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. hi, i have read through the script…. ive been using a product called lulanjina whitening cream which haved been mention from the script that it is not safe to use!…. i wonder if i should stop using it…. any suggestion… plz reply to this comment!

  2. I am about to embark in business with Mosbeau beauty/ whitening products. Please let me know if their products are safe. Thanks.

  3. I’m using that 99 natural cream,its expected for a product that is made in china to be toxic,.For the one made in Indonesia in far different really this is horrifying

  4. There is another cream sold in Asian Owned shop named KMELE 12 Day (QUBANYIFUSHUANG) similar to – Jiaoli Day and Night Cream package but the whole packet is white logo of the brand name, it comes in 2 X 15g Whitening & Nourishing Cream. All instruction is in Chinese. Do you think it is safe to use.

  5. Hi
    I am currently using the Skinmate Placenta Cream and Skinmate Shark Oil that from the Philippines. My question is: Are this product contain a mercury or is it safe to used? This product was so popular in the Philippines and too many young women using it including myself. I tried searching about this product but don’t read anything.
    I hope you can help me to find out about Skinmate product if this is safe.


    1. a men..still using the skin mate whitening soup.two months user but i didnt notice something bad in my skin. im finding also cause and effect of this product sadly i didnt find..

      ms shiloh how many times have been a user in this product?
      have you find something worst in your being a user in this product?

  6. have you heard about ERNA Whitening Cream and BL Cream? does these creams contains mercury? please try to check bcoz some of my friends are using these products as whitening and the effects are nice, thier skin becomes lighter and smoother.. thank you… More Power!

    1. madami na ho ako nakita na gumamit ng bl cream. sa una maganda ang epekto nya pero sa katagalan nag-iiba na itsura ng balat. nakagamit na ako nito.

      1. nagiging ano po hitsura ng balat? kasi po ginagamit ko po ito ngayon inihalo ko po sa moist milk lotion. mga 1 wk na din.

  7. NO MERCURY. I know a user whos a cancer patient and has known to be erna products user for almost 5 years, at walang harmful side effects sa health nya eto, and she also sells this good product. and more people uses it now because it is effective.

  8. how about the Professional Skin Care Formula cosmetics being sold in the Philippines? do they have high mercury content? anyone who has idea on this, kindly share it! thanks

    1. Jst make sure they tel u or read the ingredients on their products u r buying. Sme products frm professional derma clinics has its ingredients labeled 🙂 hope it helps

    2. Hello,. Im wondering too, about the ingredients of Professional Skin Care formula, if you have any update pls comment here,. Ive been using it for 6months,

  9. I don’t understand why anyone would subject themselves to something like this. Guys, I;m as pale white as you can get, and I’m telling you from the green grass over here that this will not change your life at all, but might make you sick, just for skin coloring. There is nothing wrong with your skin! Leave it alone. Pale people are constantly trying to tan an look more like you. If you want a blemish treatment, grab yourself some neutrogena or something that isn’t toxic.

  10. I use Creme Minerva-London.
    Does it contain any mercury,
    Is it dangerous and i have to stop using it?
    Pls. reply

  11. I did the XRF (x-ray fluorescent) analysis tracing elements in the cream (Qian Mei).
    I was more interested in the content of heavy metal especially Lead (Pb) and Mercury (Hg).: which have been reported to be highly carcinogenic effects and many cosmetic products which have been detected to contain even trace amounts of these elements ( more then 1ppm) is being banned from usage!


    The yellow ginseng cream contains VERY HIGH level of heavy metals.
    Which includes Rubidium(Rb)- ( Silvery reactive metal of the alkali metal group): 107.28 ppm

    Lead (Pb)It has been used in roofing, plumbing, ammunition, storage batteries,its compounds have been used in an antiknock agent in gasoline, and in paints. Known as a carcinogenic element!!=105.55ppm (MAC 2ppm)

    Extremely high in Thallium.2551 ppm!!!!!!

    Thallium exists naturally in the earth’s crust in trace amounts (Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1992). However, although it is rare, its presence is widespread and humans are exposed mostly via food, but also air, water, and skin (Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1992). It is gaining importance in the technology fields, with it currently being used mostly in the making of electronics (Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1992). However, it may also be used to make special glasses, certain medical procedures, fireworks, dyes and pigments (Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1992). While there is little data on the effects of long-term exposure to small amounts, some data from the mining industry suggests that chronic exposure has lead to headaches, anorexia, pain
    in the arms, thighs, and abdomen (Peter & Viraraghavan, 2005). Acutely may lead to neurological effects such as numbness of fingers and toes and nail dystrophy and ingestion has been shown to cause vomiting, diarrhea, and temporary hair loss (Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1992). Thallium intoxication can also occur via the skin (Peter & Viraraghavan, 2005). A dose as low as 1 gram can be fatal (Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1992).

    Not forgetting as a bonus the user is also being poisoned in

    Arsenic (As) : 222.86 ppm MAC ( Max Acceptable Concentration) =0.1ppm!
    Mercury (Hg): 302.28ppm- Maximum allowed concentration 1ppm!!!!!!

    and trace amount of copper (cu): 41.47ppm

    and the white pearl cream has chemical composites similar to melted plastic!!!!! ( just had a thought on trying a melted plastic bag as a sample..and was shocked to see the results!!)
    provided are the results!!

    Please discontinue using it as it contains very high level of heavy metal and unknown other hydrocarbon compounds!!
    instead of wasting money buying the cream why not try applying melted plastic bag with palm fertilizer! combination of both cream you have a complete package of heavy metal poisoning!!

    indication of heavy metal poisoning includes symptoms similar to hypertension and stress.

    I have been following this threads silently. I do agree with some comment that.. Fairness of the skin is just the outer layer..
    Instead of hunting for products to make one looks fairer its wiser to select products which is good for the skin. What is the point of having a fairer complexion in face and rest of the body is on the other tone?
    This is how i console and tell myself.. cos i do have to admit i used to go for fairness products ones..and the problems arises when one discontinues.

    1. Hi Jasmine, first of all, thank you so much for taking the time to run the lab tests and sharing the results (for free, no less).

      The presence of other heavy metals like lead shouldn’t surprise me, but it did. I guess the manufacturers really went all out…

      And arsenic? Arsenic?? Wow. I’m having flashbacks to ‘Flowers in the Attic’ now… Also, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as thallium, so thank you for the valuable info.

      I sincerely hope everyone reads your comment because it’s an eye opener.

      And it could very well save lives. (I mean… arsenic??! Why… why would that even be in there??)

      Many thanks again


  12. Hi jasmine,
    Thanks..this is very informative.
    If you don’t mind, please check also the content of BL Cream (chinese cream) we sold it in chinese drug store for 25 pesos only. I find it very effective on my baby’s skin problem like eczema, this is an antifungal cream.
    I hope you can help me to find the answer on my query.


  13. There are much better, safe, perscription creams for excema.. Ask a doctor about mometasone furoate. Its an excellent treatment and it is very safe. I use it regularly and have for years.

  14. hi,

    How about the BL cream(chinese cream)?? doest it have a mercury??

    Hope you can reply my email A.S.A.P



  15. Hi rachel,
    Thanks for sharing..
    Hope it will help my 9 month old baby. She is suffering from atopic dermatitis since she was 4 month old. I tried a lot of expensive ointment and lotion until her derma advice us to use the Dermaveen products. But still her atopic dermatitis of my friend told me to use BL cream. I put a small amount of it every time she is suffering from too much itchiness..

    Thanks again

  16. hi thank you so much for this web page. I learned alot. I’m using Yiqi whitening cream (I think it’s from China or Taiwain). It works very well and it is sold on ebay.. Have you tested this cream yet? does anyone know if this cream has mercury? please let me know. Thanks again.

  17. Please let me know if BL cream and miss beauty moist skin care (milk) lotion has mercury content….please ..I’ve been using them for almost a year now,,,,,Oh my …it’s getting on my nerve…..

      1. after 3months of applying bl and erna cream on my face, nakita ng mga friends q na nagmellow ang pekas pero unti-unti rin na lumabas ang mga white spots na parang skin pigmentation sa face q. nagkakaroon dn aq ng itiim na pimples sa ilang bahagi ng face. Nang tinigilan q pggamit, 1 wk lang bumalik pekas q, dumami lalo. Never will i b convinced anymore 2 try other creams, balik nlang aq sa dati.

  18. please let me know of Be Be special cream it is yellow cream color ingredients labeled vitamin e, c, a, and wheat flour. please tell me is this contains mercury. it is very effective in decreasing and almost eliminating dark spots.

    1. Hi Mona, Did someone replied to you regarding your inquiry? because my mom also use this product. They got the item from a coworker only. May I know where do you purchase your cream? Thank you.

  19. hi!is ERNA cream a dangerous whitening cream?i used it once but it seems my face reacted because i feel itchy on my face.i need now to know what is the treatment of this problem i am suffering now.

  20. I remember when i was a teenager i used a cream called Kintho Bleach double strength. I used it for years but the very first time i used it the freckles disappeared,it was amazing. After i stopped using it the freckles came back so i went to buy some more but i couldnt find it anywhere or even couldnt find any information about it online.. Has anyone heard of this cream? im worried it might of had high levels of mercury in it with how fast it cleared my freckles.

  21. is ERNA Whitening cream has high mercury content? i heard that it is so effective to whiten skin especially underarm when mix with BL cream.

    1. mam wag nyo na ho haluan ng bl cream ang erna. erna alone ay ok na. napakapangit ho ng resulta pag di nyo tuloy2x na pagamit ng bl cream. madami na ako nakitang gumamit ng bL cream. maganda sa una pero lalo ho lalala ang problem nyo sa skin pag tigilan nyo paggamit nito.

  22. I just used BL Cream (the box and insert are both written in Chinese) then mixed it in a lotion named “MOIST” Whitening Lotion. Please let me know if it is safe or not. The BL cream is only 25 pesosc MOIST Whitening Lotion is 80pesos(it is labeled DFA approved). I noticed in just one use my underarm and skin started to lighten… jusst one use. Please let me know more of these products.

  23. hi! are Miss Beauty Moist lotion and erna safe? Any advise? infos about the product?

    Meron akong ginagamit na lotion, block and white ultima and effective in whitening skin w/spf may kamahalan nga lang. 109php per 50mL bottle. Mabibili nyo to sa kahit anong supermarkets. Okay nang mahal basta safe lang. This is just to help you guys.^^

  24. I bot d jiali from iya tega shop in yaba market Nigeria, truth is, no one will say its bad, I was just deperate to clear my pimple. And acne, but all ds ppl keep selling, we keep killing ourselves, d chineses are heartless for selling such!

  25. its nice that we know what are those products that contains mercury..
    Can i ask something, is there a product that can remove the extra baggage in our face..?jejejje.. for example, a square-shape there a product that can lessen that size of its being so square..?just remove the facial fats?if there is?what is it?

    thank you..

    hope you can share…

  26. hey guys,anyone have an update about BL cream if its harmful or not?please let me know kung okay ba talaga sya at d harmful…thanks

    1. DON’T ever use this on your face… I used this on my face for two months because my friends kept on recommending it claiming that it’s really good for the skin…it really is at first . But then i stopped using it… after that my face developed a skin disease called steroid acne… it’s very difficult to cure and leaves terrible acne scars… im still suffering with it now but only mild acne…i’m treating it with adapalene … it’s effective but i think ill never have my flawless face back…so don’t use BL as whitening cream on your face…

  27. HI!
    if this products are not safe for humans health then why they are still out in the marker like here in Dumaguete I’ve seen stores or pharmacy selling TOP GEL product. people who’s been using this product did not know that it contains mercury so how are we going to stop them of using this product. I’m a user before of this product but i think i only finish 3 bar soap and i haven’t tried using the cream. lucky for me because i stop and i use natural beauty care for my skin now.much better because it’s safe and out of danger.

  28. Hallo hessa, can i know if this cream named ‘yu chun mei’ from china is a safe one or no? Is it contains of mercury? Let me know if you have or ever heard information about that cream. Thankyou 🙂


  30. Hello,

    My mom is really into trying to keep young and she had been using this whitening cream. I don’t know what is it called because the label is foreign, but it does say, “whitening cream placenta sheep extra cell repair collagen plus.” Can you please tell me if there is any mercury on there. My mom had been using it and oh wow, it makes your skin soooo white. She wanted more and had me order them. I couldn’t from that website, but I was afraid of ordering it for her because I did research on some others and I guess “bleaching” for me didn’t sound safe so I didn’t want to buy the one my mom used just in case their was bleach. I did get her something else because it supposedly does the same thing…

    Please let me know what doesn’t have mercury and help the skin whiten, less wrinkles, and less freckles.

    Thank you

    1. Please can you email me the name of the cream and the site purchased as It sounds really good.


  31. i’ve been using erna since november 2012, at first super dumami yung pimples ko,,pero naglighten talaga yung skin..tapos yung sa BL tinigilan ko na siya gamitin sa pimples,,sa mga insect bites ko na lang siya ina-apply kasi effective, pero sa pimples lalong lumalala.

    yung pinaghalong BL at erna,effective siya, yun nga lang sensitive talaga skin ko kaya di ko inaapply sa mukha at leeg,,directly sa pimples lang talaga..nag-work naman.

    nung una akala ko yung maliliit na butlig sa chin ko ay dahil sa creams na yun, (akala ko nga pimples, sabi ng kawork butlig lang daw) kaya nagstop ako, tapos nalaman ko yung pinsan ko tinutubuan din ng mga butlig-butlig sa hita naman niya, dahil sa super init,,malas lang sa mukha yung sa kin,,hahaha

    effective ang erna, kasi pumuti talaga ko, yun nga lang nakakatakot kasi di mo alam yung content,sabi nung binibilhan ko online, imported siya from sabah malaysia.

    hope this helps. =)

  32. Hi,

    I want to know whether promina ginseng pearl cream from Thailand contains any harmful chemical or not? My friends are applying this cream and it makes them look more white and beautiful. It is not expensive either and its packing says it has no lead, hydro-quinine and mercury but I am scared to apply it. I doubt, how come so cheap cream to that good? Please help me out

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