"Skin bleach" fears grow after Japan cosmetics recall
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 01:11
July 31 - Japanese cosmetics giant Kanebo says thousands of Asian customers are suffering from skin discoloration after using whitening products that the company recalled earlier this month. Sarah Toms reports.
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When Miyuki developed uneven white patches on her neck she never thought they could have been caused by her face cream. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 27-YEAR-OLD TOKYO RESIDENT WHO DECLINED TO GIVE HER FAMILY NAME, MIYUKI, SAYING: "When I went to bed it was so itchy I couldn't sleep at all. But the marks were here on my neck, not on my face, so I didn't consider the possibility they could have been caused by my beauty products." Miyuki is not alone. Pale skin is very popular in Asian countries and many cosmetic companies sell products to evenly lighten the skin. Thousands like her are now suffering from discolouration after using skin whitening products from Japanese cosmetics giant Kanebo. Early in July Kanebo voluntarily recalled 54 cosmetics containing the chemical Rhododenol across 11 Asian countries and the UK after complaints. The company has apologised and is investigating the problem but for people like Miyuki it comes too late. Dematologists say getting rid of the unsightly blotches is extremely difficult.
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