Users of Pure Perfect whitening cream posted complaints saying it destroyed their skin. (After posting this, I received suspicious comments and e-mails, details of which have been added to the article).

Alert: This article has received multiple fraudulent comments. Click here to read about the suspicious activity.

Senior head of the skin clinic at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Ncoza Dlova, said she had sent samples of Pure Perfect for analysis after 15 patients said the product had caused them to break out in acne or darkened the colour of their skin. Other Durban dermatologists had seen patients with similar complaints after using the facial cream, which sold for nearly R1000 in 11 selected stores countrywide. In an online blog, Pure Perfect users posted complaints saying that the product had “destroyed” their skin.

“What usually happens with skin lighteners is that in the first month or so your skin will look really nice and, as a result, patients get a false sense of improvement. Then, four to six months later, they will start to see complications, but by then the damage would already have been done,” said Dlova.

“I have been working with a chemist and I have sent a sample of Pure Perfect to be analysed where they will look for the presence of steroids or any banned substances.” Efforts to contact Pure Perfect were unsuccessful.

Former Miss India South Africa and actress, Sorisha Naidoo, had endorsed the skin lightening product

Actress Sorisha Naidoo endorsed the US-based skin lightening product after criticism of her skin colour. However, in December, she admitted in a half-page advertisement in a local newspaper that she had co-developed a “new and improved parfait”, as the old cream had caused her to go from “a beautiful white shade to a very pink, flushed tone”.

The new composition is said to cause “brighter, lighter and clearer skin within days”. The first product, according to Naidoo, was discontinued, as it bruised and scarred her face and neck.

“I constantly had to cover blotches and red marks or bruises on my neck or face. I met a cosmetologist from the UK in June who advised me that the product was exfoliating my skin faster than it could repair itself, hence the white tone of my skin was gone, only to be replaced by the very last layers of dermis.”

Naidoo said consumers who tried the new cream would experience transitional side-effects, but that these were “one step closer to happier and healthier whitening”.

On her website, Naidoo said the new product was passed by the Department of Health and did not contain any banned substances, including hydroquinone. She said that in the past three years several dermatologists had tested the products and found no harmful substances.

She was aware that some people had experienced negative reactions to the first cream.

“I believe, however, that these people weren’t using the product correctly.” She said she believed it was “good practice and every individual’s right” to have the product analyzed. She said both the old and the new products had received Medicines Control Council (MCC) verification under the cosmetic category.

Extracts from a Times Live article by Corrinne Louw and Teneshia Naidoo, published 30 January 2010 (original)


Important note from the webmaster (17 April 2010)

This post has received an inordinate amount of suspicious activity. I feel it is my duty to warn unsuspecting readers.

1. A timeline of suspicious comments

2. Suspicious e-mails

E-mails from “a lawyer”
To date, I have received e-mails from a (supposed) lawyer representing Au’bede Distribution Inc., the exclusive distributor of Fair & Flawless skin care products. This person, who used a yahoo e-mail address, asked me to remove a specific comment cited below (from a commenter called Charlene) that mentioned the poor effects the cream had on her.

March 8th, 2010 at 4:16 pm · Reply

I am a former Fair and Flawless user. After a month of using the product my face and neck started swelling up like a blowfish and my skin became blotchy. My skin still hasn’t recovered after a year. I believe this contains steroids if you know what is good for you don’t use it!

I refused to take down the comment without sufficient evidence. However, in the interest of fairness, I also asked for product lab test certification that would easily prove there are no harmful ingredients in the product. I said I would be happy to post this proof on the website. However, this person did not furnish this certification and have ceased further e-mails. (To this day, my offer to post this evidence here remains.)

E-mails from Nikki2000 and Mandy Sweet

I then received two e-mails from a Nikki2000 and a Mandy Sweet. Both using yahoo e-mail addresses. Nikki2000 and Mandy Sweet later confessed to me that they were actually the same person.

Like the lawyer, the request was the same—for Charlene’s comment (above) to be removed.

Nikki2000/Mandy Sweet’s e-mails to me were significantly more vehement than the lawyer’s. But perhaps this is because “lawyers” (even so-called ones) have no choice but to maintain a professional tone, and “regular folk” can just say what they want. But let’s not split straws here… there’s more.

3. Comments from the same IP address

On 17 April 2010, three comments were posted coming from the same I.P address and within the space of 10 minutes (see the screenshot below).

Using three different names, this person encouraged the conversation  as if they were three different people.  However, he/she carelessly used the same e-mail address (most likely out of laziness because e-mail addresses are not viewable to readers).

You can still read all the original comments as I’ve not removed them.

Two more suspicious comments with the same e-mail addresses (again, probably out of laziness as these are not viewable to readers) and using two different names within the same day.

I suspect there could be more of such fake comments. Scroll through them below and you’ll start to see a pattern for some.

Unfortunately, with this update, this person (and others) will now know to mask their identities better.

Therefore, I ask you to please exercise caution and take ALL the comments posted to this article with a large grain of salt.

Stay smart. Stay safe.