HSA issues alert on two cosmetic products, pain relief medicine

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has issued an alert on two cosmetic products and a pain relief product that led to poor blood sugar control in a woman who had taken it.

In a statement yesterday, the authority said the two products - Herba Saraf, Wonderglow Whitening Specialist Super Ultra Glowing Cream and Tati Skin Care 5 in 1 cosmetic set - had potent undeclared ingredients that could cause serious health problems.

A woman in her 40s had obtained Herba Saraf from a relative in Malaysia who had bought it online.

It was marketed as containing herbal ingredients for the relief of pain such as joint pain and migraine, said the HSA in its statement.

After taking it for more than a month for her knee pain, she developed poor sugar control and was diagnosed with impaired glucose tolerance. That condition can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

She stopped taking the medication after suspecting that her condition was caused by the product.

HSA later found out that the product contains dexamethasone, a potent steroid.

Consumers are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible if they have taken Herba Saraf.

The two other products flagged by HSA both contained excessively high levels of mercury.

Wonderglow and Tati Skin Care 5 in 1 cosmetics were brought into Singapore from Malaysia by a woman in her 20s who had intended to sell them online, the authority said. She was detained at the Causeway, and the products were seized.


The authority had alerted the public to stop buying and using the Tati Skin Care 5 in 1 cosmetic set in June and September last year.

But the cosmetics set resurfaced online.

Recent tests done by the HSA found that the set's Therapy Cream 1 contained mercury exceeding permissible limits by close to 50,000 times.

The set's Therapy Cream 2 was found to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin. Both are potent ingredients to be used only under medical supervision.

HSA also found that Wonderglow, which is made up of a day and night cream as well as a soap bar, was marketed online as an anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing product and claimed to be able to brighten the skin in "as early as 3 days".

Those found guilty of supplying or selling illegal health products may face a fine up to $100,000 or jail term up to three years or both.

Anyone with any information on the sale and supply of these illegal products can contact HSA's Enforcement Branch on 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or e-mail