Many skin lightening products contain dangerous chemicals such as:
- Hydroquinone: An agent that decreases production of and increases the breakdown of melanosomes in melanocytes. Melanosomes are what produces melanin, the pigment causing agents in our skin.
- Steroids: Anti-inflammatory drugs that have the potential to cause the skin to thin as well as inhibit melanocytes.
- Mercury: Chemical element that inhibits the formation of melanin, which causes one to have a lighter skin tone.
The amounts of harmful ingredients found in skin lightening products are illegal to sell in the United States and are usually thousands of times past the legal limit. Important facts to know:
- Anything above 1ppm (part per million) of Hg content is banned in the US as of 2007.
- MN Statue 116.92 states that a person may not sell, offer to sell, or distribute, products containing mercury.
- Products containing harmful ingredients ranging from 31ppm – 54,000ppm, are currently found in homes and retail businesses.
- Harmful skin lightening ingredients can cause skin damage and can also affect your nervous system, kidneys and other aspects of your health.
- If you are using these products you may notice symptoms such as a rash, swelling in your limbs, tingling sensations, shaking, weight loss, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and memory loss.
Mercury exposure through contact
Exposure to mercury from skin lighting products has dangerous effects. Mercury can affect fetal development and can also easily pass into the brain of developing children, causing more detrimental effects in the nervous system. You may get exposed to mercury through primary contact or secondary contact.
- Dermal (Skin) Absorption
Mercury in skin lightening products that are applied directly to the skin
- Inhalation (Breathing)
When the lid of a product containing mercury is removed, mercury vapors are released into the air. This type of exposure is common with skin lightening products and is the greatest exposure to vaporous mercury.
- Indirect contact with mercury through someone who has been in direct contact
- Mother-Infant Contact
- Can pass from mother to child through the placenta
- Contact with mother that uses skin lightening products