Today, two Taiwanese inspection companies have found a strong quantity of ‘fluorescent whitening agents’ in IPKN’s Whitening BB Cream.
Firstly , what are these fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) ?
According to Wikipedia :
fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) are chemicals that absorb light in the ultraviolet and violet region (usually 340-370 nm) of the electromagnetic spectrum, and re-emit light in the blue region (typically 420-470 nm). Fluorescent activity is a short term or rapid emission response, unlike phosphorescence, which is a delayed emission. These additives are often used to enhance the appearance of color of fabric and paper, causing a perceived “whitening” effect, making materials look less yellow by increasing the overall amount of blue light reflected.
Optical brighteners have also found use in cosmetics. One application is to formulas for washing and conditioning grey or blonde hair, where the brightener can not only increase the luminance and sparkle of the hair, but can also correct dull, yellowish discoloration without darkening the hair. Some advanced face and eye powders contain optical brightener microspheres that brighten shadowed or dark areas of the skin, such as “tired eyes”.
Fluorescent whitening agents have been found to be carcinogenic. When exposed to large quantities, they may cause stomach, liver and kidney damage. The fluorescent agent itself may cause allergic skin reactions that product allergic dermatitis, eczema and even increase the burden on our liver and kidney.
However till this day, there hasn’t been any standards if Fluorescent Agents can be added into skincare products. Neither was this Fluorescent Agent recorded in its ingredient’s list. Further tests will be conducted and if found guilty, the company will be fined for NT 10 million taiwan dollars.