KEBS officials inspecting beauty products during a crackdown against illegal cosmetics. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Kenya Bureau of Standards confiscated cosmetics and beauty products worth thousands of shillings in a new crackdown in River Road. Principal surveillance officer Gilbert Rono said the raided shops were selling beauty products containing substance that should only be sold in registered pharmacies and chemists and on the recommendation of a medical doctor for a period of time as prescribed.

Illegal products

“These cosmetics contain hydroquinone, steroids, mercury and hydrogen peroxide and should not be sold in open markets,” said Rono.

More than ten shops were affected and many illegal cosmetics impounded. Rono said the products had not been registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board as medicines and should, therefore, not be sold in the markets.

Common products listed by the bureau of standards as containing these substances include Peau Clair Body Lotion, Kiss Lotion, Mekako soap, Pimplex medicated cream and Princess Lotion, among others. He added that illegal cosmetics had become increasingly popular with several skin bleaching chemicals that people use without paying attention to the effects.

“The active ingredients in the products should only be used for a specified period of time on doctor prescription,” said Rono.

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