Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. is recalling 54 skincare products sold in Japan and in some of the brand’s overseas markets. Most of them are marketed as skin brightening/whitening products. (Read the official notice released by Kanebo on July 4th in Japanese and in English regarding the voluntary recall in Japan.)
The brands and ranges that include these products are Blanchir Superior, Suisai, Twany, Impress, Aqualeaf, Lissage, RMK, and SUQQU. (Lissage Ltd. and E’quipe Ltd. (which owns RMK and SUQQU) are affiliated with Kanebo Cosmetics Inc..) See the notice for the full list of products.
All the products being recalled contain rhododenol 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanol. According to Kanebo, this ingredient was approved by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2008. It is important to note that a direct link between the ingredient and the skin condition mentioned in the notice (appearance of white blotches on the skin) has not been established. The recall is a precautionary measure to alleviate consumers’ concerns.
According to Taipei Times, 450,000 from the 54 affected products have been sold in Japan, where there have been 39 reported cases of the condition since May. The report also mentions that the recall covers Kanebo’s overseas markets in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
According to official statements from Kanebo Taiwan and Kanebo Hong Kong, there has not been any report of the condition from any of Kanebo’s overseas markets.
My readers in the UK might be concerned about the brightening/whitening items from SUQQU and RMK. According to the global websites of the two brands, the sale of the items containing rhododenol has been suspended as a precautionary measure. I assume the suspension applies directly to the UK as the UK is the only market for both brands outside Asia. (Read the official notices from SUQQU & RMK.)