Skin whitening agents for face | How safe are online products?

Skin whitening agents for face is a growing market in Asia. With Korea, China, Japan leading the race. Learn more about the various types today.

What are the harmful ingredients in skin whitening creams?

The presence of illegal levels of mercury in non medical grade skin-lightening products is becoming a serious public health concern. Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can lead to severe health issues, and its use in cosmetics can have harmful consequences for individuals and their families.

Which mercury is used in skin whitening agents?

Inorganic mercury is used because of its bleaching effect.

Does mercury lighten skin permanently?

Mercury salt inhibits melanin formation.

Here are some key takeaways…

Mercury in Skin- Whitening agent for Face: Mercury has been used in skin-lightening products due to its ability to suppress melanin production, which can lighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. However, the use of mercury in cosmetics is highly dangerous to human health.

What are the side effects of mercury in skin whitening creams?

Toxic Effects of Mercury: Regular use of skin-whitening agents containing mercury can lead to various health problems, including reduced resistance to infections, skin issues, eye damage, breathing difficulties, nervous system damage, and kidney disease. Family members may also be unknowingly exposed to mercury through close contact.

  1. Research Findings: A study by the Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) analyzed over 100 skin-lightening products sold on online platforms like Amazon and eBay. Nearly half of these products contained mercury levels exceeding the international legal limit of 1 ppm set by the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
  2. Retail and Regulatory Challenges: The study highlights challenges in ensuring the safety and legality of products sold on e-commerce platforms. Even when products containing high levels of mercury were identified and removed, they often reappeared for sale.

What agents lighten skin?

  1. Safe Alternatives: Dermatologists recommend safe alternatives for skin discoloration, including ingredients such as hydroquinone (available by prescription), licorice, vitamin K, kojic acid, vitamin C, and arbutin. These alternatives can effectively address skin issues without the toxic effects of mercury.
  2. Cultural and Societal Factors: The use of skin-lightening products may also be influenced by cultural and societal factors, including historical issues related to racism and colorism.

What is the most effective whitening agent?

Clinically, hydroquinone has the best evidence for skin whitening. The formulation of hydroquinone comes in various percentages from 1 – 5%.

It’s crucial for consumers to be aware of the risks associated with using skin-lightening products containing mercury and to choose safer alternatives. Furthermore, efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of these products and to regulate their sale and distribution are essential for preventing mercury poisoning and protecting public health.

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