Mercury is a dangerous skin lightening ingredient

Some skin lightening ingredients work extremely well in the short-term, but are dangerous to our well-being and the long-term health of our skin. Mercury is one of them.

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History of mercury use in skin lightening creams

The use of mercury in commercial skin bleaching creams and soaps goes back to the early 1900s. Before 1970, commercial bleaching creams would normally use ammoniated mercury to produce a lightening effect on the skin.  These bleaching creams were aggressively marketed to black people in the US.

In 1976, the use of mercury in cosmetic products was banned in the EU. The US banned the use of mercury in skin bleaching creams much later in 1990.

Mercury absorption into the body via the skin

Mercury and mercurial compounds can be absorbed into the body by inhalation of the vapors, ingestion, or skin contact. As a poison, the damaging effects of mercury are subtle and cumulative, building up over time.

When absorbed, mercury has been discovered in blood, urine, bile, sweat, saliva, milk, and in pus on the surface of ulcers. It has also been discovered in the solids after death, in the brain, the bones, the cellular tissue, in serous membranes, in the parts close to the joints, and in the lungs and liver.

Mercury’s effects on the skin and overall health (symptoms of mercury poisoning / excessive mercury)

Mercury can be extremely effective in lightening dark spots and stubborn pigmentation but has a high spontaneous remission rate (in a number of people, the original pigmentation returns once the treatment is stopped).

The symptoms of mercury poisoning include emotional disturbances, unsteadiness, inflammation of the mouth and gums, general fatigue, memory loss, forgetfulness and headaches. There can also be behavioural and personality changes such as irritability, low self-confidence, depression, unusual shyness and timidity (including fear and discomfort during normal social situations).  

Excess mercury in the system has also been known to cause kidney problems (membranous nephropathy), tremors and muscle spasms.

Skin contact with mercury compounds can lead to irritation, including patches of inflammation and the appearance of tiny bumps close together. These bumps may burst and discharge matter, which later crusts over leading to soreness and discomfort.

Essential Reading: What to do if you’ve been poisoned by mercury

Skin lightening products with dangerous levels of mercury

While the use of mercury in skin lightening creams have been banned for some time now, they are still produced and sold in lightly-regulated markets. Below is a list of known skin lightening creams that contain dangerous levels of mercury (more than 1 ppm or one part per million).

The list of creams, lotions and soaps below are just the ones I’ve found, so it’s not an inclusive list.

I update this list regularly. If you know of a cream, lotion or soap that has tested positive for mercury, let me know in the comments section below.

List of creams, lotions and soaps reported to contain mercury (updated regularly with newest additions at the top)

      • Night Glowing (link to article)
      • Glowing Speed Gold Day Cream and Glowing Speed Gold Night Cream
      • Nour Ain Night Cream
      • Royal Expert Whitening Cream
      • Royal Expert Whitening Cream (link to article with photo)
      • Maxi Claire (this entry and the following up to “Elegance Soap” are listed as containing mercury in the Uganda government’s pre-export standards data sheet on page 8)
      • Shiny Beauty cream
      • Top Claire Plus
      • Tamarin
      • Charms
      • Caro derm
      • Skin Light
      • Carro 7
      • L’abidjainaise
      • Rapid Clair
      • Beauty Lotion Shinny
      • Djarabi
      • Yes To / Yes To lotion
      • Bio 21 Jours
      • Bio liss
      • Caro Top lotion
      • New Shirley Medicated
      • Top lemon
      • Pimplex Medicated
      • Top Claire Plus
      • Uniderm Soap
      • Djarabi Soap
      • Jaribu Soap
      • Skin Light Soap
      • Super Family Soap
      • Binti Jambo Soap
      • Baby and Maman Soap
      • Movate Soap
      • Amira Soap
      • La Bamakoise Savon Tamarin Soap
      • Miki Soap
      • Mekako Soap
      • Rico Soap
      • Tura Soap
      • Jaribu Soap
      • Acura Soap
      • Fair Lady Soap
      • Elegance Soap
      • Mireya and Nene Gardoqui (potentially linked to mercury poisoning in a child)
      • Jiachuntang Ban Gan Jing Qu Ban Shuang (link to article with photos)
      • Lan Mei Rou 12-Day Whitening and Speckle Removing Suit
      • Yangqian Fashion Care Skin Strong Whitening & Spot Removing Package
      • Crema Piel De Seda (Silky Skin Cream) by Viansilk (link to FDA warning)
      • Qu Puteh Whitening Pro 9 or Qu Puteh Kosmetik Whitening Pro 9 cream (link to article with photos)
      • Qu Puteh Whitening UV Block or Qu Puteh Kosmetik Whitening UV Block
      • Meiyong Super Whitening (link to article with photos)
      • Yunxi New skin whitening 4 in 1 Suit (link to press release)
        • Yunxi New skin whitening Pearl Cream (9,200 mg/kg of mercury detected)
        • Yunxi New skin whitening Night Cream (16,000 mg/kg of mercury detected)
      • Collagen Night Cream  (link to article)
      • Xuefujiaolan Herbal Whitening and Embellish Classic Set (link to article)
      • Mifton 7 Days Beauty  Freckle Whitening Repair Set  (link to article)
      • BG Sea Pearl and Papaya Natural Essence 6 days Specific Eliminating Freckle Whitening Sun Block Cream (link to article)
      • BG Ginseng and Ganoderma Lucidum 6 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Whitening Sun Block Cream
      • Yinni Green Tea Quickacting Whitener and Speckle Remover Package
      • Yin Ni Whitener Repair Cream (link to article)
      • Santen cosmetic cream (link to article)
      • LiLiki Whitening Day Cream / Cream 911  (link to article)
      • Erna Whitening Cream (link to article)
      • Aroma Magic Fairy Lotion (link to article)
      • Olay Natural White (made by Procter and Gamble India, link to article)
      • Ponds White Beauty (made by Hindustan Unilever, link to article)
      • Monsepa Bleaching Express Peeling (link to article)
      • Top Shirley Nourishing Cream (link to article)
      • LMSER Cream
      • Angela Placenta Whitening Cream (Tender Skin & Whitening)
      • Youngrace Age Defying Essence (link to article)
      • Angel Placenta Whitening Cream (link to article)
      • Sanli Eliminating Freckle Cream
      • Sanli Eliminating Freckle Cream Plus Complex Vitamin C & E
      • LMSER Whitening Cream
      • Care Skin Strong Whitening and Spot Removing pack
      • Huayuenong 12 Days Whitening and Speckle Removing set
      • White Advance Hydroxytyrosol L-Glutathione Whitening and Antiaging Cream
      • Zhjren 7-Day beauty elegant moisturizing and whitening day cream
      • Zhjren Whitening Ruddy Combination Suit
      • White Magnolia Intensive Repair Essence Powerful Spot Remover
      • Roopamrit (link to article)
      • Seven Herbal Ubtan (link to UK product recalls + alternative pdf download, OAS alert with pictureslink to article)
      • Melati UV – Whitening Vit. E Cream (link to article with photos)
      • Esther Bleaching Cream (A) and (B) (link to article with photos)
      • Gakadi freckle removing cream
      • Natural Orange Whitening and Anti-Aging Package
      • Hengxueqian Whitening Set
      • Cellnex Anti-Sensitive Essence Treatment (contains betamethasone and mercury; link to article)
      • SF Beauty Night Cream (Facial) and SF Beauty Day Cream (Facial) (contains betamethasone and mercury)
      • Wiana Whitening Beauty Cream (source for this and the next 11 creams: Buckinghamshire County Council — opens a pdf with photos of the creams and their mercury levels / alternate link)
      • Pai Mei whitening spot cream (30,167 ppm of mercury! link to article 1 / 2)
      • Caike Red Ginseng (link to article)
      • Goree Whitening Cream (contains 9,870mg/kg of a mercury compound; link to RAPEX notification)
      • Faiza Beauty Cream / Faiza No 1 Beauty Cream
      • Golden Pearl Beauty Cream (4,750 mg/kg of mercury; link to RAPEX notification)
      • Face Fresh Beauty Cream (4,620 mg/kg mg/kg of mercury; link to RAPEX notification)
      • Fresh Look Ultra Whitening Fairness Cream (3,500mg/kg mg/kg of mercury;  link to RAPEX notification)
      • Raj Beauty Cream (470 mg/kg of mercury;  link to RAPEX notification)
      • Seven Herbal Ubtan (620 mg/kg of mercury; link to RAPEX notification)
      • Formula AA Arched Pearl Crème
      • Fair and Lovely Forever Glow / Fair and Lovely Anti Marks Cream
      • Gipsey Amazing Cream
      • Olivia Crème for Unwanted Hair
      • Seven Herbal Wrinkle de Crease
      • Brite Face Cream (link to article)
      • Due Whitening Cream
      • Wiana Whitening Cream
      • Feique Whitening Anti-Freckle Cream (link to article)
      • Feique Golden Aloe Whitening Anti-Scar, Anti-Freckle Set
      • Feique Green Tea Vital Whitening Freckle Removing Cream
      • Bai Li Tou Hong (has 46,700 ppm of mercury!)
      • Maidaifu Herbal Moisturizing and Whitening Cream (60,800 ppm of mercury!)
      • Yu Dan Tang Green Cucumber and Ginseng 6 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Whitening Set
      • Loreial Paris Anti-Freckle Cream
      • Yu Dan Tang / Yudantang Ginseng and Ganoderma Lucidum 6 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Whitening Sun Block Cream
      • Yu Dan Tang / Yudantang Ginseng and Green Cucumber 10 Days Whitening Speckles Removed Essence
      • Yu Dan Tang / Yudantang 10 Specific Eliminating Freckle Spot  and Double Whitening Sun Block Cream
      • Yu Dan Tang / Yudantang Aloe Pearl 10-Day Whitening Speckles Removed Essence Cream
      • Yu Dan Tang / Yudantang 10 Days Sheep Essence & Ginseng
      • Aichun Beauty Green Tea Whitening Speckle Removing Series (3-in-1)
      • Aichun Beauty Strongly Whitening Freckle Series (3-in-1)
      • Aichun Beauty Pawpaw Whitening and Freckle Remover Series (3-in-1)
      • Aichun Beauty Aloe Vera Whitening and Speckle Removing Series
      • Yuchun Hanfang (link to article)
      • Tongrentang Yisheng Whitening and Freckle Removal Cream (link to article)
      • Hua Ma ABC – Hua Ma Day Cream and Hua Ma Night Cream (link to article)
      • Jiaoli (link with more information and pictures and 2007 FDA import alert on Jiaoli from www.PetitpriZes.com)
        • Other names
          • Jiaoli 7-Day Specific Eliminating Freckle AB Set Cream
          • Jiaoli Miraculous Cream
          • Jiao Li 10-Days Eliminating Freckle Day & Night Set
          • Jiaoli Huichunsu Whitening Speckles Removal Cream
          • Jiaoli Huichunsu Special Cut Genuine Cream
          • Xin Jiao Li 7-Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Cream
          • Jiaoli Rejuvenation Essence 10 days speckle removing
          • Jiaoli Speckle Dispelling and Whitening Cream
          • Jiaoli Huichunsu Specific Eliminating Freckle Cream
          • Jiaoli Herbs Essence Whitening AB Set
        • Similar products with possibly different packaging (appears to be from the same company, Harbin Gelidai Jiaobao Cosmetics)
          • Jiao Liang Miraculous Cream
          • Xin Jiao Liang 7-Days Miracle Package for Spots Refining
          • Jiao Mei Miraculous Cream
          • Jiao Yan Specific Miraculous Cream
          • Jiao Li Extra Pearl Facial Cream
      • Mui Lee Hiang – Cream for Acne & Blemishes (link with picture)
      • Natural 99 yellow cream – day cream, Natural 99 white cream – night cream (link with pictures)
      • Rose Super White Whitening Essence (link with picture)
      • Whitening Sunblock Cream – Day Cream (link with picture)
      • EMEL SKIN CARE CO. No. 8 (link with picture)
      • Dermaline (link to 2009 FDA Import Alert for creams containing mercury)
      • Miss Key Whitening Cream / Crema Bianqueadora Miss Key (link to 2009 FDA Import Alert for creams containing mercury)
      • Santa Cream / Crema Santa (link to 2009 FDA Import Alert for creams containing mercury)
      • Mannig Beauty Cream / Manning Cream De Belleza
        • 8% mercury by weight
      • Bioactive Facial Enlightening Activator
      • Day and Night UV Expert
      • Jin Sheng Mei (link with picture)
      • Ginseng (Extra Pearl Cream)
      • Orrefor (Extra Pearl Cream)
      • Pally (Nourishing Cream)
      • Bivong
      • Butae (Pearl Cream)
      • Silvana cream
      • Ly-NA (Nourish face cream)
      • ALFA (Extra Pearl cream)
      • Yin Fong (Extra Pearl cream)
      • Diana Cream
      • Civic (Nourishing cream)
      • Ideal cream (listed as having contained mercury in this report by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute; page 53)
      • Melanax
      • Cing-Cing (Roon Petch)
      • Daifu (Herbal formula/pearl cream)
      • Cream Minerva
      • Stillmann’s Freckle Cream
      • Fasco Herbal Cream
      • TOP-GEL MCA Cream
      • Shabright Clear and Bright Skin Formula
      • LuLanJina (white and yellow cream)
      • Ling Ji Su (white and yellow cream)
      • St. Dalfour Cream
      • Miss Beauty Magic Cream
        • Has 28,600 ppm of mercury!
      • JJJ Magic Spots Removing Cream
      • Flower Woman 7-Day Whitening and Spot and Night Set Cream
      • Sara Glutathione Sheep Placenta Whitening and Anti-Spot Cream
      • Beauty Girl Natural Olive and Sheep Essence 10-Day Double Whitening Cream
        • Other products from the same company Yudantang International, Taiwan (also contains mercury)
          • Beauty Girl Papaya & Hawthorne Essence
          • Beauty Girl Ginseng & Green Cucumber
          • Beauty Girl Essence Aloe Pearl
          • Beauty Girl Double White SPF17AP Whitening Cream
          • Beauty Girl Egg White and Tomato 6 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Whitening Cream
      • Miss Beauty Excellent Therapy Whitening Cream (violet and old rose packaging)
      • Aichun Beauty Green Tea Whitening Speckle Removing Series Cream
      • Aichun Beauty Whitening Freckle Day and Night Cream
      • Shengli Day & Night Cream
      • Doctor Bai Skin Revitalizing Skin Brightening
      • Qiang Li Zeng Bai Qu Ban Wang whitening cream
      • S’zitang 7-Day Specific Whitening and Spot AB Set Cream
      • S’zitang Cream
      • S’zitang 10 Days Eliminating Freckle Day and Night Set
      • S’zitang 7 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle AB Set
      • Yoko Gentleman Cream for men
      • Jonathan clearing facial spots 12-day cream
      • Gemli Glutathione Hydrolyzed Collagen whitening & anti-aging
      • Gemli Glutathione Grapeseed Extract Whitening and Anti-Aging
      • Gemli Freckles Cream
      • Gemli Beauty Series Freckles Cream Plus Placenta Extract
      • Qian Mei – white cream and yellow cream
      • Cream Aghader
      • Savon pour L’acné Diana soap
      • Lemon Herbal Whiting Cream
        • 33,000 ppm of mercury!
      • Sensual Whitening Cream (link to article
      • Crema Aguamary face cream and eye cream
      • Crema Antiedad y Desmanchadora
        • Nearly identical to “Crema Aguamary” above. Has 130,000 times the FDA limit for mercury (link to article)
      • Long Dian Tu Glutathione Pearl Natural Whitening Essence Cream
      • Feique Rose Refining Nourishing Set Cream
      • Feique Herbal Extract Whitening Antifreckle Set
      • Lianglibai Qingbanxuejizuhetaozhuang Cream
      • Pretty Model Whitening and Freckle Removing Cream
      • Women of Flower Whitening and Speckle Removing AB Series Cream
      • Lamb Placenta Whitening and Anti-Aging Cream
      • Forever Beauty 10-Day Special Cream
      • New Baijiasi Whitening Night Cream
      • Medicam Bleach Cream  (38,800 mg/kg of mercurylink to RAPEX notification)

Published reports of mercury found in skin creams

Many government websites also contain lists of banned cosmetics and soaps that contain mercury. For example, The Kenya Bureau of Standards has a list of banned products containing mercury (see pdf). The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) also has a list of skin creams that exceeded the FDA limit for mercury upon testing.

In 2004, New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene conducted an investigation and had the mercury content of several store-bought skin-lightening products analysed (see page 3 of this pdf for the product list and their mercury content).

In May 2010, the Chicago Tribune had 50 skin-lightening creams tested at a lab (most of the creams were bought in stores, a few were ordered online). Six were found to contain illegal amounts of mercury. You can check the Chicago Tribune’s findings in this detailed list containing the names of these creams and the levels of mercury they contained (download pdf).

In August 2011, Philippine watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition conducted a test of 12 brands of whitening creams. 11 tested positive for high levels of mercury (download pdf). Later in October 2011, the same group screened 25 brands and found that 19 contained 1,395 ppm to 52,100 ppm of mercury (none listed mercury as an ingredient).

In 2016, a study by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) analysed skin whitening creams for mercury content and investigated the health threats and use of such creams among consumers.

Appearance and packaging

Most skin lightening creams containing mercury are either white or yellow in color.

Unscrupulous manufacturers can also easily change their product names and packaging to evade the authorities. The packaging for skin whitening creams containing mercury would also usually not list mercury as one of its ingredients, although sometimes ‘calomel’ is listed (calomel is mercurous chloride, a type of mercury).

Unlabeled or homemade products are also suspect

In one case, skin lightening creams sold in white plastic jars with no labels were found to contain 5.6% or 56,000 ppm of mercury (2010/11 Health Alert from California’s Department of Public Health, with picture).

In another case, sellers of the banned St. Dalfour whitening cream not only stole an existing European jam company’s brand name St. Dalfour for themselves, but also reused the company’s jam jars! Perhaps most shockingly is that these startling facts aren’t enough to deter everyone.

Skin whitening forums are rife with sellers insisting they have the “real” St Dalfour whitening cream, as opposed to the “fake” ones. All without a trace of irony.

Aggressive behavior by online sellers of banned creams

Read these two comment threads (thread 1) (thread 2) for examples of a typical banned cream seller’s spiel. Be sure to read the entire threads as they’re excellent examples of the aggressive online tactics used by shady sellers of banned whitening creams.

Initial flattery, assurances, over-the-top promises, and finally, passive aggressiveness, feigned “hurt”, intimidation, mockery or insults when they don’t get their own way. This is their modus operandi.

Read this article for some advice on how to protect yourself.

Creams containing dangerous levels of mercury

Photos

Yunxi New skin whitening 4 in 1 Suit Creams Containing Mercury-Yunxi New skin whitening 4 in 1 Suit
Yin Ni Whitener Repair Cream Creams Containing Mercury-Yin Ni Whitener Repair Cream
Collagen Night Cream (Chinese name) Creams Containing Mercury-Collagen Night Cream
Jiaoli Day and Night Cream Creams Containing Mercury-Jiaoli day and night creamCreams Containing Mercury-Jiaoli day and night cream 2
Mui Lee Hiang – Cream for Acne & Blemishes Creams Containing Mercury-Mui Lee Hiang - Cream for Acne & Blemishes
  • Natural 99 yellow cream – Day cream
  • Natural 99 white cream – Night cream
Creams Containing Mercury-Natural 99 yellow cream - day and Natural 99 white cream - night cream
Rose Super White Whitening Essence Creams Containing Mercury-Rose Super White Whitening Essence
Whitening Sunblock Cream – Day Cream Creams Containing Mercury-Whitening Sunblock Cream (Day Cream)
EMEL SKIN CARE CO. No. 8 Creams Containing Mercury-EMEL SKIN CARE CO. No. 8
Jin Sheng Mei Creams Containing Mercury-JinShengMei
Stillmann’s Freckle cream creams containing mercury-Stillmann's Freckle cream
Fasco Herbal cream creams containing mercury-Fasco Herbal cream
TOP-GEL MCA

  • Top Gel MCA Medicated Cream
  • Top Gel MCA Extra Pearl Cream
  • Top Gel MCA Skin Creme
Shabright Clear and Bright Skin Formula
LuLanJina Anti Black Spot and Whitening Set (yellow + white cream)
St. Dalfour Cream

  • Packaging is repurposed jam jars! See the original jars that came from a separate and unrelated jam manufacturer.
  • FRAUD ALERT (2 Sept 2011). I’ve received fake comments from someone posing as different people (“Lars Darby“, supposed “CEO” of St Dalfour Whitening Cream + “Maria“, a commenter selling the “original” St Dalfour cream). The comments came from the same I.P address (click to view screenshot).
JJJ Magic Spots Removing Cream
Miss Beauty Magic Cream
Qian Mei – white cream and yellow cream
Crema Aguamary face cream and eye cream
Crema Antiedad y Desmanchadora
(nearly identical to Crema Aguamary above)
Brite Face Cream  
Due Whitening Cream  
Wiana Whitening Cream  
Monsepa Bleaching Express Peeling

More about mercury

Before mercury was discovered to be toxic, it was extensively prescribed as a medical treatment for various conditions such as jaundice, smallpox, syphilis, gonorrhea, venereal diseases and vitiligo.

ads_mercurybleachingcream
Ads for ‘Palmer’s Skin Success’, a skin bleaching cream. The ad boasts about the cream’s ammoniated mercury content. Published in Ebony Magazine in 1966. Click to enlarge.
ads_mercurybleachingcream
A Drum magazine advertisement from June 1963 for a cream that contained mercury.

 

Questions about the safety of specific creams in the comments section

Many have asked about the safety of specific creams in the comments section below – i.e. whether this or that cream is safe or if it contains mercury.

I’m quite unable to answer most of these queries since I’m not an independent testing agency, nor do I have the funds or backing to source for these creams and get them tested on my own at third-party labs.

If you look through the long list of banned products on this page, you’ll find that the information was largely gathered from various countries’ government agencies and customs departments. They are publicly available information. All I can do is try to put the scattered pieces in one place.

So there’s not much I can tell you about the safety of a specific cream if you’ve already done a Google search and came up with little to nothing reliable on it (although I think finding little good information is already an answer in and of itself — no matter what, you’ll be taking a risk with it).

If you have questions or are doubtful about the safety of any cream, I would advise that you err on the side of caution for the following reasons.

  • Long waits to identifying dangerous creams. There can be a long time lag between a cream with mercury first being sold and consumers being made aware that it is actually dangerous. Many creams that were found to contain mercury were only discovered to be harmful after many months (and sometimes years) of being sold.
  • Lax or non-existent government monitoring. Most creams that use banned substances like mercury are manufactured in markets where there is little or no reliable government monitoring and control. Sometimes there can also be the appearance of oversight, but no real protection. Low-wage public officials that are responsible for monitoring the use of banned substances in manufacturing can be easily paid off to sweep things under the rug. 
  • Most creams pass through borders without being tested. Many product warnings on creams with banned substances actually originate from other countries’ customs departments during the import/export process. However, even this system is plagued with holes since only a small percentage of products that enter a country are actually chemically tested.  So for importers/exporters, it’s really a game of numbers. It makes financial sense for them to continue shipping banned/harmful creams because they know that even if some will be seized, most will pass through trade borders undetected.
  • E-commerce has made it easy for anyone to package and sell creams without certification or licensing. Little-heard-of creams that are sold in small shops and markets may be made in homes, basements, garages, etc. It is very easy for anyone to mix, package, label and sell their own creams. Do a search on ebay or alibaba and you’ll find all the chemical ingredients and packaging needed for anyone to start selling their own “magic cream”, complete with shiny packaging and too-good-to-be-true promises. There are no guarantees with these creams except that the people selling them will make some money. All the risk is borne by the users who might end up with irreparable skin damage, be hospitalised, or worse.

Laws and systems do work to protect consumers to some extent, but they cannot guarantee 100% safety. 

Just look at how long the product list on this page has gotten over time. I’ve been adding products to the list month after month. This reflects our broken system.

So the best protection is really ourselves and our own good judgement.

Here are two good rules of thumb

  1. Use creams that are manufactured by large, reputable companies with a global presence. Do an online search before you buy. If you need more information, visit the company’s website. A good manufacturer will have a way for you send questions such as a working telephone number or email address.
  2. Only buy creams that are sold in reputable retail stores. Your best bet is large pharmacy and supermarket chains (e.g. Boots, Guardian, Watsons) as their retail buyers have to adhere to certain safety and quality standards. They also have a reputation to maintain.

And if you want to save some money, create your own skin lightening methods using natural ingredients such as turmeric, lemon juice and vinegar. They’ll cost pennies compared to expensive creams and you’ll know exactly what you’re putting on your skin.

583 Replies to “Mercury is a dangerous skin lightening ingredient”

  1. This site is very helpful. Thank you for posting these harmful skin care products in the market today. Why they keep this products available in the market? They must have banned all this stuffs.

  2. Thank you! Raising awareness about mercury issues is so important, especially in this day and age. Companies and even medical professionals seem more concerned about protecting themselves and their profits than protecting the health of the minority of people who suffer greatly when they absorb even very small amounts of mercury into their system.

    I am one of those people who has suffered greatly from mercury poisoning and I am doing my bit to raise awareness by providing useful information and telling my recovery story at:

    http://www.mercurystories.com

    Recovery from mercury poisoning is possible!

    1. Hi Aine, thanks for your comment and the link. I’m sure your experience will help many and show that while the road to recovery from mercury is a long one, it is very possible.

    2. thanks so much aine..actually am using it also..the jioli day n night cream..now i stop..but..im still scared if the product will affect my body since i already used that for about 8 months..any infos how to check whether im in good condition or already got affected that may be dangerous to my body?..thanks alot..i really appreciate it..

  3. Thanks for posting this dangerous cream Miss A…Before, I used this cream and it did not help me in treating my oily and dark skin..It hurts when it peels..This product must be totally banned in the market since it is very harmful..

  4. This article is very informative. I am about to use st. dalfour cream cause i’ve read a lot of positve testimonials about this product. I’m kinda crazy surfing the net to find where i can buy the original product and yet this is what i found ‘st.dalfour cream contains mercury’, it’s scary and i’d rather be healthy than beautiful with disease.^^

    1. I had a negative effect using St. Dalfour. At first, I dunno why it turned out the very opposite of what i have read on so many reviews/positive feedbacks ONLINE. Now, I know the reason why.. Thanks for informing as well 🙂

      1. It´s very sad that so many people selling fake products like st. dalfour cream.
        I guess, you were one of the victim with this fake cream. You just need to be very cautious on buying original products.
        You can drop me message containing the full contact details where you bought the cream st. dalfour since I´ve been trying to track this person who sells fake one.
        If you need legal genuine documents that the st. dalfour ” EXCEL” cream (especially) is NO MERCURY content I will be gladly to furnish you. Even it is so shocking that the photo here is most likely just stolen from my colleague.

        1. hi maria, i’d like to know if the original st dalfour cream has a lead or mercury content?.. pls send me your reply.. Thnakyou

          1. Hi girly

            After doing some digging (because of your comment), I found out that “maria” and “Lars Dalby” are the same person making fraudulent comments. They are not the first fake commenters and fraudsters and they won’t be the last.

            Both “maria” and “Lars Dalby’s” comments came from the same I.P address within 20 minutes of each other.

          2. Hi to all,
            First, my husband Lars Dalby is a CEO of other company. We have the same IP because we live in the same house. We post our comment here because need to voice out something real. I have a proof that St. Dalfour Excel Cream have NO Mercury content. I do frequently having this cream to be check up by International Laboratories.
            We never thought that we we`re being accused of fraud commentators of this site as we comment at the same time within few minutes.
            I agree to Vince one of the commentator here, my husband as a CEO should not waste his time for this but husband showing a concern like this to his wife´s business does it make more sense than anything.

          3. Oh please “Maria”, you’re just embarassing yourself at this point…

            It is entertaining, however. Oh, how I have laughed and laughed!

            But also sad. I imagine your world must be a very sad, scary and dark place, where building upon lies and deception are the only way people like you can make it in the world. How heavy must be the air that you breathe. How sad a life.

            I may write a short play about a “Maria” and a “Lars” (her hubby!) who is a “CEO”! It will be a tragicomedy, I think.

            p.s: Yeah… and you *might* want to re-read Vince’s comment and look up the definition of sarcasm, my dear.

          4. Yeah… the use of the word “commentator” wasn’t what was funny about your comment.

            This is just too sad.

        2. === Fraud Alert ===

          Both “maria” and “Lars Dalby’s” comments came from the same I.P address + within 20 minutes of each other.

          St Dalfour whitening cream is yet another example of fraudulent commenters.

          Posting fake comments is a sad and desperate attempt at marketing and selling their whitening creams.

          Click on the screenshot below to enlarge. Stay safe.

  5. Hi Hessa,
    Thank you for this post.
    I have a question for you: Do all skin lightening creams include mercury or other dangerous ingrediants? I use Orlane and Esthederm. Do you have any information about them?
    Thank you again!

    1. Hi, in general, good and established brands like those should be okay. They’re licensed for sale in various countries, so they have to follow regulations and not include banned ingredients like mercury.

    1. my sister used lan mei rou ,i do believe that its really dangerous not safe at all. what happened on my sis, really disgusting! first day, 2nd day when she used it her face got swollen, reddish and itchy allergies on her face. some users of this, they said its normal coz they happened too on them, so they said just continue it and it will be ok for a week. were not believe what they say so my sis she stopped it! how she could continue using it if the result she got it already.. shes suffered to itchy rashes on her face, really bad, ugly!

  6. Dear Hessa,
    Thank you for this useful information.
    What about the famous Egyptian Magic Cream (http://www.egyptianmagic.com)?
    A friend has told me to stop using it because her mother (a skin specialist) did a test in a lab on the product and she found mercury in it. I’m not sure if it’s true or not.
    Could you please do a research about this?
    Thanks again. 🙂

    1. Although arche pearl cream came up negative for mercury in the Chicago Tribune investigation I still wouldnt use it. another Arche brand came up positive elsewhere. Many of these products have tested negative for mercury at one location and positive at another, and there are counterfeit versions. Plus there could be other ingredients such as topical steroids or high levels of hydroquinone which are dangerous. Usually if the product is made overseas there is no way to tell whats really in it because manufacturers either dont put a full lingredients list on the box, or they lie about whats in it. On the issue of skin whitening creams I heard one doctor say “if it works well, its probably dangerous,” because poisonous chemicals like mercury bleach the skin very well. Think of applying a skin cream the same way you would think about taking a pill, if you didnt know for sure whats in a pill would you swallow it? I think the best advice is see a doctor if you’re unhappy with the way your skin looks and they will prescribe you something safe.

  7. Dear Hessa,
    i used jiaoli cream for about 3 weeks, and as a result its really nice. when i read your article, i dont know if i have to continue using it. but most of my friends used it for a long time but they dont suffer any side effects!

    1. hi degie. where you from? well i thought jiaoli cream are already banned from markets. where can you still buy them? cause we need them for some test. thanks

  8. the information is very helpful and confirms my believe that crusaider soap causes irritation to my skin,only for me to find out that mercury component was added to lighten up skin of user. i have stop and trying to discourage others from using it.
    hope to write to NAFDAC to banned the use and importation of this silent killer.
    thanks.

  9. hii… i am using RUIQIAN facial lightening vream for a long time.. does it has mercury also? its in yellow texure..pls reply…..any way to prevent that damage frm health?

  10. Thanks for this very helpful infotmation. I was thinking of purchasing ‘Arche pure pearl’ cream, but I am affraid it may contain mercury. Can I know whether it does or not?

    1. Hi irene..i’ve checked the website given but i can’t find the skin care product..it’s all about towels and tissue?..r u talking about that?…so sorry if i misunderstood…thkss alot…

  11. Dear Sir / Madam,

    Can you send me legal documents that the St. dafour “EXCEL” cream have mercury or other harmful ingredients?
    I look forward with the legal report and also looking forward to receive your full business name address.

    Sincerely,

    Lars Dalby
    CEO

    1. Wow. A comment from St. Dalfour’s “CEO”! Who oddly enough, misspelt his own product’s name…

      Mr “CEO”, I’m going to do you a favour and give you a clue. Your problem is not with this page, your problem is with the FDA.

      You’re welcome (and bless you for giving me a good laugh!).

    2. === Fraud Alert ===

      Both “maria” and “Lars Dalby’s” comments came from the same I.P address + within 20 minutes of each other.

      St Dalfour whitening cream is yet another example of fraudulent commenters.

      Posting fake comments is a common practice among sellers of skin whitening creams. It is a sad and desperate attempt at marketing and selling their products.

      Click on the screenshot below to enlarge. Stay safe.

  12. Hello,

    First of all, I want to thank you for the very interesting and important you’ve posted.
    I am wondering if you have heard of the LUUZA HERBAL SOAPor YUSRA. I ask this because I am using the cream and the soap from yusra but the funny thing is that ther is no ingredients on the box. The, I am a bit scared.
    If you know something about this, please let me know it.

    Thank you very much,
    Raquel

  13. Im still look forward to get your legal dock about your page her. All you tell is only fake, if you newer can documentasion it you shud shut down this for good. Most people her coment is also fake. You shod now and come up withe the legal dok. Not only belive thats only for fake people. Pleas post the legal dok, and your name and adresses so i can find you.

    1. Hi. BFAD actually published an advisory on Sept. 9, 2010, banning St. Dalfour. It used to be posted in their website, bfad.gov.ph. (exact link is http://www.bfad.gov.ph/cfc/pdf.cfm?pdfid=1473).

      Unfortunately, the website is down for some time now. I personally saw the TV coverage on this myself, and although St. Dalfour was not particularly mentioned, it was clearly shown on tv as among the banned cosmetics products.

      It won’t hurt to be on the careful side, mary rich.

    2. Please DO NOT use profanity on this site.

      And as FV says above, St. Dalfour cream has been tested and proven to contain high levels of mercury by the FDA. Use at your own risk.

  14. WOW! A comment from a CEO, doesn’t it make St. Dalfour so cheap that its own CEO get to spend some time reading these comments?. Might as well read novels or self-help books to improve on something… well, you know what I mean.

    1. Yes, it is funny isn’t it?

      By the way, the St Dalfour fake comments saga continues above. It appears that “Maria” is now “married” to the “Lars Darby”, who is “CEO of another company” (not St Dalfour okay?! A different company! Oh how darling these two ficticious people are!). They “live in the same house” which “explains everything”.

      And… I just ran out of quotation marks!

      I’m actually excited to see what this person will say next. It’s all gold!

      *wipes tears of laughter*

  15. hi i have a shop in facebook and my supplier supplying me St. Dalfour and I told her about this then she said that her St. Dalfour is 0% of mercury and she presented me a LAB Test of St. Dalfour..

  16. Hi there
    I had tried a range of whitening skincare name yanko…its taiwan products …for me the result wwas superb…my skin becamd more brighter and more firm than before just in 1 mth but after i did some reasearch iof this whitening skincare i internet …i have read this website which mention abt mercury ….i tried to search if this yanko also have mercury but i couldnt find it anywhere ..now i stopped using it and my skin i thinknow back to the way b4 i use this yanko no more firm skin and brighter and shining skin….but i feel happy now cos i dont.need to worry much abt it…for ur info the night alsi yellow in colour..my other sis still using.this products cos they think it safe and many ppl using it without any probs…

    Thank you.
    Lina

    1. I dont know either it safe or not…thta why i also wanna know if amyone know abt this or not…ive searched everywhwre but no info abt it

  17. i hav used a cream of mercury . now am suffering frm some of symptoms . plsss help me for recover … by the same way plss help me for my skin lightening also .people are laughing at my suddn darkening of the skin .. pls tell me which cream is gud . and glutatione capsules are effective or not

  18. am alredy suffering frm effect of mercury of 1 cream called clasic whitening cream . plss sugest me hw to recover from it soon . i have lot of marks on my face because of thut . plsss sugest me a gud product for those marks . my skin also became so black plsss plsssss help me

    1. Stop thinking…u must stop right away…its better late than never..even the yanko still not surw the ingredients but after reading this i know that if smthing works really well means theres smthing not right abt it…so i decided to stop using yanko cream immediately even its works really good…

      Lina

  19. Dear tohbc

    I never seen any research regarding the mercury in yanko skincare but really after i think it all.over again i really.think that yanko is not a good products cos ever since i use it u can see the result just in few days i dont think theres no such things that can give really good result in short time, tats impossible…and one thing the packing also looks really cheap n no list of contain just outside the box…u know after i stop my skin looks really terrible n bad looks dull become more darker especially around the eyes area…then my skin not firm anymore n the wrinkles visible looks really ugly…luckily i have my backup since i decided to stop immediately i bought new skincare products its malaysian products since i came fr malaysia…now i feel really lucky i stop using yanko n chg it to more trusted products…yanko really not trusted products thats my opinion n i dont doubt it…if u need clarification then i think we should suggest this products to the gov so they.can take action

  20. Tnks Lina for ur sharing. because i am really doubtful bat the ingredient in Yanko products cos its cheap and really provide fast result. My friend sister is using that and she really look great and young.

  21. beware and better yet avoid any whitening products with no ingredients listed on its label.
    I agree with HSH, once mercury seeps in , its (bad)effects stay without you knowing it.

  22. There’s a product out there called Yusra Luuza whitening, the package itself does not mention ingredients but states that it’s 100% herbal with no additives, can someone please tell me if it contains mercury? I would really appreciate that.

  23. I would like to use some of your content for an upcoming opportunity to spread the word globally. Please get back to me ASAP so we can discuss the use of images, etc…

      1. Hi Hessa, my name is Lola. I am facing the same problem as Rishi was facing. Can you pls help me as I am so helpless. I think your website is very helpful for people like us. I need your help. Can you recommend me a best cream to clear my face as a I used the jiaoli cream and my face is really messed up right now. I am so thankful to you for your information.

        1. Hi Lola, I would avoid using more creams if I were you. Your skin needs to rest and heal, and it cannot do that if you apply more chemicals on it.

          Try natural oils that can soothe and heal your skin slowly over time. Coconut, olive, or castor oil are a few good choices. Whatever oil you use, make sure it’s cold-pressed so that it will not contain any chemical solvents.

          Also, mind your diet. Your skin will heal much better and faster if you feed your body healing foods such as raw fruits and vegetables.

          Hope that helps.

          p.s: I’ve removed your e-mail address to protect you from spammers and spam-bots.

  24. Pls i use pai mei whitening anti spot creams.it stated all the ingredients on the label and they are all plant extracts like arbutin,licorice,mulberry.etc.is that dangerous too!I really need to knw if it’s got mercury on it.thank youi

  25. I wantd 2 strt usin crusader soap but now i learnt it contained mercury,i’m tinkin of dettol soap.Is it gud against dark scars on my leg or wil u recomend anoda soap 4 me witout mercury,i wil appreciate dat tanx.

  26. Pls i am using pai mei whitening anti spot creams.it stated all the ingredients on the label and they are all plant extracts like arbutin,licorice,mulberry.etc.is that dangerous too!I really need to knw if it’s got mercury on it.
    pls reply soon

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