Whitening creams can be just as toxic as paint removers and should be avoided at all costs, warns the Local Government Association of UK (LGA).
According to the statement, creams act as a paint remover and increase the risk of cancer, CNN reported.
Many skin whitening products are banned in the UK due to harmful ingredients, but recent seizures of banned products indicate they are still being sold.
Most of these products include the prohibited ingredient, hydroquinone, a bleaching agent that is the biological equivalent of a paint remover. It increases the risk of cancer and potentially causes damage to the liver and kidneys.
According to the World Health Organization, mercury, another common banned ingredient, can cause a decrease in resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, liver damage, anxiety, depression, or psychosis.
“Skin creams containing banned ingredients are very dangerous and could seriously damage your health, scar you for life and even kill you, so they should be avoided at all costs,” said Blackpool Councilor Simon Blackburn in the press release.
Skin whitening creams with natural or non-hazardous ingredients are legal, but often expensive, which increases the demand for cheap and dangerous banned products. Company executives caught selling these prohibited products can be fined up to £ 20,000 (about $ 24,500) and jailed for up to one year.
Worldwide, the demand for whitening cosmetics is growing. According to forecasts, by 2024 it will reach $ 31.2 billion, especially in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.