KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — The Health Ministry (MOH) has urged the public to refrain from buying and using two cosmetic products that have been detected to contain scheduled poisons.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the products were Beautywise Rejuvenating Cream and Beautywise Rejuvenating Toner which contain hydroquinone and tretinoin respectively.
“Notification of the cosmetic products involved have been cancelled by the MOH’s 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 tretinoin, drugs that needed to be registered with the Drug Control Authority, could only be used with the advice of a health professional.
According to him, the use of hydroquinone can cause side effects such as redness of skin, discomfort, skin discolouration, skin becoming hypersensitive, inhibiting the pigmentation process (depigmentation) which reduces skin protection against harmful UV rays and can increase the risk of skin cancer.
The use of tretinoin, meanwhile, can cause the affected part of the skin to become red, uncomfortable, sore, flaky and hypersensitive to sunlight.
He said sellers and distributors of these cosmetic products should stop selling and distributing them immediately as it violates the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.
Individuals who commit an offence under these regulations shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM25,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both for the first offence, and a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both for the subsequent offence.
According to the statement, the company that commits the offence can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offence and up to RM100,000 for a subsequent offence.
Dr Noor Hisham also advised members of the public using these cosmetic products to immediately stop using them and seek advice from a health professional if they experience any discomfort or adverse effects.
The public is also encouraged to check the notification status of cosmetic products by browsing the official website of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) (www.npra.gov.my) or through the ‘NPRA Product Status’ application which can be downloaded from Google Play Store.