Federal health officials are warning consumers that some skin creams, soaps or lotions may contain toxic levels of mercury.
“The products are marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles”, says Gary Coody, national health fraud coordinator in the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. The FDA advised against using products listing ‘mercurous chloride’, ‘calomel’, ‘mercuric’, ‘mercurio’, or ‘mercury’ among their ingredients, as well as products that don’t list ingredients in English or at all.
The products that are showing dangerous levels are manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the U.S., often targeted at Latino, Asian, African or Middle Eastern Consumers. Adolescents may also be using these products for acne treatments.
“Even though these products are promoted as cosmetics, they also may be unapproved new drugs under the law,” says Linda Katz, M.D., director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors.
The FDA does not allow mercury in drugs or in cosmetics, except under very specific conditions, which these lightening and acne products do not meet.
Dangers of Mercury
“Exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences,” says Charles Lee, M.D., a senior medical advisor at FDA. “It can damage the kidneys and the nervous system, and interfere with the development of the brain in unborn children and very young children.”
Here’s how the FDA says you can protect yourself:
ü Check the product labels for the dangerous ingredients listed above. If you see them, stop using the product immediately.
ü If the product has no list of ingredients or there’s no English on the label, do not use it.
ü If you think you have been using a product with mercury, stop using it immediately and contact your doctor for advice.
Our DERMAspaRx products do not contain mercury or any of its variations. For Safe Skin Lightening our Derma Luna Cream is ideal. This brilliant anti-aging formula lightens pigmentation caused by sun damage—minimizing the need for cosmetic surgery or other medical procedures. Dermaluna works by inhibiting pigment (melanin) formation, accelerating skin renewal and restructuring vital skin cells, all while soothing skin, increasing moisture and stimulating collagen.