MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued separate advisories warning against the purchase and use of five imported beauty creams being sold in the Philippines without market authorization.
Through FDA Advisories No. 2021-3043, 3055, 3057, 3059, and 3060 that were posted on the agency’s website on Friday, the agency advised consumers not to buy and use the following products:
– Parley Goldie Advanced Beauty Cream
– Safora Beauty Cream
– Morning Face Beauty Cream
– AQME Beauty Cream
– Golden Pearl Beauty Cream
The FDA also warned establishments not to distribute the said products, which, according to the environmental protection group EcoWaste, are labeled as having been produced in Pakistan.
“FDA’s latest regulatory action is laudable, but much more needs to be done to fully enforce the national and global ban on skin whitening cosmetics with mercury content, including stopping their uncontrolled sale in online shopping platforms,” Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition, said in a statement on Saturday.
According to the environmental group, it found advertisements for the said products in two popular shopping sites in a search conducted on Saturday morning.
EcoWaste Coalition, which reported the unlawful sale of the said cosmetics to the FDA in April, said the products contain mercury above the maximum limit of one part per million (ppm) under the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive and the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
Based on the screening conducted by the group using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, Parley Goldie had 16,915 ppm of mercury, AQME had 16,000 ppm, Golden Pearl had 10,200 ppm, Safora had 6,410 ppm, and Morning Face had 5,696 ppm of mercury.
The group said that the manufacturers of the cosmetic items made no disclosure of the mercury compounds in their listed ingredients, while enticing consumers with “over-the-top claims as indicated on the product labels and inserts.”
For example, AQME claims it can “provide 100% results with no side effects” despite its excessive mercury content. Golden Pearl claims it “is the only cream in the world which in a very short time makes you look beautiful,” while Parley Goldie contends to offer a solution to “stain and spots, dark neck, dark fingers, blackheads, dark elbow, side effects of makeup, wrinkles and freckles, dark feet, pimples, dark circles.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) said, “adverse health effects of the inorganic mercury contained in skin lightening creams and soaps include kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration, and scarring, reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, anxiety, depression, psychosis, and peripheral neuropathy.”
EcoWaste, citing WHO, added that mercury in the mentioned cosmetic products is eventually discharged into wastewater where it enters the environment and contaminates the food chain.
“We also see the need to counter the deep-seated misbelief that white skin is ABC—attractive, beautiful, and cleaner—compared to dark skin. Colorism or skin color bias has to go. Natural skin color is beautiful,” said Dizon.