Prohibited Substance in Cream Cosmetic: Clobetasol Propionate

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Nualpan Phiboonsrinakrala Phiboonsrinakrala
Nanthana Klinsuntorn
Benchaporn Pudkum

Abstract

The current extremely popular trend among Thai teenagers has caused behavioral
imitation in skin whitening and brightening. The excessive advertisement of cosmetics plus
being unaware of the facts and receiving insufficient information for making decision in using
those cosmetics may be harmful to consumers. After the incident of students ages between
16–18 in Petchaburi Province, who developed allergic rash and stretch skin after using cosmetic
creams for 6 months to 2 years, in 2013 Regional Medical Science Center 5 Samut Songkhram
together with Petchaburi Provincial Health Office studied the types of adulterated substances
in 11 un-notified cosmetics cream samples. They could be divided into 4 categories namely;
cream with labeling claiming to whiten skin and reduce dark spot, cream without labeling,
cream with Chinese label, and cream with Chinese label and with OTC abbreviation appeared
on the box which were used by students as an ingredient for self-making cream. The results
from HPLC found the steroid clobetasol propionate adulterated in every sample and its
quantity ranged from 8.0 to 449.8 mg/kg. The substance is prohibited in cosmetics according
to the Notification of the Ministry of Public Health. Clobetasol propionate is a potent
corticosteroid used for the treatment of psoriasis and other steroid responsive dermatitis.
Side effects of long term use are epidermal thinning, purpura, and striae which could pose
health risk to consumers. Therefore, relevant agencies should provide warnings to prevent
harm from cosmetics that are adulterated with steroids.

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