I recently read some articles regarding mercury in skin care creams and although this is not a new subject, I am sad to say years later, mercury containing skin care products are still available to US consumers.
After reading the FDA Consumer Update, I googled some products to see just how accessible they are, and guess what I found.
- Stillman’s Bleach Cream for sale on Alibaba, Ebay,
- Lulanjina whitening cream for sale on Aliexpress, Alibaba, DHgate, Ebay
- Diana Crème CTR for sale on Amazon (in the UK),
- Qian Mei White Cream for sale on Aliexpress, Alibaba, DHgate, Ebay,
- Jiao Li cream for sale on Aliexpress, Alibaba
All of the sellers are oversea sellers. Can you imagine my surprise how instantly available these creams are to US consumers?? Well this sure as hell surprised me!!!sh#$*&t
For those who aren’t aware, mercury is an active ingredient found in some skin lightening creams. It helps to block melanin in the skin thus reducing the amount of pigment behind the undesirable brown spots and patches.
The concern with mercury is it affects the nervous system and kidneys. Young children and unborn babies in utero are most susceptible. I actually didn’t know exposure could be as easy as breathing in the vapors or ingesting it after someone applied it to their skin – think about little kids putting their little fingers in their mouths (pretty scary eh?).
Although selling mercury containing skin care products in the US is illegal, mercury containing products have already been found in 7 states. The Minnesota Department of Health tested 27 products for mercury. One sample from one jar of Lulanjina cream set contained 16,700 ppm of mercury!
In a biomonitoring study by McKelvey and associates, researchers found 9 participants with mercury levels > 20 ug/L. They further found exposure resulted from participants’ use of mercury containing skin lightening creams. While sale of skin care products with mercury levels above 1 part per million is illegal in the US (except in some specific cases), these products in the study were distributed by wholesalers in New Jersey (the products originated in the Dominican Republic).
Do you feel it is hard for the FDA to regulate this? It’s not like our personal luggage gets opened and checked every time we return home from a trip outside the country. People can bring items in rather easily in stowaway luggage. Or have items shipped in from another country and sadly, we have no control over what other countries may put in their products.
It’s interesting to me the government regulations in place today aren’t enough to protect us completely from this type of risk.
I guess today’s takeaway is to keep yourself informed. I always vote for checking out product labels anyway, but if you should come across any products manufactured outside of the US (skin lightening or other), look for ingredients like “mercurous chloride”, “calomel”, “mercuric” or “mercurio.” If you can’t even make sense of the label, it may be wise not to use it. At worst, a product containing mercury may not show up on its label.
For more information on the reports, you can visit them here:
Have you used a skin care product from another country? Did you take a look at its ingredients?
In the past, I've brought back skin care products from Asia but never looked at the ingredients! Now where's that jar of pearl cream! :O omg!@#$%
If you know of anyone who uses skin care products made outside of the US especially skin lightening creams, be sure to share this post with him or her. Till next time skin ravers,