Breaking News

Skin Whitener Still Plagues Kanebo

August 20, 2013

More than 7,000 consumer complaints

A skin whitener has become a black eye for Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. The company said more than 7,000 consumers have complained that its products cause dermatological blotches. The company recalled the product in July, but the number of cases continues to climb. Kanebo, a unit of Kao Corp., reported 7,266 women—a 27% increase from 10 days ago—with skin problems caused by the recalled products. Nearly 3,000 of those women had three or more white splotches on their skin, spots that were 2 inches or more in diameter, or white spots on their face. About a quarter of the affected women were recovering after they stopped using the product or received treatment, according to Kanebo. More than 10,000 people have reported symptoms.

On July 4, Kanebo recalled 4.36 million items containing a substance the company developed called 4HPB, or Rhododenol, which is used in 54 different products sold by the company in Asia and the UK. The recalled products comprise roughly $60 million in sales and include Japan's No.2 skin-whitening brand, Kanebo Blanchir.

Kanebo, which has pledged to cover all related medical expenses, said it has yet to calculate what the total impact will likely be in terms of fallen sales and compensation costs. A team of dermatologists is trying to figure out how the 4HPB substance might be causing the problems. Kanebo has ruled out contaminants and said that no changes have been made to the key ingredient.

A list of products that contain 4HPB can be found at www.kanebo.com.

Related End-User Markets:

  • The Good, The Bad Can Get Ugly

    The Good, The Bad Can Get Ugly

    March 28, 2017
    If you are what you eat, you may really be in trouble!

  • What’s Up with Brexit?

    What’s Up with Brexit?

    March 9, 2017
    During In-Cosmetics, industry experts from the CTPA will weigh in on what’s ahead for the beauty industry.

  • Fit for Fitness

    Fit for Fitness

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 21, 2017
    Kinx Active is a new brand targeting women who want beauty products that can stand up to their fitness routines.

  • OTC = TLC

    OTC = TLC

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 1, 2017
    Over-the-counter treatments provide consumers’ skin and hair with extra care.

  • The Green Dot

    The Green Dot

    John Kim and Lambros Kromidas, PhD*, Shiseido Americas||March 1, 2017
    Insights into one of the most used trademarks in the world.

  • An Essential Read

    An Essential Read

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    Industry expert Nadim Shaath takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the history and the future of essential oils.