mercury in skin lotionThis month a story out of  the San Francisco Bay area suggests that several skin products may contain mercury. The following article, “Mercury laden skin creams sought in Bay Area” takes a closer look at this issue and sites a 2010 case where a 39-year old woman was found to have more than 100 times the typical level of mercury in her body.

The article finds that the products which contain mercury, are often manufactured and produced in other countries and then sold illegally in the United States.

Mercury is used in illegal creams because it limits the production of melanin, a pigment that gives skin its color.  The safer products that meet U.S. requirements use other chemicals to lighten skin.”

“More than 35 such products have been discovered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  in at least seven states within the past few years.

As the article states, “Consumers who want to protect themselves should avoid creams that lack labels or ingredient lists or appear to be homemade, Das said.”   This is the key. If you are not sure about the ingredients you are putting on your skin because the product you are using does not list the ingredients found in the product, think twice about using that particular product.

 Picture via helloturkeytoe