Japanese cosmetics giant Kanebo has apologised after more than 4,000 customers across Asia complained of developing patches on their skin after using its skin lightening products. Over 6,800 customers have cited vitiligo-like symptoms and depigmentation.
Of the users confirmed to have experienced white blotches, the firm found that 2,424 had at least one of three relatively serious conditions:
– white blotches on three or more areas of the body,
– a blotch at least 5 centimeters in size, or
– a blotch on part of the face
The company has recalled 54 products including its Blanchir range. The products all contain the company’s quasi-drug ingredient called 4HPB or Rhododenol.
UPDATE (20 June 2014): Kanebo will offer interim compensation payments to >4,000 people who still bear marks and skin blotches almost a year after they stopped using its whitening creams. The initial compensation will be for damages and for loss of income due to taking time off work to receive treatment.