SINGAPORE - South Korean beauty label Etude House has recalled one if its cosmetic products sold here - Etude House AC Clean-Up Mild Concealer - after metal traces above the permissible level was found in it.
In a statement posted on the brand's website on Wednesday (March 21), Etude House Korea announced the suspension of the product and another, Etude House Drawing Eyebrow Duo No 3 Gray Brown, which is not sold in Singapore.
In the media statement, Etude House Singapore said: "The decision of suspension and recall followed upon finding traces of excessive antimony in them and voluntarily reporting the same to the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety."
The level of antimony must not exceed 10 micro grams per gram, according to standards set by the South Korean authority.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Health Sciences Authority said on Thursday that cosmetic products sold in Singapore are not allowed to contain antimony.
Only four units from the affected batch have been sold locally, the spokesman added. Earlier, Etude House Singapore said that most of the products were distributed in South Korea and "only a small portion" of Etude House AC Cleanup Mild Concealer under the lot number AAH was distributed here.
The company said that customers who have bought the recalled products can return them for a full refund or exchange at any Etude House store in Singapore.
The spokesman for HSA said it is overseeing the voluntary product recall to ensure that the stock from the affected batch is removed from the Singapore market.
Antimony is an element present naturally in the environment and does not accumulate in the body, said the spokesman for HSA.
There will be toxic effects from the element only after "large doses" are consumed.
"As these products are applied on the skin, in general, there should be no significant adverse effects," said the spokesman, who added that HSA has not received any reports of adverse reactions from the use of the product.
He added that "appropriate regulatory actions" may be taken if required.
According to HSA, local regulations for cosmetic products are in line with the Asean Cosmetic Directive, which adopts similar regulatory principles and requirements as the European Union's.
The authority also said it must be notified before any cosmetic product can be placed on the market, to facilitate regulatory follow-up if safety concerns arise.
It also monitors the safety of health products, including cosmetic products, through adverse reaction monitoring and testing cosmetic products on the market for potentially harmful ingredients.
Etude House is a brand under South Korean beauty and cosmetics conglomerate Amorepacific. The affected products were manufactured and supplied by Hwasung Cosmetics, one of Amorepacific's sub contractors.
"Ensuring the safety and quality of all products is of utmost importance to us. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that we take appropriate actions during the recall process," said the company.
According to The Korea Herald, Amorepacific apologised on Tuesday (March 20) after several of its cosmetics products were found to contain excessive metal traces.
"We apologise for the incident, we should have put all our focus on quality assurance. We will do our best to prevent similar cases from happening again," said Amorepacific in a statement.