Shiseido sunscreen back on sale after heavy metal scare
Leading Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido's sunscreen will return to counters today after a 24-hour hiatus caused by a heavy metal contamination scare.
In its statement yesterday, Shiseido insisted it did not use cadmium in any of its products.
It stressed the heavy metal mainland authorities had found in its sunscreen was "extremely minimal" and would not pose any threat to users. Shiseido said cadmium existed naturally in soil, water and air.
Mainland media reports said cadmium had been found by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in 3,600 grams of Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen EX N imported from Japan.
A spokesman for Shiseido in Hong Kong said the company had withdrawn the product from counters yesterday pending instructions from its Japanese headquarters. The Hong Kong office was told in the evening to resume the sales today.
A Shiseido outlet employee at IFC in Central told a South China Morning Post reporter posing as a customer that the company issued a staff memo yesterday morning claiming the batch of sunscreen allegedly found with cadmium was from a duty-free shop on the mainland and unrelated to products being sold in Hong Kong.
Dermatologist Dr Louis Shih Tai-cho said cadmium did not have any function in sunscreen and found no reason to add the heavy metal into the product.
"Titanium and zinc oxide are the compounds used for sunscreen, but not cadmium. If cadmium was really found in the products, it looks likely the raw material had been contaminated," Shih said.