The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has banned up to 131 skin-lightening products from the Kenyan market.
The products which include bleaching creams, lotions, gels, and soaps have been found to contain substances that require a doctor’s prescription before use.
The standards watchdog said some of the bleaching products contain hydroquinone, steroids and hormonal preparations which should be registered by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board for medical use.
“Their use in cosmetics was prohibited through gazette notices 4310 of 14th August 1998 and 7169 of November 2000,” said KEBS Managing Director Bernard Njiraini.
KEBS said hydroquinone, mercury, oxidizing agents and hormonal preparations which are used for treating various medical conditions are classified as drugs and should only be applied upon the advice and direction of a medical doctor.
“They should not be sold in the open market but only in registered pharmacies and chemists. The products listed above contain hydroquinone, steroids, mercury and hydrogen peroxide. They have not been registered with Pharmacy and Poisons Board as medicines. They should NOT be used,” added Njiraini.
The Bureau noted that the products are still available in cosmetic shops and online marketplaces and are being sold to unsuspecting consumers with prices as low as Sh1,000.
However, KEBS said Betnovate, Mediven, Diprosone, Nerisone, Hydrocortisone and 0xy 5 and 0xy 10 can be used as human medicines for various skin conditions as they have been registered with Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
The banned products include Jaribu Skin Lightening Lotion, A3 lemon skin lightening lotion Princess lotion, Amira skin lightening lotion, Kiss lotion, Peau Claire beauty body lotion, A3 clear touch complexion lotion, Rico skin lightening lotion.
Clear touch lotion, Fair white body clearing milk, Sivoclair lightening body lotion, Extra clair lightening body lotion, Precieux treatment beauty lotion, Clear essence skin beautifying milk, Ultra clear, Topiclear, Body clear, Movate, Mekako, Jaribu, Tura, Acura, Rico, Fair lady, Elegance, Miki and Jambo.
Others are Pimplex medicated cream, Pimplex medicated cream, New shirley medicated cream, Cream preparations containing hydrogen peroxide(h2o2), Hot movate gel, Tenovate, Soft and beautiful cream, Unic clear super cream, Peauclaire gel plus, Peauclaire cream, Jolen cream, skin preparations continting steroid, Movate cream, skin success gel, Amira –c.
Neu clear gel, Body clear cream spot remover, Top gel plus, Lemonvate cream, secret gel, Tcb gel plus, Topifram cream, Skin balance lemon cream, Dermo -gel plus, Fashion fair gel plus, Visible difference gel, Sivoclair cream, Action demovate cream, Regge lemon gel, Ultimate lady gel, topifram gel plus, Age renewal cream, Fair & white gel plus.
Peauclair gel plus, Fashion fair cream, First class lady cream, Skin success cream, Neu clear cream plus, Jaribu beta – β cream, Body treat cream spot remover, Clair & lovely gel, peauclair cream, Soft & beautiful gel, Action demovate gel plus, Prosone gel, Skin balance gel wrinkle remover, Ultra-gel plus, Pro-one gel mca, Betalemon cream and Skin balance cream wrinkle remover.
Some others are: Uno21 cream, Envi skin toner, viva super lemon, Glotone complexion cream, Tonight night beauty cream, Clere extra cream, Malaika medicated beauty cream, Crusader skin toning cream, Malibu medicated cream, Opiclear cream, Carekako medicated cream, Dream successful.
Cleartone skin toning cream, Cleartone extra skin toning cream, Elegance skin lightening cream, Fade out cream, Crusader ultra-brand cream, Baraka skin lightening cream, Amira cream, Rico complexion cream, Shirley cream, Princess patra luxury complexion cream, Ambi special complexion cream, Nindola cream, Claire crème and Fulani creme eclaircissante.
Others are: Binti jambo cream, Dear heart with hydroquinone cream, Nish medicated cream, Palmer’s skin success fade cream, Body clear cream, Symba creme skin lite ‘n’ smooth, Clear essence medicated fade cream, O’nyia skin crème, Mr. Clere cream, Top lemon plus cream, Ultime skin lightening cream and Peauclaire crème eclaircissante.