Beauty products that contain mercury can indeed make white skin in a short time. However, in behind the instant results, its use can have a bad impact for health.
Mercury is one of the chemicals that may be contained in skin whitening soaps and creams. Some cosmetic products, such as mascara, nail polish, and eye makeup remover, even use mercury as a preservative in their products.
Mercury Products Circulating in Indonesia
Mercury is used as an ingredient for whitening the skin because it can inhibit the formation of melanin, so it can make the skin look brighter in a short time. The results are instant, but the impact on health cannot be underestimated.
In Indonesia, the use of mercury in beauty products, such as facial cleansers, moisturizing creams, and day or night creams, is prohibited. However, for eye makeup and cleansers, it is still allowed to have a level of no more than 0.007 percent.
The use of mercury other than in these products is considered as abuse and is prohibited from being marketed. Even though there is a ban, the public still needs to be more careful because many rogue producers sell mercury-based products illegally on line.
These products are usually not registered, do not include BPOM numbers, do not include clear instructions for use, write descriptions of product ingredients in foreign languages, or do not include any information at all. If you find a product like this, don’t buy it.
Risk of Health Problems Due to Mercury
The use of mercury in beauty products is proven to be dangerous and is prohibited in many countries. The reason, these chemicals can be easily absorbed by the skin and into the bloodstream.
Mercury is also corrosive, so its use can make the skin layer thin. Not only does it have an impact on the skin, high mercury exposure can also cause damage to the digestive tract, nervous system, and kidneys.
In addition, mercury is also at risk of disturbing various organs of the body, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, to the immune system. The entry of mercury into the body, can cause mercury poisoning. Symptoms can include:
- Decreased cognitive function and memory
- Emotional changes
- Sensory disturbances, including vision, hearing, and speech disorders
- Decreased sense of taste
- Decreased body coordination function
- muscle atrophy
- Kidney failure
The use of mercury in skin whitening products also has a carcinogenic effect, which is likely to trigger cancer. No wonder its use is also possible to increase the risk of skin cancer.
In addition to having an impact on adults, infants and children are also exposed to the risk of mercury exposure and its side effects. When parents use mercury-based products and then come into contact with their children, the mercury can stick to their hands and be swallowed when the child sucks on their fingers.
Specifically, mercury poisoning in children is called infantile acrodynia or also known as pink disease. This condition can be recognized by the appearance of pain and pink color in the hands and feet.
Protect Yourself from Mercury Exposure
As a consumer, you need to be careful in using beauty products and don’t be easily tempted by instant results. So, so that you don’t get caught up in mercury cosmetic products, here are some things to consider:
Check BPOM number
Beauty products are considered safe if they have obtained a BPOM (Food and Drug Supervisory Agency) permit. So, if the beauty product you buy does not include a BPOM number, don’t use the beauty product.
If the BPOM number is listed, try checking its validity again via website BPOM official.
Check the packaging label
Avoid using products with foreign language labels that are not common or you cannot understand. If the packaging label says mercurous chloride, calomel, mercuricor mercuriothen do not buy or stop using it immediately because it means the product contains mercury.
Pay attention to the creamy texture
Products with high levels of mercury can usually be identified by their gray or cream colored texture. However, this cannot be a definite benchmark so to be sure, you are advised to consult a dermatologist before using it.
If you think you have been exposed to a product containing mercury, immediately wash your hands and wash any other areas of your body that have been exposed to the product. If necessary, consult a doctor.
As for before disposing of products containing mercury, you are advised to put the product in a plastic bag or a place that does not leak.
Be careful with skin whitening products that promise to whiten your skin in an instant because these whitening products may rely on mercury. Remember, the dangers of mercury to health should not be underestimated, so you should avoid its use.
For those of you who want to have white skin, you should consult a dermatologist to get the right treatment that does not endanger health.