Jakarta (ANTARA) - The illegal cosmetics confiscated from a warehouse in North Jakarta recently contained harmful substances that could put consumers' health at risk, the National Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) has said.

"The ones who fall victim are those who are negligent because these products can end up in the possession of medical personnel, like doctors and clinic managements, who order from production facilities such as these—all without seeing the facility (in person). Materials of cosmetics for humans need to (be managed) with good production standards," BPOM head Penny K. Lukito said here on Thursday.

The warehouse in question contained evidence in the form of raw materials, finished products, packaging, and measuring devices.

The use of cosmetics containing prohibited substances can pose health risks, she said. For example, the hydroquinone found in the seized cosmetics can cause ochronosis, which is marked by the appearance of blue-black or gray-blue pigmentation; retinoic acid can irritate the skin and cause rashes, peeling of the skin, and it can also damage fetuses, Lukito elaborated.

She said that the illegal cosmetics also contained resorcinol, which causes skin irritation and disrupts the immune system.

Used on damaged skin, resorcinol can cause dermatitis symptoms, such as irritation of the eyes, skin, throat, and respiratory system; it can also cause methemoglobinemia, which affects the ability of red blood cells to distribute oxygen all over the body, she added.

The substance can also cause cyanosis, which turns skin to a bluish hue; convulsions; an increase in the heart rate; dyspepsia; hypothermia; and hematuria, or blood in the urine, she said.

Other dangerous substances in the seized cosmetics included clindamycin, which can cause the skin to flake off; as well as fluocinolone, which can cause itchiness, dryness, flaking, and folliculitis, change in skin color, as well as the hardening of skin layers.

She stressed that the use of unlicensed cosmetics or cosmetics containing dangerous substances can pose a big risk to health.

Thus, the agency is urging people to gain a better understanding of cosmetics so that they become smart consumers who can avoid such harmful products, she said.

BPOM is also urging medical personnel to instruct patients to get their cream and lotion-based drugs from official pharmacies with professional staff who can prepare the medicines properly.

Consumers need to buy cosmetics only from trusted sellers, whether online or in-person, she stressed.

"If you are buying cosmetics online, buy from official online stores, and always follow the Cek Klik (check packaging, label, permit, and expiry date) method prior to buying or using the cosmetics," she added.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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