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KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 -- The Health Ministry (MOH) has urged the public to refrain from buying and using three cosmetic products that have been detected to contain scheduled poisons.
Health director-general (DG) Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the products were Deeja Cosmetic Yulai Cream, Deeja Cosmetic Laila Cream and Deluxe Beauty - Ultra Lightening Cream Pearl Perfect Fairness which each contain hydroquinone, mercury and betamethasone 17-valerate.
“Notification of the cosmetic products involved has been cancelled by the MOH senior director of Pharmaceutical Services. Therefore, these cosmetic products are no longer allowed to be sold in Malaysia,” he said in a statement, today.
Dr Noor Hisham said products containing hydroquinone and betamethasone 17-valerate need to be registered with the Drug Control Authority and could only be used with the advice of a health professional.
He said improper use of hydroquinone can cause redness of skin, discomfort, skin discolouration, and even hypersensitivity of the skin.
“It can also inhibit the process of pigmentation (depigmentation) which reduces the skin's protection from harmful UV rays and can increase the risk of skin cancer,” he said.
He said betamethasone 17-valerate, on the other hand, can cause facial skin to become thin and prone to irritation, acne, pigmentation, and increase the risk of being absorbed into the circulatory system which can lead to harmful effects, while mercury-filled cosmetic products are not only harmful to the skin but also the nerve system and the kidneys.
“It can also interfere with the brain development of young or unborn children,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said sellers and distributors of these cosmetic products were warned to stop the sale and distribution of such cosmetic products immediately for violating the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.
“An individual who commits an offence under these regulations shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM25,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding three years or both for the first offence and to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding five years or to both for the next offence.
“Companies that commit offences can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offence and fined up to RM100,000 for subsequent offences,” he added.