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Skin Products Containing Mercury and/or Hydroquinone

In the past few years, FDA and state health officials have discovered numerous products marketed as skin lighteners that contain ingredients like mercury and/or hydroquinone. FDA does not allow mercury in drugs or in cosmetics, except under very specific conditions where there are no other safe and effective preservatives available conditions that these products do not meet.  Over-the-counter (OTC) skin lightening products containing the active drug ingredient hydroquinone are unapproved drugs and are not generally recognized as safe and effective (not GRASE). Skin lightening products are generally marketed to be applied topically but may also be injected.

Often, mercury or hydroquinone is not declared on the product label. There have been cases in which people exposed to such products have had mercury poisoning or elevated levels of mercury in their bodies. Additionally, FDA has received reports of serious side effects including skin rashes, facial swelling, and ochronosis (discoloration of skin) from the use of skin lightening products containing hydroquinone. 

The table below provides the mercury and/or hydroquinone content of skin lighteners tested by FDA laboratories. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products. If you have questions, call your health care professional or the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222; it is open 24 hours a day.

Product Name and Image Year Tested Country of Origin Lab Results - Mercury Content (parts per million) Lab Results - Hydroquinone Content (%)
CCM Special Cream Turmeric 2022   8,088 ppm  
CCM Perfect 365 White Cream 2022   4,322 ppm  
Be Be Special Cream CCM/Yellow 2022   8,909 ppm  
Be Be Special Cream 2022   3,110 ppm  
La Tia Mana Crema Limpiadora y Curativa 2022 Mexico 5,432 ppm  
Ling Zhi BB Whitening Cream 2022 Japan 1,393 ppm  
Skin care & Cosmetic MSII Whitening Peeling 2022 France 1,581 ppm  
Skin care & Cosmetic MSII Express Peeling 2022 France 5,797 ppm  
Collagen Plus - Vit E Cream, Night Cream 2022   3,670 ppm 2.0%
Aneeza Gold Beauty Face Cream 2022 Pakistan 12,400 ppm  
HIYADY Glutatione Cream White & Bright 2022   15,900 ppm  

Light & Natural CAROTONE Black Spot Corrector CREME B.S.C

2022 Côte d'Ivoire -- 4.4%
African Queen Strong Bleaching Treatment 2022 United States -- 3.6%
Amos Make Me White in 7 Days 2022 United States -- 1.2%
B.B. Clear Dark Spot Remover Cream 2022 Togo -- 4.4%
Kim Whitening Pearl and Snowlotus Cream 2019   47 ppm  
Golden Pearl Beauty Cream 2019   12,000 ppm  
Chandni Whitening Cream 2019 Pakistan 8,790 ppm  
Goree Beauty Cream 2019   17,200 ppm  
Sandal Whitening Beauty Cream 2019 Pakistan 13,100 ppm  
Monespa Express Peeling 2019   5,030 ppm  
Face Fresh Beauty Cream 2019   18,500 ppm  
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