Thousands of pounds of illegal skin lightening products seized

Published: Wednesday, 20 December 2023

Havering Council’s trading standards team have taken a number of illegal skin lightening products off the borough’s streets.

It follows an investigation which included a number of test purchase visits by the Council’s trading standards officers.

They were joined by Council enforcement officers and police officers, to raid a Romford business recently.

On the visit, they seized 1,400 skin lightening items which included soaps, serums, creams, and lotions.

All of these products are non-compliant with UK regulations or are illegal to sell within the UK. 

The estimated retail value of the products is around £21,000.

Some of the products are known to be unsafe and contain banned ingredients such as mercury, hydroquinone, and corticosteroids. 

All of which are known to have extremely harmful side effects. 

The trading standards team will continue its investigation into these skin lighteners by organising further samples of the seized items to be safety tested.

Also, they will be requesting further information from the trader.

The business cannot be named at this time due to the ongoing investigations.

If convicted, there will be a fine and the risk of possible imprisonment for those responsible for the breach.

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“This is fantastic work by our trading standards and enforcement officers working in partnership with the police.

“Any businesses in our borough found selling products that are harmful and breach regulations, are treated extremely seriously by the Council.

"Like this example, they are thoroughly investigated by our officers.

“We regularly make test-purchase visits to businesses to help make sure our residents and customers are kept safe.”