Mercury is a dangerous skin lightening ingredient

Skin lightening products with dangerous levels of mercury

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.

While the use of mercury in skin lightening creams have been banned for some time now, they are still produced and sold.

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 only the ones I’ve found, so it’s not an inclusive list. In other words — just because a cream is not listed here, it doesn’t mean they’re safe and that they are free of mercury.

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)

  • Parley Beauty Cream (link to article)
  • Morning Face Beauty Cream
  • Glow Skin White Brightening Cream (link to article)
  • Glow Skin White Sun Care
  • Rzac Beauty Creme 2 (link to a government advisory page in Malay; Note: “merkuri” means “mercury” in Malay)
  • SSII Day Cream (link to article)
  • SSII Herbal Cream
  • Sifu Kunyit Day Cream (link to article)
  • Sifu Kunyit Night Cream
  • JJ Skincare Glowhite Night Cream
  • SM Enterprise Chadni Cream (link to article)
  • QC International New Face Cream
  • Creative Cosmetics Due Cream
  • Golden Pearl Cosmetics Golden Perl Cream
  • Punia Brothers Faiza Cream
  • Noor Gold Cosmetics Noor Cream
  • White Pearl Plus White Plus Pearl Cream
  • Fair & White Ultra Moisturising Body Cream (download multi-page pdf of RAPEX alerts)
  • Fair & White Creme Power C Exclusive Whitenizer / Fair & White Vitamin C Cream
  • Fair & White Savon Gomnant Exfoliating Soap
  • Fair & White Lait aha-2
  • Nature Secrete Lightening Serum Anti-Ageing A l’huille d’argan
  • Daggett & Ramsdell Knee & Elbow Lightening Cream Extra Strength Formula
  • Perfect White Lightening Beauty Cream
  • O’Tentika Fade Out Cream Dry Skin
  • Fair & Lovely Advanced Multi Vitamin (RAPEX alert link)
  • GC / Golden Care Extra Whitening Cream with Fruit Extracts
  • V.I.P Face Beauty Cream Multi Vitamin UV Protector
  • New Face Whitening Cream (25,400 mg/kg of mercury detected; RAPEX alert link)
  • Fair One Natural Fairness Cream Plus
  • Seven Herbal Ubtan
  • Diana Creme C.T.R. (13,600 mg/kg of mercury detected; RAPEX alert link)
  • So Clair Skin Whitening & Lightening Soap
  • Golden Pearl Beauty Cream
  • Carotone Black Spot Corrector Maxi effect Concentrated Formula DSP 10 Concentré en Beta-Carotène
  • Diamond Gold Day Cream (link to a government health advisory in Malay or download pdf; Note: “merkuri” means “mercury” in Malay.)
  • Diamond Gold Night Cream
  • Karisma Nightcream Kunyit
  • Karisma Daycream
  • Seputih Melati Night Cream Whitening
  • Seputih Melati Night Cream Glowing
  • Majaja Serum Channtiq
  • Syma Magical Serum
  • Syma Facial Cleanser
  • Khumaera Moistskin Cleanser
  • Chandni Whitening Cream (11,928 ppm of mercury; link to article)
  • Golden Pearl Whitening Beauty Cream
  • 3rd Series Yanko Fade Out Cream Day Cream (link to article)
  • 5th series Yanko Fade Out Cream Day Cream
  • 7th Series Yanko Whitening Cream Day
  • Fjura Face Polish Treatment
  • Dnars Golden Cream
  • Glow Glowing N Glowing
  • Apple Diamond Day Loose
  • Glow Skin White French Technology Smart Pack — Whitening Cleanser, Whitening Cream and SPF 50 Cream (link to article or download Philippine FDA advisory)
  • Ahoofs Foundation Body Cream (link to article or download Ghana FDA press release)
  • Zoe Peau Sublime Beauty Lotion
  • Zoe Peau Sublime Face Corrective Cream
  • Body Fashion Body Milk
  • Beauty Clinic Whitening Lotion
  • Dodo Beauty Lightening Lotion
  • Marie France Skin Care
  • Bravia Lotion
  • Abana Facial Creme
  • G&G Body Cream
  • RA Foundation Body Cream
  • B-Plus Miracle Gold Cream (link to article or download Philippine FDA advisory)
  • Madame Organic Whitening Arbutin
  • Herbal Turmeric Herbal Cream
  • BeQuala Beauty Quality Lab
  • O-Ping Wink Winner Ping Whitening Cream
  • Myrina Night Cream
  • Beauty 3 Night Cream
  • Polla Gold Super White Perfects
  • Melusma Melasma Brightening Cream
  • Ozzy Mask
  • Dolly Glow Luminous Night Cream (link to article)
  • Niuma Lemon Medicated Germicidal Soap (link to article)
  • Deluxe Nadinola Bleaching Cream (Note: likely counterfeit and not manufactured by J. Strickland in the US)
  • Ailke Boost Luster Superior Whitening (link to article)
  • Ailke Perfection Salvation Rosy Whitening A + B Set
  • Aneeza Gold Beauty Cream
  • Parley Herbal Beauty Cream (link to article)
  • Glow Glowing 5 in 1 Beauty Skin (link to article)
  • Feique Herbal Extract Whitening Anti-Freckle Set
  • Temulawak Day & Night Beauty Whitening Cream
  • Deeja Cosmetic Sun cream (link to article)
  • Deeja Cosmetic Wrinkle cream
  • Deeja Cosmetic Vogue Cream (link to a Malaysian government health advisory or download pdf)
  • Deeja Krim Nano (Night)
  • Miracle White – Brightening Cream
  • Deluxe Beauty – Ultra Lightening Cream
  • RDL Babyface Babyface Whitening Cream Night Cream 5 in 1
  • RDL Face Off Fade-Out Cream Day Cream 5 in 1
  • La Tía Mána (link to article)
  • Karisma Cosmetic – Night Cream (link to article)
  • Karisma Cosmetic – Day Cream
  • Deeja Cosmetic Keayuan Semula Jadi – Krim Nano (Night)
  • Tati Skincare Night Cream (link to a government health advisory in Malay or download pdf; Note: “merkuri” means “mercury” in Malay.)
  • Tati Skin Care 5 in 1 cosmetic set (link to article)
  • Magic cream (link to a government health advisory in Malay or download pdf)
  • Night Cream Dollys Pinky
  • Nuriz Shoppe – UV Pearl Cream (link to public health warning or download pdf)
  • Nuriz- D’solve
  • Aura Gorgeous Night Cream
  • Renow-D Facial Cream Formula-One (link to public health warning or download pdf)
  • Collagen Plus Vit E Day & Night Cream (link to article)
  • Glow Skin White or Glow Skin White French Technology (link to advisory from Brunei’s Ministry of Health with photos or download pdf)
  • Moleek Skincare Anti Pigmentation Cream Plus (link to a government health advisory in Malay; “merkuri” means “mercury” in Malay)
  • Dnars Yellow Gold Collagen (link to article)
  • Dnars Honey Cream
  • Dnars Sunny Cream – Sensitif
  • Dnars Sunny Cream
  • Luffiya Night Cream 1 & 2
  • Glow Glowing Skincare 4 in 1 (contains >25,000 times permissible amount of mercury; link to article)
  • Night Glowing (link to article and a government health advisory in Malay)
  • 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)
  • Meiyong (Seaweed) Super Whitening
  • 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)
  • Angel Placenta Day & Night Cream
  • 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)
  • Goree Beauty Cream (link to article)
  • Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene with SPF 30 Avocado & Aloe Vera (link to article)
  • Goree Day & Night Whitening Cream Oil Free
  • 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
    • 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
  • S’Zitang Yangbaisu
  • 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.

Photos of some creams that contain mercury

Like the bulleted text list above, the below table is not an inclusive list.

Cream name Photo
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 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. 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

Questions about the safety of specific creams

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

    • 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.
    • 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.

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

  1. Can you please tell me a recent study on Diana cream from Lebanon. I started using it but I’m worried about it’s mercury content

    1. Hi Lidia, I have just updated the article to include more info on Diana Cream.

      Unfortunately, I could not find a recent study confirming Diana Cream’s mercury content. However, in April 2009 the same cream (manufactured in Beirut, Lebanon) was denied importation into the US.

  2. I think that amira cream may have mercury can you please check and also what about the monobenzone powders that come from asia….i have been using a combination the two and I have been hospitalized for kidney damages, can you please let me know if these agents are responsible??

    1. Hi Shanon, I’m very sorry to hear about your kidney damage. I hope you’re recovering.

      1) As for Amira Cream, there are a few similar sounding products which can create confusion (perhaps this is deliberate?).

      – “Amira Skin Lightening Lotion” and “Amira Cream” both contain hydroquinone
      “Amira -C” contains mercury

      Source: Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS), a branch of the Kenyan government.

      2) I would be very suspicious of “monobenzone powder” that’s sold in the raw or DIY-mixed form for several reasons, regardless of the source (China, India or elsewhere). Their manufacture and sales are unregulated, making any purchase extremely high-risk. If you still have the monobenzone powder, you might be able to get it tested at a lab so you’ll (and your doctor) will know for certain what caused your illness.

  3. Hi,

    I have been using Creme Diana for more than a year now and did not know that it was a cream used for bleaching the skin or that it has mercury. My mom gave me this cream because she knew I had dry skin and thought it might help (which it did). My skin colour did get brighter (just notice recently), but I could care less of my skin colour. I tried getting off this cream, but every time I do my face breaks out into hives, becomes hot and red/itchy and nothing else seems to calm my skin (I’ve used facial cleaners and creams that are meant for super sensitive skins, etc. such as Avene) and I end up going back on the stuff because I have work and can’t have my skin looking crazy. My skin gets super allergic to anything else.

    Please help? Have you heard about these side effects? And what’s the best course of action/solution to this?

  4. Hi, Hessa. You are a wonderfully intelligent God Fearing spirit. Thanks for your contribution in this site and knowledge. Yes I have gotten checked by the doctors and even though they say they cannot find anything, I reamin with problems, I am in my mid=twenties and have pain still in my pubic areas and pain in my joints….I jst wanted clear skin being that I had to labor out in the sun growing up, i am horribly 3 toned complexioned….yet my features and bone structure are opposite my skin…
    I do thank God for life and will order today, a test to test this powder out as you said. And to be honest I am embarrassed to tell anyone other than my family about this…esp. a doctor “wink” that knows nothing about why I would do such a thing to myself. As of late, I view life differently…sad but hopeful!! 🙂 thank you…

    1. Hi Shanon, thanks so much for your kind words. I’m always happy when people find the information here useful.I’m happy that you’re taking the first step in finding out what could be the cause of your pain.

      I’m also very sorry to hear about your pain and our health troubles. Please know that mercury chelation and a gradual recovery IS possible. In fact, something as simple and everyday as our diet can slowly reduce excess mercury and other poisons from our organs.

      Certain raw fruits, herbs and vegetables have been shown to slowly mobilize and remove harmful metals such as mercury and lead from our bodies. For example, garlic and cilantro are excellent chelators. (If you haven’t already done so, the curezone forum is packed with helpful information about mercury chelation.)

      p.s: Having skin issues myself, I can completely understand the embarrassment you describe feeling and perhaps even the loneliness of thinking that you’re the only person in the world with such troubles. But this is actually far from the truth. Even though this might offer little comfort, knowing that our situations isn’t unique might help a little in making our journeys seem a little less daunting.

  5. hi hessa i was wondering if you know ,anything about the new yusra herbal cream they are, currently marketing as looks allot like fasco herbal seems suspicious to me that one can see results in a week.considering is meant 2 be herbal.

    1. Hi laila, I couldn’t find any information about Yusra Herbal cream beyond the packaging and the marketing claim. I couldn’t find an ingredients list either.

      By the way, it’s very easy for manufacturers to use an existing cream, put it in new packaging (add a ridiculous marketing claim) on the internet… no one is catching what they do or testing the products.

      A good rule of thumb is that natural ingredients will not give such a drastic skin lightening effect in one week. All-natural methods will work slowly and gradually over at least a few months — so if something is working really well (lightening your skin by more than several shades in a month), it will probably have some chemical compounds in it, regardless of whether or not the seller chooses to disclose it honestly.

  6. what if i stopped using it? ive been using jaoli cream for a year.. if i stop how can i be sure or how can i remove mercury level in my body..

    1. Hi Nic, I am working on updating the article with some information about mercury removal. I hope this will help you and others.

  7. hi, offlate i hv started using a cream known as st. dalfour which has been very effective but wanted to know if that contains mercury in it…

    1. Hi Bindu, there’s no ingredients list available for ‘St Dalfour Whitening Cream’ and that alone sets off alarm bells.

      Here’s what I can find:

      – The website looks very dodgy. The cream bottles look like glass jars.
      – The cream is only sold online. This is the favorite method of folks trying to evade product testing, manufacturing/export regulations and the authorities.
      – There is an actual licensed brand called St. Dalfour, which is based in France and sells fine foods (jams in glass jars). It is completely unrelated to ‘St Dalfour Whitening Cream’, so I guess the name and packaging choice was the cream seller’s rather strange attempt at making themselves look and sound European/prestigious, and therefore legit. Unfortunately, this method is quite effective. The seller of the cream has also priced his/her products at a small premium, supporting the illusion of “it must be good if it costs this much”.
      – There is an alarming absence of basic information about the company (if it is a company, it could very well just be a few people doing a home-based business) and its products: no ingredients list, no company contact information, no business registration number, no contact no, no address, no mention of this company and product outside of skin lightening forums and other dodgy sales sites.

      Based on all the above, I would advise you to stop using the whitening cream immediately, at least until you can get more credible information about it.

      1. I have family and friends who’s been using this St. Dalfour whitening cream and it seem to work wonders but this product is very oily and like you said there’s no ingd. on the jar it makes me scared to. is there anyway you can test to see if there’s any mercury in it?

    2. Hi, i’ve been using st. dalfour for over a year now and im amazed at its effects. however, just this week, a friend from BFAD (Bureau of Food and Drugs in Philippines) informed me that they recently tested it and it was found to contain 12.2% mercury. I’m not sure how this translates to “ppm.” I am still looking for an official statement/info from BFAD re this, because im really reluctant to stop using it (since it’s so hard to find a cream that works for my skin!), but i don’t want to compromise my health at the same time. If any of you guys find something re this, do let me know.

      1. thanks for sharing about the mercury in this whitening cream cause its really popular in my asian community now I’ll have to share this info. to my good friends and family so they can stop using it. update be how bad 12.2% is cause I’m curoius

  8. Hi Hessa, I was wondering whether you could recommend any herbal creams other than the yusra herbal cream that could lighten the face and hands. I have tried several methods and nothing has been helping.

  9. i been using jiaoli for ten years already and only now I discover that it has a very bad effect as told to me by a friend….is there any alternative to it…..because I am use to using it already and U R right once I stop my face becomes darker ….thank you

  10. I recently started using Dermaline cream and it really worked. I read all the warnings about this cream after I used it.I know it contains Ammoniated mercury 3% if I used it for about a month do you think I my be endanger? Should I see a doctor?

  11. is 1 clove garlic means one whole bunch or just a portion of the bunch…this is connection with mercury removal…i am sure i have the symptoms already….is gluthatione also have mercury….because as I took it it whitens my face too///

  12. Hi, very useful information. Thank you. Have you ever heard of Robisis Fade-Out Day & Whitening Cream ? They are from Thailand. I’ve been using it for about 2 months. Now I’m worried because the color of the cream is yellow and the packaging is like the Rose Super White Whitening Essence.

    I really appreciate if you have any information about that. Thank you very much

  13. I’m using Cing Cing cream for acne and Blemishes developed by C. M. Cosmetics Co. Ltd. but i don’t know if it is the same one that you have listed. So can you upload a photo of it? Thank you.

  14. which is the good one that could be alternative for that jiaoli cream that can whitening my face without any harmful ingredients. thank you.

  15. im so thankful for the information you provided here……it would be great if you could help me find out about a product that is becoming really popular these days…its called uno gluthathione soap and lotion…they have also not listed their ingredients…and im thinking if it is safe to use or not? here is their link :

    please please help me find the ingredients of these products…as im using them already…

  16. Hi, thanks for the info above. I’m considering using a Rose Cream from Lebanon. I have adult acne which is so fruastrating. My sister has been using the cream for some time, and her face is now smooth and pimple free. I’ve been using Himalaya Herbal and St Ives products but I still get breakouts and have acne scars all over my face.
    I’m skeptical as one of the instructions for usage for the cream is ‘avoid sunlight during the treatment’, and I’m scared to start using it if its going to be one of those creams that leave your face scarred and ugly when you stop using it. Do you know anything about this product?

  17. Thank you for your post. I’ve read several sites about Ly-Na pearl cream. I went to the market and there are three types of Ly-Na. One is in a pink box, one in a white box, and one in a green box. The white and green are labeled “medicated.” The pink is not labeled medicated. I’ve read one Ly Na product is mercury free. Do you know for certain which one??

  18. I just bought a cream called “promina glaxo cream plus ginseng” its website said no mercury, but it dried up my pimples after the first application, I’m worried.

    1. hi shanon,i look up to the products that you show in here it make me confuse n nerves right now,for now i use jiaoli cream day and night,i need to know which jiaoli is the real and which jiaoli cream is the fake theres a lot of products that all look the same,but im very confuse now.would u please give me more information about those products.thanks

    1. i want to know the same thing.i am so reluctant to stop using this since it works for me!but every time i apply it…i cant stop thinking about the unknown ingredients and am scared of its long term effects.i need actual proof that st. dalfour cream is bad.please can you answer soon!thanks..

        1. There are a few articles up now. A quick Google search should point you to them. Here’s one more.

          As to how bad it is if you keep using it, I’m afraid I can’t answer that for you, paj. The information is already out there, so now it becomes a personal decision. In the end, we’re each responsible for our own health and well-being (which is a wonderful thing, and I don’t mean that in a ‘naggy’ way).

  19. Hi !
    My question is that does stilman bleach cream contain mercury (Green lid)

    and whats about arche pearl cream formula 1. The ingredients from arche are listed on the packing ( plant extract ,pearl powder etc.) but iam not sure . can you please tell me how much mercury is in both creams ?

    I really appreciate if you have any information about that. Thank you very much

  20. I am now using ST. DALFOUR WHITENING FROM KUWAIT. I want to be safe from using it. I need it to be checked by a certain Laboratory Testing center anywhere in Cebu City. Kindly advise the contact details if possible.

    Rolando Josol

    1. hi ROLANDO T.JOSOL,, jst wanted to ask what happened from the time u stopped using st. dalfour cream..and what altenative product now u used? thnx a lot!

  21. I am now using ST. DALFOUR WHITENING FROM KUWAIT. I want to be safe from using it. I need it to be checked by a certain Laboratory Testing center anywhere in Cebu City, Philippines. Kindly advise the contact details if possible.

    Rolando Josol

  22. How about these products “Yanko fade-out cream @ day cream & Yanko whitening cream @ night cream” ?

    The main ingredient stated – Glyceryl Monostearate Bwarbwrry.


  23. Has anyone heard of Creme Ideal (Baroody Group) from Lebanon? I just found out that John Plunketts ‘superfade’ (AUS)has a cancer causing agent in it! I have used Creme Ideal from time to time over the past 5 years and thought I’d research the ingrediants (which I can’t find). Your site came up because of Ideal Cream. Is it the same thing? From my research the product LumnaSkin appears to be good. What do you think Hessa?

  24. im using pearl whitening detoxifying capsule (pink) made in japan did somebody heard about it? is it high in mercury content,, please reply me in my email thanks!..

  25. HI. Im so glad i have found this site caused I am really confused by now. I have been using Top Gel MCA Papaya soap here in the Philippines for more than a year now and it is really good in my skin, helps me dries up break out without leaving any mark and keeps my skin smooth. But recently I’ve heard that Top Gel MCA creams got banned because of its Mercury content but it was not clear if their Papaya soap too has the same ingredient and if it too is banned. I am really confused and really thought if this would put my health at risk. I buy my this soap from a reputable mall in Manila and that added some real confusion thinking if it is really banned, they why would they sell it. I will be waiting for your soonest response and I will based my decision whether I would continue using this soap or not. Thank you very much. Best Regards.

  26. i,m shock when i read the side effects of the mercury, i lived in the Philippines , my skin is tan , i would like to have a fairer whiter skin, i am using (jialoli_soap anti spot)for 3 years , it gives me a perfect skin care, my skin become clear ,my pimples are gone , and white a little bit, can i ask is the jialoi soap containing mercury,poison that may cause me to sick to death? .

  27. Hi I been using (POP Popular facial cream and Halog) for couple year now, I just wonder if it mercury content and it’s safe to use.

    Appreciate your information on this,


  28. Hi, has anyone heard about “Deoonard Pearl cream”…?? The product is becoming a very salable product in Indonesia, more precisely through the online shop. This cream comes from china / taiwan. I doubt if this product is completely safe, because the effect is very fast…and, now many product from china and taiwan suspected contain mercury and hydroquinon.
    I really appreciate if you have any information about that. Thank you

  29. Can anyone tell me if papaya soap is safe or not? I’ve been using it for a while now and, it does not show any progress so I’m just wondering. Thank you.

  30. st dalfour whitening cream has 12.2% of mercury
    –allowable ppm for products with mercury 1ppm
    –12.2% convert to ppm = 122,000ppm
    ST DALFOUR WHITENING CREAM HAS 122,000PPM against the allowable amoung tof 1ppm
    –122,000 times dangerous.

  31. i have used magic cream before, it is the same as the st dalfour brand now, they changed its name for fake magic cream products were already in the market.
    i stopped using it 5years ago
    since then i had breakouts and cystic acne, it was never gone but i wont go back to
    those dangerous creams that can ruin my health.
    i will try retin-a cream and will give you feedbacks.
    i have done research and this seems to be the solution to the problem.

  32. i used the st.dalfour cream pero wala namang nangyari sa face ko? cguro kung meron mang mercury ang st.dalfour,oo nakakasama nga sya pero nakakaganda rin kasi ginagamit na namin yun for almost 2years na,nagulat na nga lang ako na nabanned pala sya,pero im still using it kasi wala namng masamang effect sa akin…mas ok cguro kung gamitin sya minimal wag evry night :p

    1. The effects of mercury are very subtle, but it’s cumulative which means it builds up over time. The adverse effects may come much later, and by then, it might be too late. Once absorbed by your body, it practically never leaves.

  33. I use this Lightenex cream from Pharmaclinix UK. It has all ingredients listed mostly as extracts of plants. What do you guys know about this product. The company seems to be trustworthy to me…….

  34. hi i just want to ask if the yoko cream also has mercury content, my sister told me to stop using it coz it has mercury content but im searching in net its not included in the list… thsnks in advance

  35. Hi does anyone use a cream by Niuma (Skin lightening body cream) Does it contain mercury? I have looked at the ingredients but it does not say. Is it possible it could be listed underneath another name? Thanks


  37. hi,im using yoko whitening cream,im so skeptic about this product,bcuz beside from being so cheap,i dnt know what im getting into.anyways,im using it now for roughly more than a week,i have breakout,pimple,its okay,but since i have hearing about mercury on creams,i’m concerned if YOKO CREAM has mercury,.i’ve been searching on net as well if it has,but havent encountered yet.i just want to know,if anyone here knows,. thank you so much.

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