An alert has been issued by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) over three health and cosmetic products found to contain potent undeclared ingredients that are harmful.
The “Wonderglow Whitening Specialist Super Ultra Glowing Cream” cosmetic set and “Tati Skin Care 5 in 1” set were discovered to contain high levels of mercury, while a pain-relief product called “Herba Saraf” found to contain dexamethasone – a potent steroid.
In a news release on Tuesday (13 March), the HSA advised members to the public to not purchase or use the products. “The products were obtained from Malaysia and sold on various online platforms,” said the authority.
A woman in her 40s who consumed Herba Saraf for over a month to treat her knee pain was diagnosed with impaired glucose tolerance, a condition that raises one’s risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The product, which the woman obtained from a relative in Malaysia, was later tested by the HSA and was found to contain dexamethasone.
“Inappropriate and prolonged use of steroids can result in Cushing’s syndrome, increased blood glucose levels leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, muscular and bone disorders, and an increased risk of infections,” said the HSA.
Separately, a woman in the 20s was detained at the Causeway for bringing in the Wonderglow and Tati Skin Care cosmetic kits from Malaysia into Singapore. She had intended to sell the items online but the products were seized and tested by the HSA.
The authority discovered that “Wonderglow” – touted as an anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing product – was also being sold by others online. It was also falsely marketed as “100% No Mercury Guaranteed” and the “Night Cream” in the cosmetic set was found to contain levels of mercury that exceeded the permissible limit by 7,000 times.
Noting that it had alerted the public to stop buying and using the “Tati Skin Care” cosmetic set in June and September last year, the HSA said the product had resurfaced online. The set’s “Therapy Cream 1” found to contain mercury levels exceeding the permissible limit by close to 50,000 times, while hydroquinone and tretinoin – both potent western ingredients – were found in the set’s “Therapy Cream 2”.
“Long-term exposure to cosmetic products with high levels of mercury can cause serious health consequences, including damage to the kidneys, and digestive and nervous systems. Inappropriate use of hydroquinone and tretinoin could cause adverse skin reactions such as redness, burning and peeling of the skin,” said the HSA.
Those who have consumed Herba Saraf are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible given that the sudden discontinuation of steroids without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms.
“Anyone who supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to $100,000,” said the authority.
More Singapore stories: