Mercury Salt In Your Cosmetic Is Why You’re Bleaching; Learn The Health Risk Involved

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60% of body cream and soaps in the market today contain bleaching agents irrespective of its prohibition by regulatory bodies in many countries.

Many people like to patronize bleaching body care in the name of wanting a lighter skin without having any idea the health danger associated with bleaching your skin.

You may ask, why do manufacturers add bleaching agents in body care products since they know it poses risk to your health?

Well the quick answer is, “because you want a lighter skin and the other customer wants too

Statistics showed that 7 out of 10 customers will request for a skin lightening cream or soap in a cosmetic shop in a day especially in black  populated countries. 

If you were the manufacturer what will you do? Off cause the manufacturers have to satisfy your need (add bleaching agents that will give you the lighter skin you want) and make their money.

Have you ever seen a white person bleaching? No! Why then do you want to risky your melanin which protect your skin most especially from sun burn and certain skin infection?

In this article I will reveal to you the untold health risk bleaching body cares expose you to.

Feel free to skim through.

What’s Mercury salt?

Mercury is a naturally-occurring chemical element found in rock in the earth’s crust, including in deposits of coal.

If you can remember your basic chemistry, in the periodic table, it has the symbol “Hg” and its atomic number is 80. It exists in solid, liquid and gaseous form.

While Mercury salt is the inorganic form of Mercury, normally mixed with one or more chemical element(s).  It is a white crystalline solid and is a laboratory reagent that is very toxic to humans.

Once used as a treatment for syphilis, although it’s no longer used for medicinal purposes because of mercury toxicity and the availability of superior treatments.

Examples of Mercury Salts

  • Mercuric Acetate
  • Mercuric Bromide
  • Mercuric Chloride
  • Mercuric Iodide
  • Mercuric Nitrate
  • Mercuric Oxide
  • Mercuric Sulfide
  • Mercuric Sulfate
  • Mercurous Nitrate
  • Mercurous Chloride
  • Mercuric Thiocyanate
  • Mercurous Sulfate

Mercury is a global pollutant of concern to human health. All populations worldwide are likely exposed to varying degrees of mercury.

Several inorganic and organic forms of mercury exist naturally in the environment (i.e., metallic or elemental).

And although, there are differences in their toxicity, all forms can adversely impact human health including the nervous, cardiovascular, and immune systems.

Your exposures to mercury outside of occupational settings. E.g, artisanal and small-scale gold mining and dentistry are largely realized through the consumption of mercury-contaminated seafood and contact with certain products that contain mercury.

Example; dental amalgam, pesticides, broken fluorescent light bulbs, and batteries.

Skin-lightening cosmetics also contain mercury, and there are increasing concerns about the dangers posed by frequent usage of such products.

In some cosmetic products, organic mercury compounds, including ethylmercury, methylmercury, and phenyl mercuric salts, may be used as preservatives.

However, inorganic mercury salts, e.g., mercurous chloride (calomel), mercuric chloride, mercurous oxide, ammoniated mercuric chloride and mercuric iodide, and ammoniated mercury, may be purposefully added into skin-lightening cosmetic products because they interfere with the tyrosinase enzyme inhibiting the skin from producing melanin, resulting in lighter skin pigmentation.

Because mercury is absorbed through the skin, mercury poisoning may arise after use of a skin-lightening product.

Exposure to inorganic mercury has been associated with renal toxicity, neurological abnormalities, and dermal rashes.

Many women who use these products are of childbearing age, and the potential transfer of mercury from mother to fetus could have implications resulting in neurological and nephrological disorders.

A research involving 3,898 individuals reviewed scientific articles published from 2000 to 2022 worldwide, suggested that mercury widely exists as an active ingredient in many skin-lightening products worldwide and that users are at risk of variable and often high exposures.

Mercury Salt Hideout

What type of skin care products contain mercury?

Skin-lightening products exist in various forms (most commonly creams and soaps), and they are used without medical supervision.

The use of skin-lightening products is practiced worldwide, particularly in African, Asian, and Caribbean nations, as well as in darker-skinned communities in Europe and North America.

Individuals from these communities feel motivated to use skin-lightening products to increase attractiveness, remove existing blemishes, improve skin texture, and impress their peers.

Societal perception of beauty continues to perpetuate the notion that lighter skin is more desirable and creates more social and professional opportunities.

This is an unfortunate social deception which had led to lose of self-esteem as regards skin colour among many people.

The market for skin-lightening products is increasing as the demographics of users continues to expand, making it one of the fastest-growing beauty industries globally.

These products remain easily accessible at beauty supply stores, ethnic markets, and online.

Is Skin Care Products Containing Mercury Regulated?

The illegal nature of skin-lightening products makes it difficult to differentiate the established brands because there is a strong financial motive to produce counterfeit products.

As a result of the decentralized nature of these products, it is difficult to control mercury-added skin-lightening products, because countries often lack infrastructure to monitor their import and export.

In country like Nigeria NAFDAC try their best to regulate it but their best is not enough because over 70% of body cares products in Nigeria market contain reasonable amount of bleaching agents including some baby cream.

I think they need to increase their efforts to banning any product found guilty of high mercury and hydroquinone.

Related: Here’s What Hydroquinone In Your Skin Care Do To Your Body.

Because many people are ignorant of the health risk, some mothers even go to extent of using skin lightening products for their kids and new born. Ignorant is a disease indeed.

To be honest with you, I stopped applying conventional body cream since 2017 because of this. I am a light-brown skin colour girl and any cream or soap containing bleaching agents I used, no matter the quantity my skin will starts bleaching within two months of use.

Well thanks to the effort of NAFDAC Nigeria so far, recently they found a certain soap imported in Nigeria, worth about 1 billion naira that contain high amount of mercury. 

Unfortunately this soap brand have already made their ways into many cosmetic shops in Lagos particularly and many other states.

Learn More: NAFDAC Found Body Soap Brand Containing Toxic Mercury Already In The Market

Whatever your complexion is, it’s important to use products that will help your skin and not damage it in the name of lightening.

However, as you wade through the beauty aisles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions that you should avoid skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, and lotions that contain mercury.

Even though these products are often promoted as cosmetics, they also may be unapproved new drugs under the law.

FDA does not allow mercury in drugs or in cosmetics, except under very specific conditions where there are no other safe and effective preservatives available – conditions that these products do not meet.

Sellers and distributors who market mercury-containing skin whitening or lightening creams in the U.S. may be subject to enforcement action, including seizure of products, injunctions, and, in some situations, criminal prosecution.

Why Mercury In Your Skin Care

Why do cosmetic industry add mercury salt in skin care products?

Because Mercury salts inhibit the formation of melanin(the pigment that give your ski it’s colour) resulting in a lighter skin tone or bleaching.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury establishes a limit of 1 mg/kg (1 ppm) for skin lightening products, yet many cosmetic products contain mercury levels higher than that amount to increase whitening effect.

How To Detect Mercury

How will you know if mercury is in the cosmetic?

Check out for skin care products especially one that’s marketed as “anti-aging” or “skin lightening” Also Check the label If the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” are listed on the label, mercury’ is in it—and you should stop using the product immediately.

The products are usually marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes, and wrinkles. Adolescents may use these products as acne treatments.

In some country you may find it in cheap skin cream that every individual can virtually afford. Also are found in expensive cream and soaps

Is Bleaching Skin Care Bad For You?

Is it bad to use bleaching cream/soap?

Exposure to mercury can cause serious health consequences. The danger isn’t just to people who use mercury-containing skin care but also to their families.

When you use these products, your family might breathe mercury vapors or might become exposed by using things like washcloths or towels contaminated with mercury.

If you’re bleaching your skin, sun will burn your skin in different areas such as the face and the thickness of your skin layers will reduce, exposing the colour of your vein and causing wrinkles to your skin. 

You will notice this more on the skin of individuals who bleaches and stay often under the sun or close to fire due to the nature of their business. Check out the skin of 60 years old person who have used bleaching skin care for long period in their life. Who do you see?

Some people – including pregnant women, nursing babies and young children – are especially vulnerable to mercury toxicity. Babies may be particularly sensitive to the harm mercury can cause to their developing brains and nervous systems. Newborns who nurse are vulnerable because mercury is passed into breast milk.

Signs and Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning

  • irritability
  • shyness
  • tremors
  • changes in vision or hearing
  • memory problems
  • depression
  • numbness and tingling in hands, feet or around mouth

Conclusion

Have you ever seen a white person bleaching? No! Why then do you want to risky your melanin which protect your skin most especially from sun burn and certain skin infection?

Mercury salt is the inorganic form of Mercury, normally mixed with one or more chemical element(s).  It is a white crystalline solid and is a laboratory reagent that is very toxic to humans.

Skin-lightening cosmetics contain mercury, and there are increasing concerns about the dangers posed by frequent usage of such products.

Inorganic mercury salts, e.g., mercurous chloride (calomel), mercuric chloride, mercurous oxide, ammoniated mercuric chloride and mercuric iodide, and ammoniated mercury, may be purposefully added into skin-lightening cosmetic products because they interfere with the tyrosinase enzyme inhibiting the skin from producing melanin, resulting in lighter skin pigmentation.

Exposure to inorganic mercury has been associated with renal toxicity, neurological abnormalities, and dermal rashes.

Because many people are ignorant of the health risk, some mothers even go to extent of using skin lightening products for their kids and new born. Ignorant is a disease indeed.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury establishes a limit of 1 mg/kg (1 ppm) for skin lightening products, yet many cosmetic products contain mercury levels higher than that amount to increase whitening effect.

Whatever your complexion is, it’s important to use products that will help your skin and not damage it in the name of lightening.

I hope you get the value worth your time, I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment below if you find this article helpful and don’t forget to drop your question, opinion or criticism if any. Cheers!

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The content provided in Living Good is for informational and educational purpose only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over the counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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