Skincare is an integral part of the beauty care routine for many people. However, behind the attractive labels and beauty promises, there are hidden risks that can harm the health of the skin and body. One ingredient that we need to be aware of in skincare products is mercury. Mercury, although often contained in some beauty products in the past, has the potential to cause serious harm to human health! Therefore, in this article, we will learn about the characteristics of mercury in skincare, its effects, and how we can avoid it!
Let’s raise awareness of harmful ingredients in skincare!
What is Mercury in Skincare?
Of course, having fair skin is the dream of most people, according to the beauty standards in each region. Sometimes, it’s that “obsession” that makes us susceptible to mercury skincare traps.
Simply put, mercury is a harmful ingredient in skincare that works to whiten our skin. It stops the production of skin pigments, so results are instantaneous. However, behind its spectacular effects, lurks a danger to our health! Some of the negative impacts on our health include:
- Skin Irritation
Mercury can cause skin irritation such as redness, itching, and even chemical burns to the skin.
- Skin Pigment Changes
Long-term use of skincare products containing mercury can result in skin discoloration, either lighter (hypopigmentation) or darker (hyperpigmentation). Sometimes these changes are almost permanent and difficult to overcome even with medical treatment!
- Neurological Disorders
Long-term exposure to mercury can cause disorders of the neurological system, affecting brain function and the nervous system. Examples include: Decreased sense of taste and coordination; impaired vision and speech.
- Immune System Disorders
Mercury can also affect the immune system, increasing the risk of developing allergies or impaired immune response.
- Impact on Internal Organ Health
Consumption or absorption of high amounts of mercury can have a negative impact on the internal organs of the human body, such as brain, heart, lung, and kidney damage.
- Increased Risk of Skin Cancer
Mercury is a carcinogen, which means it can trigger or cause skin cancer.
Are these negative impacts worth the temporary instant effects of mercury? Surely not! Therefore, we must avoid the negative effects of exposure to this toxic substance before they occur.
Characteristics of Skincare with Mercury Content
The increasing awareness of skincare should be coupled with the knowledge of harmful skincare ingredients! Recognizing the characteristics of mercury in skincare is the first step that can protect us from exposure. From texture, odor, and skin reaction, make sure to check carefully:
- Strange & pungent odor: Skincare products containing mercury often have an unusual or pungent smell, different from the general scent of skincare products.
- Rough & sticky texture: Mercury in skincare can cause the texture of the product to become rough or feel sticky when we apply it to the skin.
- Increased skin sensitivity: One of the signs of using skincare with mercury is increased skin sensitivity to sunlight. This indicates a skin irritation or discomfort reaction.
- Hot & itchy skin reactions: Mercury exposure can trigger hot, burning, or itchy skin reactions after use.
- The product is not well sealed: Skincare that has no seal or open packaging can signal possible manipulation or lack of product safety.
- The product turns dark in color: Skincare products that initially have a bright or stable color may turn dark or discolored (gray).
- Products without the BPOM mark & without clear ingredient labeling: Skincare that does not have a clear ingredient label or BPOM mark can be a sign that the product is not officially registered or contains harmful ingredients such as mercury.
It’s not that hard to be careful before choosing skincare, don’t forget, prevention is much easier than cure!
How to safely choose mercury-free skincare
From the characteristics above, the safe step to avoid mercury skincare is to check whether it is registered and registered with BPOM. Look at the number on the packaging and check online at cekbpom.pom.go.id. From here we can also check the authenticity of the product as well as other details such as the number, product name, registrant, and place of production of the product. If Sereni-Trees finds counterfeit products, we can also report by filling out the complaint form to BPOM.
The second way is to check the content of the label on the skincare. If there is writing like this: Mercury, Mercurous chloride, Calomel, Mercurio, Mercurio chloride, make sure we avoid it! Unclear ingredient labels can also be one reason we are suspicious of skincare products. Anyway, we must really know every ingredient in the skincare that we will use.
The last method can be by paying attention to the texture and smell as well as the reaction. That being said, as a “commoner”, this may be more difficult. Therefore, we recommend that you buy the product directly from a trusted manufacturer/store and consult an expert!
Natural Ingredients as a Safe “Skin Lightening” Alternative
Instead of sacrificing our health for an “instant white” effect, let’s opt for natural lightening alternatives! Here are some natural alternatives that you can try to brighten your skin safely:
- Licorice Extract (Sweet Root): Licorice contains compounds that can reduce hyperpigmentation and naturally brighten the skin.
- Vitamin C: Natural vitamin C as found in fruits like oranges, lemons, or kiwis can brighten the skin and reduce dark spots.
- Papaya Extract: The papain enzyme found in papaya can remove dead skin cells and give the skin a brighter look.
- Bearberry Extract: Bearberry contains arbutin which can brighten and even out skin tone.
- Rosehip Oil: This natural oil rich in antioxidants and vitamin C can brighten and reduce signs of aging on the skin.
- Ginseng Extract: Ginseng can improve blood circulation, thus helping the skin look brighter and more radiant.
- Niacinamide/Vitamin B3: Brightens the skin by reducing pigment production and enhancing the skin’s natural radiance.
- Natural Alpha Arbutin: Inhibits melanin production, reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation on the skin.
But we must remember, these natural ingredients can provide benefits but not instantly. Slow, steady and safe, that’s how natural skincare works! You also don’t have to search anymore because Serenitree also provides safe “brightening” variants. Let’s try Serenitree’s hand cream, body wash, and body lotion for naturally bright skin!