Skin Lightening Products Warning as Liver Damaging Cancer-Risk Skincare Shipment Seized

A warning was given about dangerous skin’lightening products being sold in Britain after hundreds of potentially life threatening skin products have were intercepted by trading standards officers as they were imported through London’s Heathrow Airport.

The skin-lightening products contained the skin-bleaching carcinogenic ingredient hydroquinone which is banned from Britain and across the European Union. As well as being carcinogenic, hydroquinone can result in liver and nerve damage.

The brands of creams, oils, and soaps are sold under names including White Express, Skin Light, Clear Essence, Clinic Clear and Caro White. They originated in Nigeria and were destined for UK wholesalers.

Cosmetics made with hydroquinone are dangerous as well as being potentially disfiguring, being linked to skin thinning and discolouration. They greatly increase the risk of skin cancer by exposing the skin to more of the sun’s rays. The shipment did not reach European safety standards and is part of an illicit trade where there is no control over ingredients and cosmetics and skin creams often contain known carcinogens, toxic chemicals and other highly dangerous products.

Once they enter the country and become part of the retail distribution system they are notoriously difficult to pick up and people buy them without realising the risks involved.

Head of Buckinghamshire and Surrey trading standards Steve Ruddy said they will continue to stop these products entering Britain: “Cosmetics like these have been banned in Britain since 2001 and yet we’re continuing to uncovering attempts to ply a trade in them at the expense of people’s health.

“We need to keep people safe from products such as these potentially life-threatening creams and stop them ending up in stores or being sold online in this country.”

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