PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry (MOH has revoked the notification of four cosmetic products as they were found to contain scheduled poisons and are no longer allowed to be sold in Malaysia.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan said two of the products are Bestie Moisturizer Cream and Abyra Seaweed Skin Care-Seaweed Cell Renewal Night Cream as they contained mercury.

The other two products are Gerbera Beauty-Treatment & Repairing Night Cream, which contains hydroquinone, tretinoin and betamethasone 17-valerate, and Gerbera Beauty - Whitening Night Cream, which contains mercury and betamethasone 17-valerate, he said in a statement today.

He said mercury is prohibited in cosmetic products as it is harmful to health because it can be absorbed into the body and cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system.

“It can also disrupt the brain development of young or unborn children. Mercury can also cause rashes, irritation and other changes on the skin,“ he added.

He said products containing hydroquinone, tretinoin and betamethasone 17-valerate must be registered with the Drug Control Authority and can only be used with the advice of health professionals.

“Unsupervised use can cause side effects,” he said, adding that hydroquinone, among others, can cause redness of the skin, while tretinoin can cause the skin to become red, uncomfortable, painful, peeling and hypersensitive to sunlight.

He said the use of Betamethasone 17-Valerate can cause the skin to become thin and prone to irritation, acne, changes in skin pigmentation and increase the risk of being absorbed into the blood circulation system, which can have harmful effects.

Therefore, he urged sellers and distributors to stop selling and distributing the cosmetic products immediately as it violates the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.

Any individual who commits the offence can be fined up to RM25,000 or imprisoned not more than three years or both for the first offence and fined RM50,000 or jailed not more than five years or both for subsequent offences.

A company found guilty can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offence and RM100,000 for subsequent offences.

“Consumers are advised to stop using the products immediately and seek the advice of healthcare professionals if they experience any discomfort or adverse effects,” he added. - Bernama

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