Malaysia urgently repealed notification of cosmetics products containing Hydorquinone, Tretinoin and Mercury. Retailers or distributors of these cosmetics are subject to fines of up to RM25, 000 or could face imprisonment.
As an ASEAN member, Malaysia regulates cosmetics by using a notification system involving a basic pre-market review step. To guarantee product quality and safety, post-market surveillance is reinforced. For example, when poisonous ingredients such as Hydorquinone, Tretinoin and Mercury are discovered in marketed products, severe punishments are handed out.
Hydroquinone is commonly added to cosmetics for its skin lighting effect, tretinoin for acne and wrinkles and mercury for skin lighting and anti-ageing treatment. They are all associated with severe side effects (mercury can even damage the kidneys and the nervous system). Products containing hydroquinone and tretinoin are classified as pharmaceutical products that require registration with the Drug Control Authority (DCA) and can only be used under the advice of a healthcare professional.
Therefore, to sell products containing these ingredients with only a notification is illegal. Malaysia has already repealed the notifications of these products, and urges all sellers and distributors to stop sales and distribution of these products immediately, or their activity will be treated as an offence. 1),An offence can be fined up to a maximum of RM25, 000 or subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both; 2), a second or subsequent offence is subject to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.
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