FDA warns against use of harmful 'pink-lips' creams


The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has warned against the purchase and usage of unwholesome pills and creams which claim to lighten the lips.

The said pills/creams which are favoured by sections of the male demographic in the country claim to lighten the lips to an attractive tinge of pink.

The FDA has described the situation as unacceptable and diabolic for certain individuals to be selling cosmetic products with grave chemical reactions to the unsuspecting public with its attendant health hazards.

“We have not approved any products for lips lightening,” Mr Emmanuel Nkrumah, the Head of Cosmetics & Household Chemical Substance Department at FDA, said Wednesday in Wa, during a media sensitisation on harmful effects of the use of cosmetics.

He said the use and abuse of skin lightening cosmetics products presented high chances of causing damages to the liver, heart and kidney and cautioned the public to stay away from the tablets that were reported to be on high demand in the markets.

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It has also been reported to have caused serious skin infections, skin cancer, stretch marks, ochronosis, and bad body odour, and has been linked to hypertension and diabetes.

Mr Nkrumah stated that FDA was mandated by law to approve products in the country, and did not prove this product that would be injurious to the health of Ghanaians, adding: “People even go the extra mile to mix Akpeteshie [local gin], gels and creams” in an attempt to lighten their lips.

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He said aside toothpaste which was used in the mouth; no other cosmetics should go inside the mouth for the sake of bleaching or lightening the lips.

The only approved product that was accepted to be used on the lips was lipsticks, lip balm or lip shine, he added.

The FDA’s directive on the use of and abuse of cosmetic products to lighten the skin or lips was drawn from the National Standard developed in 2006 and reviewed in January 2017.

The Authority has since 2015 issued a directive to implement and enforce this national standard to the latter.

Mr Nkrumah said there was the need to avoid the sale and distribution of cosmetics products for purposes unknown to manufacturers and regulators, adding: “No manufacturer will mix another manufacturer’s product to his product”.

Mr James Lartey, the Head of Communications at FDA, was happy the media was complying with a directive the FDA had issued prohibiting the advertisement of alcoholic beverages during some peak hours, saying the compliance level had been very high.

But, added that the local media ought to do more to back efforts by the FDA to flush out recalcitrant and unauthorized cosmetic and alcoholic beverage dealers in the country.