Local governments in the UK have warned consumers about the use of some skin-lightening creams. Some of the lightening creams they tested contained banned ingredients and so were illegal. However, they were on sale in UK stores. A spokesperson said the creams could pose a serious threat to consumers' health. He said there has been an increase in the number of users experiencing health problems after using the creams. These include rashes, burns and scars. The spokesperson said the creams could increase the risk of skin cancer, and liver and kidney damage.
The global skin-lightening industry is estimated at $4.8 billion. It is forecast to double to around $8.9 billion in ten years. The local governments warned that "rogue retailers" were selling illegal skin-lightening lotions and omitted to put the illegal substances on the labels. Some of the ingredients acted like paint stripper. It could burn off the top layer of skin. A spokesperson said: "Skin creams containing banned ingredients are very dangerous and could seriously damage your health, scar you for life and even kill you, so they should be avoided at all costs."