New Study Finds Mercury in Almost Half of Skin “Bleaching Creams”

Products that are used for skin-lightening and skin “whitening” are available worldwide. In a recent review by the European Environmental Bureau.

Mercury in cosmetics is not unheard of because of its ability to suppress melanin production, which gives color to the skin, and lighten hyperpigmentation such as dark spots, freckles and blemishes. However, mercury is highly toxic to human health. 

Regular use of these products containing mercury reduces resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, rashes, skin discoloration and blotchy skin. 

In the long term, mercury use has also been linked to damage to the eyesTrusted Source, breathing difficultiesTrusted Source, nervous system damageTrusted Source, and kidney disease.

During the analysis, the researchers found that around 80 products contained potentially high-mercury levels (of at least 1 ppm mercury), and that these products are found in 17 countries, including the US, Mexico, and India. 

In the end, the researchers found that 25 of the 38 high-mercury SLPs previously found in their 2019 report still contained over 1 ppm of mercury.

They found that 47.6% of the 271 samples tested contained levels of mercury that exceeded legal limits. 

“This investigation confirmed that most e-commerce platforms are not sufficiently motivated to verify the legality of products sold,” write the researchers.


Annie Lennon. (2022, Mar 29). Almost half of skin ‘bleaching’ creams contain mercury, review finds. Medical News Today. Retrieved from: 

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