Natural cosmetics not always safe for skin

Update: May, 27/2017 - 09:00
A handmade cosmetics class. - Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Handmade cosmetics containing natural ingredients are often bought online by women who love nature-based products, but consumers are often unaware of their potential long-term risks, the Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper reports.

Handmade cosmetics producers said that their products, varying from soaps, facial masks to facial cleanser, lotion, are extracted from natural ingredients such as essential coconut oil, green tea, gấc fruit (scientifically known as Momordica cochinchinensis) or rice bran.


“I took the ingredients from a friend of mine and mixed them by my own method. I bought bottles, containers and design products’ name tags by myself,” a female seller from Đồng Nai Province told the newspaper.


However, Associate Professor Nguyễn Hữu Đức from HCM City-based University of Medicine and Pharmacy advised customers not to use any kinds of cosmetics sold online or advertised among people.


The majority of these cosmetics do not have tags or are not verified by authorised agencies. The supposed ingredients and quality might be fabricated, he said.


Other experts also say that without verification, antibiotics and corticoids are added secretly to cosmetic ingredients. The substances help to smoothen skin in a very short time of three to seven days; but, for the long term, its side effects cause atrophia cutis, cracked skin, skin infection and pimples.


Đức said that the use of corticoid over a long time might result in female pre-pubescent hair development disorders.


Associate Professor Lê Ngọc Diệp, head of skin treatment clinic of HCM City’s Hospital of University of Medicine and Pharmacy, said that cosmetic containers’ hygienic conditions are not ensured. The containers, put under different temperatures, can have mildew. Ingredients such as honey, rice bran oil, olive oil make a good environment for bacteria to grow.


Skin illness doctor Huỳnh Huy Hoàng said that there is not any evidence of the safety of handmade cosmetics. It may cause skin allergy when mixed with an incorrect concentration. For example, AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid) functions to exfoliate skin but can peel skin.


He said that despite natural ingredients, handmade cosmetics might cause skin allergy, rash, red pimples and most seriously, skin peeling.


Hoàng advised customers to take a look carefully at manufacturing addresses, ingredients, expiry dates and production licences. In addition, consumers should check whether the inside texture has mildew or discolouration.


“If the skin turns red or itchy, stop using it and go to see dermatologist,” Đức said.


Đức advised women to be careful when using skin care products, just as they would when taking medicine. Those infected with skin diseases such as bruises, burns, pimples or wrinkles should go to a dermatologist for proper treatment. — VNS