Story behind the use of Mercury, in skincare products

Everyone is drawn to the enticing life of glamour in the age of social media. One adapts to a life that provides flawless activities, and this is where false marketing leads the way and convinces us to buy things that appear more fascinating without delving too deeply into them. To gain popularity, some lifestyle creators use various skin regimes to fulfill their desires without even checking the ingredient list that may contain mercury or considering it’s side effects. These products/devices may provide an immediate result, but they may have long-term consequences.

In this reference, some cosmetic manufacturing companies continue to produce products that contain hazardous materials such as mercury, which is primarily used to lighten the skin. Excessive use of these creams may result in strange sensations and arm weakness. Things can quickly deteriorate with symptoms such as slurred speech, blurred vision, and difficulty walking, landing you in the hospital and eventually becoming delirious.

A high level of mercury in your skincare products can wreak havoc on your skin, causing rashes, discoloration, and scarring and making your skin more susceptible to infections, which is the polar opposite of “skincare.” Skincare is more like it.

It can penetrate your skin and enter your bloodstream and other body parts. Mercury exposure can damage your body over time, including your kidneys and functions of your nervous system, such as your brain. Furthermore, mercury in your body during pregnancy can cause congenital disabilities.

As a result, if you see the word “mercury” on the label of anything you’re using, stop using it right away. Ensure to thoroughly wash your hands and any body parts that came into contact with the product, and then store it in a leak-proof container. It is also known as “Hg”, “mercuric iodide”, “mercurous chloride”, “ammoniated mercury”, “amide chloride of mercury”, “quicksilver”, “cinnabar (mercury sulphide)”, “hydrargyri oxygen rubrum (mercury oxide)”, “mercury iodide” and “poison.”

If a product does not include an ingredient list, be especially wary. Product labels that are not regulated by the FDA or other government bodies may not accurately represent everything in the products. That would be like a random person handing you something and saying, “here, but this stuff on your face.”

Dr. Chytra V Anand, CEO, and Founder, Kosmoderma clinics said that, “Mercury is one of the ingredients used in skin bleaching creams. Due to mercury poisoning, many countries have banned the usage of skin bleaching products. Still, 1 out of 10 skin lightening products available in the market contains mercury.”

Signs and symptoms of mercury poisoning include:

  • numbness
  • high blood pressure
  • lethargy
  • sensitivity to light
  • neurologic symptoms, such as tremors, memory loss, and irritability
  • kidney failure

Further she added, “Always choose mercury-less skincare products. Kosmoderma Skin Brite Booster Capsules are specifically formulated for Indian skin tone to improve UV radiation and decrease tanning. The combination of L Glutathione, a super antioxidant, and Polypodium extract helps maintain texture and gives the skin a healthy glow.”

  • pH balanced
  • Soap-free and non-irritating formula
  • Cleanses without leaving a filmy residue
  • Protects from sun damage and dehydration
Adding to this, Hemangi Dhir, Founder of Botnal, a botanical, natural, and sustainable skincare brand, says, “I firmly believe that ingredients, not brands, should be the new consumer focus. Because your skincare products are essentially food for your skin, it is critical to inspect the ingredients incorporated in them.”
“In recent years, the internet has changed the way people shop for items, with people prioritizing their wellbeing and looking for star ingredients rather than star brands. Specific skincare products contain toxic ingredients that can damage your skin and cause irreversible skin issues, hormonal imbalances, etc. You should convert to natural skin care products instead of harmful, poisonous components with adverse implications because you will be switching to a much healthier lifestyle! If included in skincare products, natural antioxidants and plant extracts are beneficial for your skin. These ingredients have the potential to not only prevent but also reverse the damage caused by free radicals in your environment.”
“Also, a clean skin care product has been made without toxins. However, until you inspect the product label, you will never know if it is spotless. You can always look up ingredients on to understand more about different elements and their toxicity. Parabens, Artificial Fragrances, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Phthalates, Synthetic Colors, Dyes, Detergent, Polyethylene Glycol, Talc, Formaldehyde, Alcohol, Hydroquinone, and Petrolatum, are a few ingredients to avoid while making your purchase.”
So, if mercury is so dangerous, what is it doing in skin-lightening creams? Melanocytes are responsible because most people are not completely “white.” These skin cells can produce melanin, a pigment that makes your skin darker. “Hg” salts can prevent melanin formation. So, if you’re doomed set on lightening your skin, mercury can help.
Mercury’s “softer side” has led to its use in a variety of “anti-aging” or “skin lightening” products. They are advertised on social media and sold through mobile apps.” They are illegally sold because many major regulatory bodies do not permit them. Skin-lightening products account for 61% of the dermatological market in India. Of course, not every skin-lightening product on the market contains mercury. However, many continue to do so as there is still a sizable market for people who want to “whiten” their skin.
It is a problem for more than just those who use mercury-containing products on their skin. If you share towels or masks like Batman or Batgirl with someone doing the lightning, you may be sharing some mercury. Mercury-containing products can also emit mercury-containing vapors inhaled by anyone in the vicinity. “That stinks,” you might think, but it doesn’t always. Mercury vapor can be odorless, so you may not even realize you’re inhaling it.
Thus, there must be some laws governing the manufacture of these cosmetic/skincare ranges, and the exposure should be limited to people exercising greater caution to prevent its negative impact on the entire community.
The authored article is written by Sejal Wakkar and shared with Prittle Prattle News  exclusively.
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