Beauty parlours told to keep clients informed

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 September, 2008, 12:00am

Amid the scare over milk adulterated with the industrial chemical melamine, Hong Kong beauty parlours are being urged to tell their customers the origin of products containing milk before applying them.

'A product may be produced in France, but not necessarily made from raw materials that are from France,' said Nelson Ip Sai-hung, chairman of the Federation of the Beauty Industry, which has 2,000 members.

'It is difficult to list the place of origin of all raw materials in a certain product, but we hope to collect more information about those dairy ingredients.' The federation would urge its members to specify the origin of milk products.

Some beauty parlours offer milk baths, which they claim help moisturise skin and make it smoother. Mr Ip said few in Hong Kong offer the service.

Staff at some of those which do found it difficult to say what ingredients were used in their milk baths.

'We use fresh whole milk,' a beautician at a spa treatment centre in Causeway Bay said.

'We don't categorise whether the milk is from the mainland or not ... We use milk from New Zealand, but we do not rule out that it contains ingredients from the mainland.'

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Central said its bath treatment used milk from Canada.

Housewives have reportedly been using milk suspected to have been adulterated to wash their faces rather than throw it away. Medical Association president Tse Hung-hing said that might not be a good idea.

'We don't know the impact of it when it is in contact with the skin,' Dr Tse said. 'We don't know if the chemical would be absorbed into the body.'

Besides, he said, 'I don't see the difference between milk and water when used for facial wash.'