The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) of Ghana stated on Tuesday that the ban on the import of all cosmetic products that contain hydroquinone is very much in force and cautioned the public to be very aware of the ingredients in their moisturizers, creams and foundations.
Hydroquinone is a skin lightener commonly used in dark-mark fade treatments as well as whitening creams. It is effective in fading hyper-pigmentation and reduces the production of melanin in one’s skin as well as fading of sunspots, acne marks and other skin discoloration.
However, the Ghanaian FDA has come out to note that this product has also been proven to cause liver and kidney diseases, bad body odor, skin cancer, stretch marks and various infections. It’s also been linked with serious diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
Mr. Emmanuel Nkrumah, the Head of the Cosmetics and Household Chemicals branch of Ghana’s FDA stated in a media briefing in Sunyani that authorities have heightened surveillance measures and enforcement of the nationwide ban.
On this basis, he issued a warning to members of the public who still had such products in their possession to dispose of them and further explained that Hydroquinone should only be used in drugs (for medicinal purposes only) and went on to advise women in particular who make use of these cosmetic products to stop for their own good.
He stated that while some of these products may not have the term “Hydroquinone” explicitly written on them, people should be on the lookout for terms like Idrochinone, Quinol, Dihydrobenzene, Phaquin, Aida, APRTI, Tequinol, Derma-Blanch, Eidoquin-forte and Solaquin-forte, which are all conveniently-renamed synonyms for Hydroquinone.
Some other terms that also have the same meaning include; 1,4-Dihydroxybenzene, 1,4-Benzediol, 1,4-Hydroxybenzol, Hydroxyphenol, P-Benzenediol, 1,4-Benzediol and Benzohydroquinone.
The cosmetics industry worldwide has been notorious throughout history for its lack of scrutiny when it comes to safety measures along with its general disregard for the health of consumers as well as the defenseless animals these products are often tested on. In a global society that advertises pain as being commensurate with beauty, though, it’s important to realize that true beauty only comes from good health practices and no cosmetic or perceived need for adhering to some outrageous beauty standard is worth jeopardizing one’s well-being. Here are some of the things you should look for (and AVOID like the plague) when it comes to cosmetics.
• Skin lightening ingredients like Hydroquinone and any of the numerous aforementioned euphemisms used to ostensibly pass off products containing Hydroquinone as “safe.” If you’re really trying to lighten dark spots or scars, try natural methods like lemon juice or gentle exfoliants like homemade honey and sugar scrubs.
• DEA (Diethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine) and MEA (Monoethanolamine). These three are harsh solvents often used as emollients in facial creams. They’ve been linked to both kidney and liver cancers.
• Cadmium is a metal which has been linked to kidney failure and which is frequently found in many high-end brands of primers, foundations and eyeshadows (both cream and powder variants).
• Propylene Glycol found in tons of cleansers, moisturizers and creams has also been consistently linked to kidney and liver failure.
The bottom line is, these are often products that people use habitually on a daily basis, and as such, over time they have a strong tendency to build up into potentially toxic deposits of life-threatening material. Greater care should definitely be employed by cosmetics industries and government agencies designed to protect the public from the marketing of such products, but the sad reality is, that as we always say here at Healthy Kidney Inc., “You must be your own biggest advocate!” This applies to every aspect of life which is tied to your kidney health, from the foods you put in your body to the creams you put on it. As always,