Anti-Freckle Set
The EcoWaste Coalition has detected violative levels of mercury in these day and night whitening creams.

Quezon City. The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has discovered another China-made skincare product contaminated with mercury, a hazardous chemical banned in cosmetic product formulations.

The group bought the Hua Shu Li Miracle Whitening & Anti-Freckle Set for P132 at Shopee Philippines from a seller based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Based on the chemical screening conducted by the group using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, the day cream contained 1,836 parts per million (ppm) of mercury and the night cream had 2,132 ppm, way above the one ppm limit set under the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive.

Hua Shu Li Miracle Whitening & Anti-Freckle Set
This imported skincare set contains mercury, a toxic chemical not permitted in cosmetic product formulations.

The Hua Shu Li product insert contains information in Chinese, English, Vietnamese and Thai languages indicating that it is meant for the international market.

The product, as written on its packaging, is supposedly “based on ancient traditional medical cosmetic formula with herbal extracts.”

It claims that the product contains “potent anti-spot, whitening” ingredients that “can inhibit melanin cells, balance moist in skin and quickly recover skin elasticity,” luring consumers with the promise of “unparalleled white, fine and shining” skin.

In product tests conducted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Hua Shu Li was found to contain mercury, as well as clobetasol (a steroid medicine for treating a variety of skin conditions).

True radiance comes from within, not from  mercury in skin whiteners

According to information materials published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, mercury and steroids, as well as hydroquinone, are among the “potentially harmful ingredients” in skin lightening products.

As stated in the said resources, “mercury is used to block the production of melanin, leading to lighter skin tones” (health effects: kidney and liver damage, neurological problems, developmental issues in children). “Steroids are used to treat skin conditions, including eczema, with skin whitening as a side effect” (health effects: rashes and pustules, hair growth on the skin, infections).

To prevent health problems resulting from the use of skin whiteners with harmful ingredients, the EcoWaste Coalition encouraged the public to embrace the color they are born with and refrain from altering their skin tone, stressing “natural is beautiful.”


References:

https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/skin/docs/testedprds.pdf
https://www.unep.org/globalmercurypartnership/news/editorial/tackling-mercury-pollution-and-racial-discrimination-jointly

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