Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. has already given orders to recall its whitening products distributed throughout Japan and abroad. Taiwan, Kanebo’s number one overseas market, has decided to go the extra mile by specifically banning the ingredient commonly found in the whitening products of Kanebo believed to have caused consumers to have skin pigmentation and discolouration.
The whitening products that Kanebo have been recalled off the market are Aqualeaf, Blanchir Superior, Impress, Suisai, and Twany. Among these line of whiteners, 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanone or 4HPB was found to be a common ingredient, which is a synthetic product especially developed by the cosmetics company. According to Taiwan’s FDA spokesperson Lu Li-fu of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the ban will begin this week for the 4HPB. Kanebo also calls the ingredient Rhododenol. The Japanese cosmetics company has been using the synthetic substance since 2008.
Kanebo only began the recall of their whitening products on the fourth of July following the decision made on June 28. As for Taiwan, it only took a day to begin pulling out every 4HPB-containing Kanebo product in the market. Taiwan began importing Kanebo’s whitening products in 2011, which amounted to about 280,000 units. According to Lu, Kanebo Taiwan has confirmed 47 consumers complaining of skin pigmentation since then.
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