Hazardous Products: Mercury in Soaps and Creams

Certain skin-lightening creams and medicated soaps can contain mercury. Soaps and creams containing mercury are banned in the United States, but may be available for purchase over the counter or on the Internet.

The mercury in these types of products can be absorbed through your skin. Mercury can damage the brain, nervous system and kidneys. It may also damage the skin, cause rashes and blotchy spots, and give skin a grayish color.

The longer and more often products containing mercury are used, the greater the health risk. These products can be especially harmful to children.

How to Identify Dangerous Soaps and Creams

Products may contain mercury, even if it is not listed as an ingredient on the label. Check packaging materials and any instructions or ingredient lists carefully. Look for:

  • “Hg” (the chemical symbol for mercury) or the word “mercury”
  • Mercuric iodide, mercuric chloride, mercurous chloride, ammoniated mercury, calomel, mercurio, amide chloride of mercury or mercury oxide
  • Instructions to avoid contact with silver, gold, rubber, aluminum and jewelry

Listed below are some skin-lightening creams and medicated soaps that have been found to contain high levels of mercury. Call 311 to report a store selling products found to contain mercury.

Products Made in Pakistan

Product Name  Manufacturer 
Chandni Whitening Cream SJ Enterprises
Face Fresh Beauty Cream Shaheen Cosmetics
Faiza No 1 Beauty Cream A.M. Cosmetics
Faiza Beauty Cream Poonia Brothers
Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene Goree Cosmetics (Pvt.) Ltd.
Golden Pearl Beauty Cream Golden Pearl Cosmetics
Infocus Professional Pearl Beauty Cream Infocus Cosmetology Co.
Sandal Whitening Beauty Cream MMC Cosmetics
Seven Herbal Ubtan Cream C.P.H.L.
Stillman’s Freckle Cream Stillman Company Inc., USA
Stillman’s Skin Bleach Cream Stillman Company Inc., USA
Zuni Beyoutiful Beauty Cream Zuni USA LLC

Products Made in Spain

Product Name  Manufacturer 
Niuma Medicated Antiseptic Soap Niuma Belleza
Niuma Lemon Medicated Germicidal Soap Niuma Belleza

Products Made in Dominican Republic

Product Name  Manufacturer 
Crema Santa N/A
Crema Santa Germicida N/A
Dermaline Beauty Cream N/A
Dermaline Skin Cream N/A
Dermaline Skin Whitening Cream N/A
Jabon Germicida Contifarma (soap) N/A
Miss Key Crema Blanqueadora N/A
Pomada Salva-Vida (balm) N/A
Recetas de la Farmacia Normal–Crema Blanqueadora N/A

Products Made in Jamaica

Product Name  Manufacturer 
Deluxe Nadinola Bleaching Cream N/A

Products Made in European Economic Community

Product Name  Manufacturer 
Germicida 200 (soap) N/A

Unknown Place of Manufacture

Product Name  Manufacturer 
Due Beauty Cream Kreative Cosmetics (Pvt.) Ltd.
Magia Blanca de Michelle Marie Crema Blanqueadora N/A
Nufutong N/A

If You Have Used These Products

Immediately stop using skin-lightening creams and medicated soaps that contain elevated mercury or list mercury as an ingredient.

If you use non-prescription products to lighten your skin or for skin disorders, talk to your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, call 311.

Appropriately dispose of mercury containing products. Do not throw these products in the trash. Place unused product(s) in a sealed plastic bag until they can be disposed of properly at an NYC Department of Sanitation SAFE Disposal event or Special Waste Drop-off location. Thoroughly wash your hands and other exposed body parts that touched the products. You should wash surfaces that came into contact with these products.

Be sure to keep these and other hazardous consumer products out of reach of children.

For more information about mercury and health, call the Poison Control Center at 212-POISONS (212-764-7667).

Additional Resources

More Information