Three skin whitening creams have been banned by the health authorities here for containing the harmful ingredient – Hydroquinone.
According to Gulf News, the Ministry of Health and Prevention in the UAE had previously issued advice about unregistering whitening creams sold online, and had explained that “while hydroquinone is an active ingredient in therapeutic creams, very long-term use of these type of creams could lead to skin cancer.”
A topical agent for reducing skin pigmentation, hydroquinone, according to different studies, may act as a carcinogen in rodents. Reportedly, the chemical has already been banned in Japan, the European Union, and Australia.
Several countries have banned hydroquinone. It is typically used to lighten areas of skin affected by hyperpigmentation disorders, as well as for freckles and age spots.
Rodent studies involving very high doses of hydroquinone administered by feeding tube showed the potential to cause cancer, according to the FDA report on hydroquinone skin bleaching products. No carcinogenic properties have been associated with topical or oral hydroquinone use in humans.