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Harmful skin-lightening cosmetic products removed from Amazon

E-commerce giant Amazon recently removed over a dozen of skin-lightening cosmetic products from its website as the mercury content in them was dangerously high. The Seattle-based company had to take this huge step after opposition from environmental and health activists in Minnesota.

Non-profit organizations BeautyWell Project and Sierra Club delivered a petition containing the signature of almost 23,000 people on Wednesday to the customer satisfaction center of Amazon in Shakopee. Amira Adawe, the founder of BeautyWell, informed the media that 15 of 24 skin lightening products they tested contained high mercury levels.

Adawe’s non-profit works to raise awareness among the people about the harm that is done by these skin lightening products. The organization’s complete focus is on abolishing the utilization of such products as well as empowering women. Adawe has worked on this problem locally for years, but now she is going after retail giants.

According to Adawe, for a leading multinational company like Amazon, it’s not correct to sell products that not only physically damage the skin but also build a wall of insecurity among dark-skinned people. Skin-lightening products keep encouraging racist beauty notions that people must lighten their skin color, which is completely wrong, she added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that mercury can cause severe impact on a person’s nervous system as well as kidneys and cause pregnancy complications among women that use such products.

In fact, the previous month, a woman from the US went into a coma after using the ‘Rejuveness’ cream from Pond’s as it contained high levels of methylmercury.

Amazon is a huge electronic commercial website, with over 150 million users across the globe. The company has a good reputation when it comes to customer satisfaction and fixing the problems faced by the customer. Adawe said that she is waiting to get a response from Amazon still before the two organizations claim victory.

On Thursday, all 15 products, except one, seemed to be pulled off from the Amazon website. However, the real test is whether the products will stay off the site forever, said Adawe.

Notably, skin lightening products have been in controversy for a long period of time. While some people use these kinds of products, others simply blame them for playing with people’s insecurities regarding their skin color. The days when people used to be judged for their skin color has long gone, with some exceptions, but the skin lightening products are hailing within local and online stores still.

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