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IPKN’s BB Cream : Safe for now November 2, 2010

I know this has been old news, but would like to follow up on the IPKN controversy.

Tests conducted by the Department of Health on South Korean-produced IPKN BB Cream, which made the news recently after it made a woman glow under black light, showed that while the product contains ingredients with fluorescent properties, the substances were not harmful.

Blemish balms, commonly known as BB cream, have become popular in recent years, as the product combines foundation, sun protection lotion and moisturizer in one mixture.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Kang Jaw-jou (康照洲) said a chemical substance called disodium phenyl dibenzimidazole tetrasulfonate found in the cream acts as a sun protection agent. The substance gives off a fluorescent glow under ultraviolet light, but the fluorescence has nothing to do with whitening agents that can harm the body or increase the risk of cancer.

“Many chemical substances have fluorescent properties … the glow itself is not enough to determine whether [a substance] is safe or not,” Kang said.

The FDA said that because the substance was not known to pose health risks, its use in cosmetic products was fully legal in Taiwan, as well as in the EU, Australia and many other countries.

On Monday, reports said a Taiwanese woman who had used the cream discovered while in a nightclub that her face was giving off a bluish fluorescent glow under the black light. The sheen made her fear the product could contain harmful substances or have unexpected side effects.

Fluorescent agents can be added to some products to increase their whitening property. Because there is no consensus on whether fluorescent agents can cause cancer, however, most countries do not ban them in cosmetic products.

Although health authorities did not find that the sun protection ingredients contained any hazardous substances, inspectors said they would continue testing to ensure that other BB cream products sold in Taiwan are safe.

Source : Taipei Times

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Breaking News : Beware of IPKN’s Whitening BB Cream October 18, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

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.